Get to Know David J. Hutchinson


By Teresa Killeen
Washtenaw County Bar Association

Attorney David J. Hutchinson was born in Ohio but moved when his father went to grad school at the University of Michigan. The family lived in Ann Arbor until Hutchinson was 9, at which time they moved to Newark, Delaware. Hutchinson attended U-M from 1968 until 1972, graduating with distinction; then went to law school at Indiana University in Bloomington, graduating with honors, before returning to Ann Arbor where he has lived ever since.

Hutchinson taught Legal Research and Writing at Wayne State University Law School for two years, and then clerked for Judge Charles W. Joiner in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan in Detroit. He then joined the Hooper Hathaway law firm, where he was a litigator for 14 years before setting up his own practice in 1994.

His practice areas are litigation, bankruptcy, probate law, real estate law, and family law

He is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, State Bar of Michigan Master Lawyers Section, Consumer Bankruptcy Association, National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference (Lifetime Member), and Washtenaw County Bar Association, and is a United States Bankruptcy Court Trustee, Chapter 12 cases.

What area of the law do you like the best and why? The best thing about being a sole practitioner is the freedom to try new things and explore new areas. I went on my own to be able to do more bankruptcy work, and I very much enjoy how efficient and practical the bankruptcy courts and bar are. A lot gets accomplished in much less time than it takes in the civil courts. My favorite type of matter is litigation involving real estate. Those matters tend to have unique and interesting factual patterns and I enjoy working through them.

Tell us a little about your family. I am blessed to have shared more than 40 years with my wonderful wife, Kris Taveggia, who is a retired Ann Arbor teacher. We have two fabulous daughters, Elise and Marisa, who live in Ann Arbor. Elise is an accountant at ProQuest, and Marisa is a psychologist and behavior specialist in the Livingston County Schools.

What is the biggest challenge facing you as an attorney today? Without question, the biggest challenge for an old guy like me is the rapidly changing technology that helps but also confounds us all. What should I try to learn about, and what can I safely remain ignorant about? What am I capable of learning, and what will simply befuddle and upset me? I seek input from others to decide what I should be at least trying to add to my repertoire.

What would your second career choice have been if you had not become a lawyer? I always wanted to play second base for the Pittsburgh Pirates, but I think I would more likely have been an accountant or economist.

What is your favorite movie or book? My favorite movie is “Charade,” with Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn. My favorite book is whatever John U. Bacon has most recently written.

Describe a perfect day off. My perfect day would involve attending a big U-M sporting event with my wife and daughters, and then having dinner with them and playing a game or two.

What are some of your favorite places you have visited? I have been very fortunate to have traveled widely. My favorites are the most unique ones, including the Pyramids in Egypt, Maasai Mara in Kenya, Petra in Jordan, Moscow and St. Petersburg in Russia, Uzbekistan, the Coliseum in Rome, Normandy, and Stonehenge.

What are your favorite local hangouts? Lunch at the round table at the Old Town Tavern. I have missed it greatly during the pandemic and hope to be back (and safe) soon.


Reprinted with permission from the Washtenaw County Bar Association’s newsletter, Res Ipsa Loquitur.


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