Robert L. Hutton


Professional Experience

Robert L. Hutton has substantial litigation experience. His credentials include having argued several cases before the United States Court of Appeals, the Tennessee Appellate Courts and the Tennessee Supreme Court. Mr. Hutton is privileged to be one of the few attorneys to have argued a case before the United States Supreme Court.

Mr. Hutton practices generally in litigation, with substantial experience in federal civil rights, constitutional law, general business litigation, and criminal law.

Mr. Hutton serves as a member of the Board of Directors and officer of Chuck Hutton Chevrolet Co., and as general counsel for the Chuck Hutton Companies.

Mr. Hutton also serves as Chairman of the John Buckman Charitable Trust.


  • Vanderbilt University, Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa with Departmental Honors, 1989
  • Vanderbilt University, J.D. Degree,1992

Admitted to Practice

  • Tennessee


  • American Inns of Court, Sandra Day O'Connor Award for Professional Services (2001) (first recipient)
  • Memphis Bar Association Sam A. Myar Jr. Memorial award (2001)
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Service Award (2001)
  • Fellow, Tennessee Bar Foundation
  • The Best Lawyers in America, Appellate Law, Civil Rights Law, Commercial Litigation, Non-White-Collar Criminal Defense, White-Collar Criminal Defense
  • MBQ Power Players 2010-2012, MBQ Magazine
  • Hall of Fame, Christian Brothers High School
  • Best Lawyers, Lawyer of the Year 2013, Non-White-Collar Criminal Law
  • MidSouth SuperLawyers, Criminal Defense, General Litigation

Professional/Civic/Charitable Organizations

  • Tennessee Bar Association
  • Memphis Bar Association (Board of Directors 1999-2000)
  • Catholic Charities, Inc.
  • Review Board for the Diocese of Memphis in Tennessee, Secretary

Representative Matters

Capital Defense

  • U.S.A. v. Robert L. Carpenter, (trial counsel)
  • U.S.A. v. Terance Johnson, (trial counsel)
  • U.S.A. v. Willie McCulley, (trial counsel)
  • State of Tennessee v. Richard Austin, (trial counsel) (coram nobis)
  • State of Tennessee v. Robert L. Carpenter, (trial counsel)
  • Robert Coe v. State of Tennessee, (competency for execution) (right to counsel at execution)
  • Sedley Alley v. Ricky Bell, (habeas corpus)
  • Gary Cone v. Ricky Bell, (habeas corpus)
  • Gaile Owens v. Earline Guida, (habeas corpus)
  • Mika`eel Abdullah Abdus Samad v. Ricky Bell, (habeas corpus) (clemency counsel)
  • Michael Howell v. Ricky Bell, (habeas corpus)
  • Heck Van Tran v. Ricky Bell, (habeas corpus)
  • Phillip Workman v. State of Tennessee, (post conviction) (coram nobis)

Civil Rights

  • Barrett v. Hardin County, (ordered construction of new jail facility in Hardin County, Tennessee)
  • Davis v. Sutton, (declared unconstitutional and ordered construction of new jail facility in Lauderdale County, Tennessee)
  • Little v. Shelby County, (declared unconstitutional Shelby County Jail)
  • Robert Coe v. Bell, (established right of counsel to be present at execution)
  • Maben v. Williams, (held Lauderdale County General Sessions Judge liable for damages for violation of civil rights)
  • Philip Workman v. State (established right of capital defendant to raise claims of factual innocence premised upon newly discovered evidence which were not raised earlier through no fault of the defendant).
  • In re: Mika`eel Abdullah Abdus-Samad (mounted clemency campaign resulting in Governor's commutation of client's death sentence to life imprisonment - first successful death sentence commutation in Tennessee since 1965).

Published Articles

  • "The Irony of the Execution of Robert Glen Coe;" Memphis Commercial Appeal, May 21, 2000
  • The Right of the Condemned to Have Counsel at Execution as Established in the case of Robert Glen Coe 31 U. Memphis L. Rev. 757 (2001)
  • "Ethics, Conscience and Dissent" The Bencher, November 2002