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Contact Information
Direct: 619.872.2522
Email: [email protected]
LinkedIn Profile

Cheryl Dunn Soto
Rated by Super Lawyers

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Cheryl Dunn Soto

Cheryl Dunn Soto is a seasoned attorney with more than 25 years of experience.  For the last 12 years, her practice has focused on insurance coverage and bad faith litigation on behalf of commercial policyholders, including contractors, attorneys, real estate professionals, medical groups, broker-dealers, accountants, homeowners associations, non-profit organizations, auto dealers, and other companies of all sizes located throughout California and other parts of the country.  She has served as both Chair and Co-Chair of the Insurance/Bad Faith Law Section of the San Diego County Bar Association.

Cheryl has handled coverage matters involving a wide variety of policies, including directors and officers (“D&O”), errors and omissions (“E&O”), employment practices (“EPL”), commercial general liability (“CGL”), garage, cyber, property, excess/umbrella and other commercial policies.  In addition to litigating coverage disputes, Cheryl is frequently called on to assist in analyzing and resolving insurance coverage issues pre-suit.  She has provided counsel on highly complex, multi-layered coverage matters involving underlying lawsuits, coverage renewals, and policy buy-backs.  Cheryl has enjoyed solving puzzles and riddles from an early age, so she thoroughly enjoys analyzing and solving insurance coverage issues for her clients and, in the process, vindicating their rights.

Cheryl also handles other business litigation, including cases involving breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, interference with contractual relations, fraud, unfair competition, and defamation.

After graduating from law school and before entering private practice, Cheryl worked for four district court judges in Arizona and California and a Ninth Circuit judge.  During her time with the federal court, Cheryl handled a variety of civil and criminal matters involving state and federal law and acquired invaluable knowledge and insight regarding judicial practice and procedure that allow her to more effectively represent her clients.

Prior to forming Franklin | Soto LLP, Cheryl practiced with a premier insurance recovery firm in San Diego and was the sole shareholder of Dunn Soto Law, APC, which exclusively represented policyholders in insurance coverage disputes.  Cheryl is admitted to practice law in California, New York, and Arizona and has received a peer-review rating of AV Preeminent from Martindale-Hubbell.


J.D., University of Arizona College of Law, summa cum laude, 1993
Member, Arizona Law Review

B.A. (Interdisciplinary Studies), University of Arizona, summa cum laude, 1990
Phi Beta Kappa
Flinn Foundation Scholar


New York
U.S. District Court, Southern District of California
U.S. District Court, Central District of California
U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit


Law Clerk to the Honorable John S. Rhoades, Senior District Judge (S.D. Cal.)
Law Clerk to the Honorable Jeffrey T. Miller, District Judge (S.D. Cal.)
Law Clerk to the Honorable Roger G. Strand, District Judge (D. Ariz.)
Law Clerk to the Honorable Michael D. Hawkins, Circuit Judge (9th Cir.)
Law Clerk to the Honorable Roslyn O. Silver, District Judge (D. Ariz.)


Minimizing Your Dealership’s Cyber Risk By Maximizing Your Cyber Insurance Coverage, Transmission Magazine (July 2017)

Important Tips for Maximizing Your Insurance Dollars, Transmission Magazine (January/February 2014)

Note: Turner v. Safley and Its Progeny: A Gradual Retreat to the Hands-Off Doctrine?
35 Ariz. L. Rev. 219 (1993)

Speaking Engagements

Cyber Insurance: What Every Financial Executive Should Know, Financial Executives Networking Group, San Diego Chapter (October 2018)

Navigating the Labyrinth of Cyber Insurance, Construction Financial Management Association — Southwest Regional Conference, Phoenix, AZ (September 2018)

Insurance Law: 2017 Year in Review, San Diego County Bar Association (March 2018)

Mitigating the Costs of Arbitration and Litigation, Financial Executives International, San Diego Chapter (February 2018)

Navigating the Labyrinth of Cyber Insurance, Association of International Certified Professional Accountants — Construction and Real Estate Conference, Las Vegas, NV (December 2017)

Cyber Insurance Basics, Financial Executives International, San Diego Chapter (March 2017)

Insurance Law: 2016 Year in Review, San Diego County Bar Association (February 2017)

Protecting the Privilege: Understanding Attorney Client Privilege Issues When an Insurer is Involved, San Diego County Bar Association CLE Seminar (2014)

Insurance Law: What Every Practitioner Should Know, San Diego County Bar Association CLE Seminar (2014)

Navigating the Rules for Citation of Unpublished Opinions, San Diego County Bar Association CLE Seminar (2012)

Professional Memberships

San Diego County Bar Association
Insurance/Bad Faith Law Section
Chair (2014–2015)
Co-Chair (2013–2014)
Civil Litigation Section
Business and Corporate Law Section

Lawyers Club of San Diego

Awards Committee, Co-Chair (2016-2017)
Membership Development Committee (2014-2016)

Federal Bar Association, San Diego Chapter
Membership Committee

Lorna E. Lockwood American Inn of Court (1994-1995)

Volunteer Activities

Electra Owners Association
Board of Directors (2013–Present)
President (2016-present)
Vice-President (2014–2016)
CC&Rs Committee, Chair (2014–2016)
Rules & Regulations Committee, Member (2013–2016)

San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program

Dress for Success San Diego, Inc.
Board of Directors and Pro Bono Legal Counsel (2013–2015)
Nominating Ad Hoc Committee, Chair (2014)