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No Place Like Home

I had a fairly normal and fortunate childhood as a Navy brat whose family moved all over the place. My dad served on submarines based out of San Diego for two tours when I was a child. I went to high school locally,” says Tim Hutter, an Associate in Allen Matkins’ Litigation Group. “I was your prototypical kid who got involved with debate in high school, found out that I could weave a nice logical argument together and end up convincing someone to vote my way,” he adds. Setting a course for a major in Political Science, Hutter would once again be on the move, moving to the East Coast for his undergraduate studies at Yale. While he was used to moving, being so far away from his family wasn’t ideal. “My parents were very hardworking, and emphasized integrity and family above everything else.” As such, when it came time for law school, Hutter headed back to the West Coast to attend UCLA, citing proximity to family as his priority.
Things seemed to be going Hutter’s way, as he excelled in law school. However, during his second year, his family was dealt a devastating blow. “My parents were among thousands who lost their homes in the Witch Creek/Guejito fires in October 2007. I took a week off from law school to help, both with the psychological coping and with the logistics of the situation.
We sifted through the remains and tried to find items that might be salvageable, but most everything was lost, including photos and other keepsakes accumulated over the years. When the fire hit, I was in the final stages of deciding where to work as a summer associate. Though I had been considering offers in L.A. and Orange County; the loss my family experienced made it a no-brainer,” Hutter recalls.

“I chose to work at Luce Forward that summer, and loved my time there. I did work that spanned from a business IPO to real estate transactional work, employment litigation and real estate litigation,” Hutter says. He was eagerly looking forward to joining the firm’s Real Estate and Environmental Litigation group following graduation, when another unexpected disaster struck. “The bottom fell out of the real estate market, the stock market crashed, and in the span of a five minute phone call, I went from sitting in the comfortable position of having a job lined up after graduation to having no prospects in one of the worst hiring markets in years,” he says.
Hutter saw that it was highly probable that his plans to remain close to his family and girlfriend (now wife) in his hometown of San Diego weren’t going to materialize. “I applied for jobs across the country without much luck. I even considered following in my father’s military footsteps by joining the Navy JAG Corps,” he says.
However, a single phone call would change everything for him. “I had decided to set my job search aside and focus on studying for the bar exam. Less than a week into studying, I got a call out of the blue from Megan Mazza, who had helped run the summer program at Luce Forward. She and Val Hoy had left Luce Forward and come to Allen Matkins in March 2009,” he says. Hutter was offered an interview, and a position. “Allen Matkins even covered my bar expenses and paid me a stipend, which I was able to use to help my parents as they continued to rebuild. In the end, things came full circle and I ended up in San Diego with an excellent firm and a great group of people,” he says.

In the years since Hutter has returned home to San Diego, he’s found his stride with Allen Matkins. “I love the meat and potatoes aspect of law that I get to work in,” he says. As part of the firm’s litigation group, Hutter’s practice includes construction, real estate and landlord/tenant litigation, as well as business and shareholder derivative litigation. Though the bulk of his work is on the defense side, he has also had the opportunity to do plaintiffs’ work on behalf of commercial landlords, and he’s done a great deal of appellate work in his nearly five years with the firm.
“I love researching the law. I love finding cases that illustrate the law, and making the connection of law to facts in a case. A lot of being a lawyer is playing the cards you’re dealt, and dealing with the situation your clients find themselves in. I love piecing together facts and law to form arguments,” he says. Not surprisingly, this passion for the law has been noticed and in 2012, he was named a Top Young Attorney by the San Diego Daily Transcript.
Hutter’s legal skills are supported by a healthy competitive streak, and an innate ability to connect with and form relationships with others, both at work and in his spare time. As a member of Allen Matkins’ Community Outreach Committee, Hutter is incredibly active in community service and volunteers a great deal of his time to multiple organizations.
“Our committee organizes quarterly projects or drives that encourage the folks in our office to come together and help the community. We’ve gathered books to send to troops overseas, won awards for participating in the Feeding America ‘Food from the Bar’ competition, and adopted families for the holidays,” he explains.
Moreover, “I spend a large amount of my free time working with high school students from my church,” he says. “I was involved in the ministry when I was in high school, and it remains very special to me,” he says. Hutter also conducts admissions interviews on behalf of the Yale Alumni Schools Committee and is active with the Building Industry Association, particularly the Young Generation of Leaders (yGen) group.

As far as his professional future is concerned, Hutter has a solid plan. “My next five years will probably include a greater emphasis on attracting clients and developing business. I’ve already done a bit of that so far in my career, but there is plenty of room to grow. Plus, while I don’t think you can ever stop honing your skills and learning about the law, I’m starting to be more comfortable with the technical aspects of practicing law. I have my eye on partnership, and that will call for more leadership and client management,” he says.
And of course, for Hutter, who grew up in a “strong nuclear family,” his focus on family remains firmly intact. “I try to spend as much time as I can with my wife Tara and our son Colton. We have another little one on the way this year, and we are excited about our growing family.”


Jennifer Hadley

Jennifer Hadley is a Staff Writer for Attorney Journal

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About the Author: Jennifer Hadley is a Staff Writer for Attorney Journal

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