John P. Hutchins

Partner

Atlanta
Business Phone: 404.885.3460
Business Fax: 404.962.6558

john.hutchins@troutmansanders.com

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John Hutchins represents businesses in all types of commercial litigation, and also in various types of transactions involving information technology, intellectual property and privacy and data security. John's more than 20 years of litigation experience runs the gamut in subject matter, from data breaches, to eminent domain, to vintage race cars, to death penalty habeas corpus, but he has particular expertise in matters involving privacy and data security, computer hardware and software development projects, government procurement, protection of trade secrets and proprietary business information, the Internet and e-commerce, cloud computing, trademark and copyright infringement, restrictive covenants and breach of fiduciary duty. As lead counsel, he has tried numerous cases to jury verdict, as well as bench trials, arbitrations and other evidentiary hearings in state and federal courts. His transactional practice consists of a mix of complex technology transactions, including sourcing deals, hosted services arrangements, cloud computing, technology licensing, systems procurement and project implementation. He also regularly advises clients on corporate policy matters and regulatory compliance issues involving the Internet, e-commerce, cloud computing, privacy & data security, social media and records management. John is recognized as one of America’s leading lawyers by Best Lawyers in America. He has earned the "Advocate" Designation from the National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA), and he regularly serves as a NITA Faculty member.

Representative Matters

  • Lead counsel in obtaining summary judgment in federal suit over one of the largest recorded data breaches, defeating damages claims based on allegations of breach of contract, negligence and fraud.
  • Lead trial counsel for one of the nation's largest publicly-traded REIT's in fraud action against former employee and general contractor arising out of bribery and kickback scheme. $2.7 million verdict in client's favor.
  • Lead trial counsel in successfully defending patent licensee against breach of license and patent infringement claims brought by publicly-traded licensor of healthcare field operations tracking technology.
  • Lead counsel in handling numerous claims asserted against e-mail marketing firm arising out of highly publicized data breach of millions of customer records.
  • Lead counsel in action overturning award of $145 million state contract for non-emergency transportation services.
  • Lead outside counsel in advising client in connection with $8 million Oracle R12 implementation.
  • Lead outside counsel representing Fortune 500 aftermarket auto parts retailer in connection with multi-million dollar information technology sourcing project.
  • Lead counsel for major food products manufacturer in obtaining injunctive relief against former distributor for breach of non-competition agreement.
  • Lead counsel in advising and representing employee benefits consulting vendor in connection with data breach of personally identifiable information on more than 200,000 employees.
  • Lead outside counsel in advising one of the country's largest municipal-owned utilities in connection with $21 million BearingPoint implementation of customer care and billing software.
  • Lead counsel in obtaining injunctive relief on behalf of technology investment partnership to halt the sale of audio-capture technology firm to company insiders.
  • Lead counsel in bid protest action against State of Georgia on behalf of large technology vendor as incumbent, high bidder. Obtained permanent injunction forcing $20 million contract back out to bid and preventing $2 million payment from State to successful bidder; client awarded contract worth estimated $40 million on re-bid.
  • Lead outside counsel in advising large western states utility in connection with multiple software transactions totaling more than $20 million.
  • Lead negotiator in acquisition of $5 million enterprise-wide, multi-station/multi-channel traffic, accounting and yield management software solution for 47-station independent television company
  • Lead counsel for digital video signal processing equipment manufacturer in obtaining injunctive relief against former employee in action alleging breach of restrictive covenant and misappropriation of trade secrets.
  • Lead counsel representing Plaintiff in dispute over propriety of Internet application and other goods and services provided by educational systems and customized assessment vendor to State of Georgia. Obtained $2.1 million settlement on behalf of client.
