Distinguished Lawyer Memorial Honoree


Hon. Edward Butler

Born in Michigan Edward T. Butler strived to serve his country, his family, his community and his profession until his death in 2003. He served in the Merchant Marines and the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II and the Korean War. During his military career he rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and received the Bronze Star for service at Guadal Canal. Earning his undergraduate degree from George Washington University and his law degree from Harvard, Ed Butler began his private practice in Los Angeles with Lawler, Felix & Hall in 1949. In 1959 his position as general counsel and senior vice president with Electro Instruments brought Justice Butler to San Diego where, in 1963, he was appointed, and later elected, City Attorney. He held the position until his resignation in 1969 when he went on be a partner with Schall, Butler, Boudreau & Gore. His commitment to his community is reflected by a run for Mayor of San Diego in 1971, and his service on the city’s Economic Development Commission, Charter Review Commission and Economic Opportunity Commission as well as his involvement with the Attorney General's Advisory Committee on Obscenity and the Governor's Commission on the Law of Preemption. A former President of the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick, he was chosen "man of the year" in 1976. He served on the San Diego County Superior Court from 1975 until he was elevated to Division One of the Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District in 1982. The San Diego Trial Lawyers Association named him "Trial Judge of the Year" in 1980. He retired from the Court of Appeal on February 16, 1988 and for the next decade, he engaged in private dispute resolution. In 2000, the San Diego City Council proclaimed February 27 "Ed Butler Day" in San Diego.