Domingo Soto

Domingo Soto

Galería fotográfica de Domingo Soto sobre el tema cubano.

Born April 21, 1946, in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, Domingo Soto was admitted to the Alabama bar in 1986 and the Texas bar in 1987 (presently on inactive status). He is admitted and qualified to practice in the U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of Alabama, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. and Alabama Supreme Courts. Until very recently he had been the area’s only private practice Spanish-speaking attorney (there are now two others). He practices primarily criminal defense law.

He is a past member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and of the Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Association, having previously served as the state association’s vice president on two occasions. He graduated from the University of Alabama School of Law (J.D.) in 1986 and from the University of South Alabama (B.A.) in 1971. He attended high schools in Jersey City, New Jersey and Aguada, Puerto Rico.

He has been a taxicab driver, graphics designer, freelance writer, itinerant photographer, teacher (U.S. and Puerto Rican history), an apprentice printer, a reporter and copy editor for the Mobile Press-Register, and the founder, editor and publisher of the Azalea City News. Easter Publishing, the parent company of the newspaper, published photograph books by local authors. Mobile: American River City by Michael Thomason and On Mobile Streets, A Rumor of the City by Jackson Hill, two of the books he published are cherished out-of-print collector's items. Immediately prior to law school, Soto spent more than four years as a paralegal with the Legal Services Corporation of Alabama.

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Soto spent four years in the United States Air Force beginning in 1964, where he got his high school GED, having quit high school not once but twice. He attended junior college in Panama City, Florida, augmenting his GI Bill by working nighttime as a taxicab driver. Soto grew his hair long and joined the milieu that was the year 1968. He met some folks that were putting something together called a “head shop”. He married one of them, Donna Gooden of Fairhope, Alabama and after a nightmarish summer of harassment, they moved to Alabama.

But even in Mobile he couldn’t forget that when he needed the ACLU the closest attorney they had was in Miami. Consciousness raised, he worked as an anti-war and civil rights activist. At USA, he worked for an open campus. To the chagrin of the other veterans, he did draft counseling. If the Divine Light Mission folks or the Muslims or the YSA needed a place he would help them find one.

He was a founding member of Genesis, the leftist coalition that took over the SGA by running on a student empowerment platform (equal rights for female students who had a curfew while the males did not, noncompulsory ROTC, etc. Hey, this was the dark ages.) He was the managing editor of the student newspaper and then of the underground newspaper Rearguard. During this time he also worked for the Fairhope Courier as a printer, made sand candles worked for Prestige Photography, in short, made ends meet.

He and Donna moved to Puerto Rico after school but they came back to Mobile, where he worked for the McGovern Campaign and then for the Press-Register. They had a child, Zachary, while they lived in Fairhope. He subsequently started the Azalea City News and kept it going for six or seven years. He worked a little while longer for the new owner before going to legal services, taking the job at LSCA to see if he had it in him to become a lawyer.

He was accepted to the University of Alabama (turning down a full scholarship to Ohio State), where he met and married Kathryn Runco of Saraland, Alabama. They moved to Austin, Texas where she worked for the prestigious firm of Baker and Botts. Kathryn left Baker and Botts and moved to Pensacola where their son Carlos was born.

When his LSCA mentor offered him an opportunity to work together he jumped at the chance. They started their partnership in 1987, ultimately being joined by Arthur’s younger brother Peter. His Spanish-speaking ability, practiced advocacy from his years at LSCA and his partnership with the esteemed Arthur Madden stood him in immediate good stead. His record in state and federal court is among the very best. From the beginning he has been representing defendants in most of the major federal cases brought in the Southern District of Alabama and in Alabama courts.

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