  • Primary outside general counsel for industry-leading staffing software company; regularly assist client in numerous negotiations for contracts ranging from 70 to 1000 seats.
  • Lead counsel for nuclear-industry government contractor in responding, as subcontractor to Northup Grumman, to U.S. Department of Homeland Security RFP for open source development project based in part on client's proprietary source code previously developed as part of joint venture development contract for U.S. Department of Defense.
  • Lead trial counsel for defendant in litigation filed by major software manufacturer and subsidiary against former employee. Defense verdict.
  • Lead counsel in successfully defending former employee of world’s leading automotive logistics, distribution and transportation services company against motion for preliminary injunction, arising out of alleged trade secret misappropriation and non-disclosure agreement. Motion for Injunctive Relief denied after oral argument.
  • Trial counsel for plaintiffs in action for breach of contract and quantum meruit against Fortune 100 telecommunications company related to procurement of major contract with State of Georgia. Obtained $2.2 million jury verdict on behalf of client.
  • Led trial team on behalf of industry-leading software vendor in arbitration over alleged system failure, including claims and counterclaims for breach of contract, breach of warranty, fraud and negligent misrepresentation. Obtained $1.2 million award on behalf of client.
  • Lead trial counsel for publicly-held computer hardware manufacturer in federal lawsuit over alleged system failure, including claims and counterclaims for breach of contract, breach of warranties and fraud. Opposing party settled for nuisance value after client’s case presented at trial.
  • Lead trial counsel representing healthcare information consulting division of 3M Corporation as defendant in action alleging fraud and breach of contract. Plaintiff settled for nuisance value during trial.
  • Lead trial counsel for defendant direct-mail distributor in litigation related to warranties arising out of the purchase and sale of large direct mail technology system. Limited jury verdict against client to half of plaintiff’s last settlement demand prior to trial.
  • Lead counsel for world's largest manufacturer and marketer of footwear in $12 million, multi-country dispute with world's third-largest independent software supplier arising from failure of major retail and finance software system. Successfully moved to stay U.S. action pending resolution of Canadian action.
  • Counsel to client in acquiring license for application service provider software for loan origination, processing and call center management.
  • Lead counsel for immunization registry software manufacturer as plaintiff in obtaining injunctive relief against former employee in action alleging copyright infringement, breach of restrictive covenants, misappropriation of trade secrets, tortious interference with business relations and related claims.
  • Lead counsel for defendant in trademark infringement action brought by Atlanta-based company against California-based landscape supply distribution company, involving claims of Internet jurisdiction. Plaintiff dismissed case voluntarily after motion to dismiss filed on behalf of client.
  • Counsel for Plaintiff, a name brand ice cream retail chain, in suit alleging trademark infringement and unfair competition. Obtained Consent Order prohibiting further infringement.
  • Counsel for multinational residential and commercial construction and real estate development services firm in suit alleging trademark infringement. Obtained Consent Order prohibiting further infringement.
  • Successfully defended start-up competitor to world’s largest manufacturer of industrial pumps, in preliminary injunction proceeding seeking equitable relief arising out of alleged trade dress infringement and unfair competition.
  • Counsel to a variety of clients, including Fortune 1000 and other publicly-traded companies, covering a broad gamut of issues related to privacy and data security, e-commerce and social media, including message board misconduct and internet anonymity, website spoofing, privacy policies, network “hacking” issues and other “cybercrimes,” Gramm-Leach-Bliley compliance, document retention and destruction, data aggregator compliance and liability, online behavioral advertising and social media strategy.
  • Counsel to various clients before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Trademark Trial and Appeals Board, in actions challenging or defending trademark registrations.
  • Representation of multiple clients in disputes over Internet domain name ownership and trademark rights, including actions filed in ICANN arbitration proceedings under Internet Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy.

