For those with knowledge of the candidates on our legal panel, MacDonald was thought to be the better candidate. He was said to be “intelligent, fair” with “the perfect temperament” as well as having “the most experience.” Butler was said to be an “up and comer,” though, although she lacks the extensive family law experience of MacDonald.
MacDonald has been practicing law in Las Vegas for 35 years. He spent three years prosecuting juvenile crime for the Clark County district attorney’s office and more than 30 years in a private practice that specializes in divorce, custody, guardianship, financial reorganization and estate planning. He has extensive personal and professional family law experience. MacDonald self-reported cases that reflected routine family law topics. He has never been sanctioned by the court for misconduct or recieved a public reprimand for ethics violations. He did self-report, however, that, in 2001, he received a private reprimand for failing to repay a short-term loan he took from a client. He has since repaid the loan.
Butler has been a Clark County public defender for the last 10 years, four of which have been as the team chief for the Domestic Violence Unit. Prior to working for the public defender's office, she worked in private practice for two years and took on some family law cases. Butler’s self-reported cases include convincing a family law client to resolve a matter amicably and before going to trial, and representation of a young defendant with no criminal record that she was able to get probation instead of jail time for. She has not been sanctioned by the court for any misconduct and has no history of ethics violations.