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Rene A. Sotorrio

Rene A. Sotorrio, P.A. is of counsel to Zumpano, Patricios and Winker, P.A. Mr. Sotorrio has a wide ranging national and international practice representing clients throughout the United States and other countries. He has tried hundreds of criminal cases in over 35 years of practice. He has represented high-profile clients discretely and effectively in over 20 federal, state and international jurisdictions, including Europe, Mexico, Central America and South America. He emphasizes white collar defense and also represents physicians and other licensed professionals in misconduct and disciplinary procedures.
Mr. Sotorrio specializes in criminal defense at the investigative, trial and appellate levels of state, federal and international criminal matters. Further, criminal cases and seemingly innocuous investigations can easily lead to serious criminal liability if not correctly managed, which is why the firm emphasizes a proactive, multidisciplinary legal representation at the grand jury and pre-arrest stages. This unique approach often results in the avoidance of criminal charges, or in limiting the quantity and quality of incriminating evidence. When necessary, Mr. Sotorrio engages experts from the most distinguished array of legal and scientific specialists in the world in order to successfully represent its clients.
Widely recognized in the field of criminal law as one of its most distinguished trial lawyers, Mr. Sotorrio uniquely and successfully represents his clients as discretely as the particular case permits in order to lessen the negative impact of highly publicized investigations and prosecutions.
Mr. Sotorrio has extensive experience in every aspect of criminal defense both in state and federal criminal law, and in the international criminal arena, including the following:

  • International criminal charges, encompassing the representation of U.S. citizens and entities investigated or charged overseas, and persons or companies under criminal investigations by multiple nations, including extradition defense and international tax fraud.
  • Disciplinary investigations, including representations of medical doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, and other medical personell.
  • White collar crime, including tax fraud, securities fraud, internet fraud, money laundering, and other related business crimes.
  • Public corruption representing both private citizens and official figures, including government employees, public servants and law enforcement personnel.
  • Controlled substance violations and pharmaceutical drug fraud, and organized crime charges including RICO and racketeering statutes.

Education and Background

Mr. Sotorrio received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Northwestern University, Evanston,Illinois, in 1973, where he graduated with distinction. He received his Juris Doctor degree from the Georgetown University Law Center in 1976 where he participated in the Civil Trial Clinic Advocacy Program as a student trial attorney in the District of Columbia Superior Court. While at the Georgetown Law Center, he interned with the late William “Snow” Frates, the distinguished criminal lawyer who defended John Ehrlichman, one of the lead defendants in the famed Watergate prosecution which led to the impeachment and resignation of former President Richard Nixon.
After acquiring valuable experience in business law and civil litigation in Florida and the New York City Metropolitan Area, Mr. Sotorrio began practice as a criminal defense lawyer at the Office of the State of New Jersey Public Defender, Hudson Region, Jersey City, New Jersey. There he headed the Juvenile Court Division and reduced the conviction and incarceration rate of juvenile offenders by more than 50 percent. He then served as a felony litigation attorney from 1980 to 1982.
In 1982, Mr. Sotorrio became a felony trial attorney at the Office of the Public Defender, Dade County, Florida. During his tenure there, he tried multiple serious felony cases procuring acquittals in all but two of his jury trials. In 1984, Mr. Sotorrio established his own law practice in the South Florida area.
Mr. Sotorrio’s professional admissions, activities, publications and accomplishments are set forth below.

  • State of Florida Bar, 1977
  • State of New Jersey Bar, 1979
  • United States District Court, Southern District of Florida, 1978
  • United States District Court, Middle District of Florida
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Florida
  • United States District Court, District of New Jersey, 1979
  • United States District Court, Southern District of New York
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of New York
  • United States District Court, Northern District of New York
  • United States District Court, Southern District of Texas, 1988
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit, 1986
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit
  • Supreme Court of the United States

Professional Organizations (past and present) Transactions
  • The Florida Bar Association
  • The New Jersey Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Cuban-American Bar Association
  • New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Florida Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
  • Inter-American Bar Association
  • International Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
  • Texas Criminal Bar Defense Lawyers Association (Affiliate Member)
  • American Inns of Court

Professional Activities (past and present)
  • Instructor, National Institute of Trial Advocacy
  • Clerk, Dade County Circuit Court Attorney Advisory Committee (Member, Steering Committee; Chairman, Criminal Law Committee)
  • Lecturer and Recipient of Best Paper Award, XXX Conference of the Inter-American Bar Association, Santiago de Chile, Chile, Sovereign Act or Commercial Activity: The Contraction of Governmental Immunity Under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act
  • Submitter and scheduled lecturer, XXXI Conference of the Inter-American Bar Association, San Juan, Puerto Rico, U.S. Inter-Company Pricing Requirements and the Latin American Exporter: Criminal and Civil Liabilities
  • Founder and first president of the Eugene P. Spellman American Inn of Court, University of Miami School of Law
  • Lecturer and instructor, Harvard University Law School Pilot Program, Guatemala City, Guatemala
  • Chosen as one of the six most prominent Spanish-speaking criminal lawyers by the program sub-directors of the Institute for Criminal Justice at the Harvard Law School

Awards and Recognition:
  • Selected as an AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated SM lawyer by Martindale-Hubbell®, universally recognized as the foremost national and international attorney rating organization and is a member of its Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers™.
  • Selected as a member of Best of the Best Lawyers in America.

Representative Cases:
  • Representation in the Dominican Republic of a U.S. citizen arrested for importation via private plane of multiple kilograms of cocaine. Client release procured.
  • Representation in multinational fraud investigation of the principal of French yacht charter company in the West Indies. Client never arrested.
  • Representation of a Spanish national in multiple jurisdiction tax evasion investigation of multinational computer import and export company. Client never charged.
  • Representation of U.S. extradition petition to Spain for the fugitive principal of a major United States health organization. Extradition denied.
  • Representation of the former vice-minister of the economy of Spain in major investigation for alleged fraudulent business practices. Client cleared of all culpability. Resulted in the arrest and prosecution of corrupt Spanish investigative magistrates and accomplices who initiated client’s prosecution.
  • Representation of internationally renowned professional athlete charged with firearms violation in Mexico. Client freed.
  • Representation of preeminent international preacher and evangelist in 30-year-old triple homicide cold case in California. All charges dismissed.
  • Representation of principal defendant in the largest cocaine conspiracy in the history of the State of California at the time of the prosecution’s initiation, popularly known as the “La Corporacion” case. The conspiracy involved the countries of Bolivia, Mexico and the United States. Rene A. Sotorrio represented the lead defendant at the trial and appellate levels. He procured the reversal of the client’s conviction, and the defendant was freed. This case is memorialized in the book Deep Cover written by the former DEA agent who testified at trial and subsequently revealed the withholding of exculpatory evidence by federal authorities in San Diego, California.
  • Representation of one of principal defendants in U.S. District Court Southern District of Florida, notorious series of cases known as the “Miami River Cops” cases. Mr. Sotorrio’s client received the most lenient sanction of all charged.
  • Acquittal of second-degree murder charges of a student prosecuted for a highway shooting in Dade County, Florida, known in the national media as the “Road Rage” case. Client acquitted of all charges at trial.
  • Representation of client charged with the murder of her 18-month-old child 28 years after the fact — one of Miami, Florida’s most publicized cases. Rene A. Sotorrio procured client’s liberty on bond shortly after her extradition from New York and negotiated a probationary plea to lesser charges.
  • Representation of one of the principals in the popularly denominated Miami International Airport Public Corruption prosecution by the Dade County State Attorney’s office. Client successfully negotiated probation.

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