Judge foregoes sanctions against attorney

By: - March 1, 2023 10:55 am

Attorney Spencer Judd, left, representing J. Scott MacDonald in court Wednesday. (Court screengrab)

Attorney J. Scott MacDonald admitted through his attorney Wednesday that he violated court rules by attempting to collect money on behalf of individuals he does not represent.  

“In a sense there is a violation, and we’re not going to say that there is not a violation,” said attorney Spencer Judd, who represented MacDonald before Judge Maria Gall. 

Last month, Gall ordered MacDonald to show cause why he should not be sanctioned for using the courts to obtain “funds that do not belong to him and/or that he was not authorized to receive on behalf of a client” when she learned he attempted to recover equity due homeowners who lost their property to foreclosure.  

Judd said MacDonald did not object to sanctions. 

Gall said that under court rules, she can “impose sanctions to the extent necessary to deter future conduct and I’ve thought a lot about that here. And frankly, I haven’t come up with anything. I think this is more of a matter for the State Bar.”

Gall notified the Nevada Bar of MacDonald’s actions last month.  

“We are almost finished with our investigation,” Nevada Bar counsel Daniel Hooge told the Current via email. He declined to provide details.  

Judd told Gall that former Judge Rob Bare, who lost re-election in 2020, is representing MacDonald before the Nevada Bar. 

Gall said she appreciated MacDonald showing up and taking responsibility for the violations. 

“I don’t know you. I know you’ve been in this community for a very long time. I have to imagine there are or were circumstances in your life that led you to undertake the actions that you undertook in this case. And what I’ll say as a fellow member of the bar is that you know, I hope that those issues will get sorted in your life.”

MacDonald, who invoked the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination at a hearing in February, remained silent Wednesday.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Dana Gentry
Dana Gentry

Dana Gentry is a native Las Vegan and award-winning investigative journalist. She is a graduate of Bishop Gorman High School and holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.