Obama nominates Soto ('71) to federal bench

Saturday, December 21, 2013

James A. Soto

A fourth graduate of the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law has been nominated by President Obama to serve on the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona.

The latest nominee is Judge James A. Soto, who graduated from the College of Law in 1971 and serves as presiding judge of Santa Cruz County Superior Court.

“We congratulate Judge Soto for this prestigious nomination,” said Douglas J. Sylvester, Dean of the College of Law. “We are extremely proud of his public service and see him as a wonderful example for the civic-minded students we continue to graduate.

"It is gratifying to have four of our alumni nominated to the federal bench in such a short time."

Earlier this year, Obama appointed College of Law Professor Diane Humetewa, and Judge Douglas L. Rayes and John Joseph Tuchi. Read that story here.

Soto began his professional career in Nogales in 1975 with the late Nasib Karam. From 1979 to 1991, he was a law partner with the late E. Leigh Larson with the firms of Larson and Soto, Larson, Soto and Machado, Larson, Soto and Arana. From 1992 to 2001, he was a shareholder in Soto, Coogan and Martin, P.C.

He was reappointed as presiding judge in Santa Cruz earlier this year.

“Judge Soto has demonstrated outstanding leadership by ensuring a fair and impartial justice system that protects the community, children, and families,” Rebecca White Berch, chief justice of the Arizona Supreme Court, said at the time.

If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Soto will take the seat vacated a year ago by Judge David Bury, who has assumed senior status.

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