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 areas 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 associations
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
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 couldnt 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.
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 Arthurs 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.