Presentations and Speaking Engagements 

  • Co-Chair, Cloud Computing 2014: Key Issues and Practical Guidance, Practising Law Institute, New York, New York, May 9, 2014.
  • Faculty, "Building Trial Skills," Gulf Coast Regional, National Institute of Trial Advocacy, New Orleans, Louisiana, January 25-29, 2014.
  • "Facebook, the NLRB, and State Regulation of Access to Social Media by Employers and Litigants," 28th Annual Technology Law Institute, Atlanta, Georgia, October 25, 2013.
  • Co-Chair, Cloud Computing 2013: Cut Through the Fluff & Tackle the Critical Stuff, Practising Law Institute, New York, New York, May 10, 2013.
  • "The Fundamentals of Data Security Assessment," Retail Regulatory Realities Regarding Records and Warning Requirements, Association of Corporate Counsel, Greater New York Chapter, New York, New York, April 17, 2013.
  • "Laws that Impact Data Mining and Marketing" & "Legal Ethics of E-mail and Other Considerations for the Digital Age," Internet Privacy: Now What? National Business Institute, Nationwide Webinar, April 9, 2013.
  • Faculty, "Building Trial Skills," Gulf Coast Regional, National Institute of Trial Advocacy, New Orleans, Louisiana, January 12-16, 2013.
  • Faculty, "Building Trial Skills," Gulf Coast Regional, National Institute of Trial Advocacy, New Orleans, Louisiana, January 21-25, 2012.
  • "Electronic File Management Best Practices," Construction Financial Management Association, Georgia Chapter, Atlanta, Georgia, October 19, 2011.
  • "Managing a Crisis: Panel Discussion on a Complex Data Breach Hypothetical," Twelfth Annual Institute on Privacy and Security Law, Practising Law Institute, Chicago, Illinois, July 19, 2011.
  • "Blogging, Friending, and Tweeting, Oh My! The Legal and Ethical Issues of Playing in the Social Media Sandbox," 2011 American Bar Association Section of Litigation Annual Conference, Miami, Florida, April 15, 2011.
  • "Privacy & Security Impact on Corporations that are Using or Allowing Social Media," A-LIST: Information Security, Infrastructure Protection & Law Enforcement Conference, InfraGuard Members Alliance, Kennesaw State University, August 25, 2010.
  • "State Law: Defining the Duty to Secure Personal Data," Eleventh Annual Institute on Privacy and Security Law, Practising Law Institute, Chicago, Illinois, July 19, 2010.
  • "Legal Ethics in the Age of Information Mobility," Information Technology Law Institute 2010: Opportunities in Cloud Computing, Blogs, Brand Protection and Targeted Marketing, Practising Law Institute, New York, New York, May 18, 2010.
  • Everyday Tools:  The Direct and Cross-Examination of Expert Witnesses, 2010 American Bar Association Section of Litigation Annual Conference, New York, New York, April 23, 2010.
  • “Twitter, Facebook and You Tube - Social Media Policies to Protect Your Company,” Annual Compliance and Ethics Advanced Best Practices Workshop, ACE Roundtable, J. Mack Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia, November 3, 2009.
  • “Hot Topics in Privacy in 2010” and “Emerging Issues/Information Security Regulation and Compliance,” 24th Annual Technology Law Institute, Atlanta, Georgia, October 15, 2009.
  • "Ethical Aspects of Privacy and Information Security for Lawyers," Tenth Annual Institute on Privacy and Security Law, Practising Law Institute, Chicago, Illinois, July 21, 2009.
  • “Perspectives on Privacy: International Privacy Schema and Changing Paradigms in the US,” Hot Topics in Retailing Law, Association of Corporate Counsel, Greater New York Chapter, Retailing Committee, New York, New York, June 23, 2009.
  • “The Life Cycle of a Data Breach: Contracts, Preparation and Reaction,” 2008 Corporate Counsel Institute, Atlanta, Georgia, December 4, 2008.
  • “A New Frontier in Privacy Litigation: The Advent of Private Lawsuits Over Data Security Breaches,” 2008 ABA Annual Meeting, Section of Litigation, New York, New York, August 8, 2008.
  • “Practicing What We Preach: Current Issues in Information Management, Legal Practice and Legal Ethics,” Ninth Annual Institute on Privacy and Security Law, Practising Law Institute, Chicago, Illinois, July 22, 2008.
  • “If Only You’d Asked: The Litigator’s Perspective on Drafting Intellectual Property Agreements,” Intellectual Property Law Section, State Bar of Georgia, Atlanta, Georgia, April 22, 2008.
  • Chair, 22nd Annual Technology Law Institute, Atlanta, Georgia, October 30, 2007.
  • “Information Ethics for Lawyers: Information Management - Knowing What You Have, Why You Have It, and How to Dispose of It (Without Breaking the Law or Violating Ethical Duties),” Eighth Annual Institute on Privacy and Security Law, Practising Law Institute, Chicago, Illinois, July 17, 2007.
  • “Information Ethics for Lawyers: Information Management - Knowing What You Have, Why You Have It, and How to Dispose of It (Without Breaking the Law or Violating Ethical Duties),” Eighth Annual Institute on Privacy and Security Law, Practising Law Institute, New York, New York, June 26, 2007.
  • Faculty, “Building Trial Skills,” Southern Regional, National Institute of Trial Advocacy, Dedman School of Law, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, June 10-13, 2007.
  • “Privacy Roundtable,” Atlanta Compliance & Ethics Roundtable, J. Mack Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia, May 10, 2007. 
  • Co-Chair, “Protecting Your Business’ Business: Tips for Guarding Your Client’s Ideas, Brands, and Critical Business Assets,” 2007 Section of Litigation Annual Conference, San Antonio, Texas, April 12, 2007.
  • "Federal Regulation of Privacy & Data Security: Ready or Not," Association of Corporate Counsel, Washington Metropolitan Area Chapter, Tyson's Corner, Virginia, February 27, 2007.
  • "Leading the Way in Privacy & Data Security Compliance", Association of Corporate Counsel, Annual Meeting, San Diego, California, October 23-25, 2006.
  • "Anonymous Internet Mischief - Colliding With the First Amendment," Intellectual Property Litigation Committee Breakfast Meeting, 2006 ABA Annual Meeting, Section of Litigation, Honolulu, Hawaii, August 6, 2006.
  • "Ethics: Information Management - Knowing What You Have, Why You Have It, and How to Dispose of It (Without Breaking the Law or Violating Ethical Duties)," Seventh Annual Institute on Privacy Law, Practising Law Institute, Chicago, Illinois, July 18, 2006.
  • "The Corporation's Valuable Assets: IP Rights Under SOX.", 26th Annual lnstitute on Computer & Internet Law, Practising Law Institute, New York, New York, March 9-10, 2006.
  • "Privacy: Is it Any of Your Business? – A presentation on state and federal data collection legislation and litigation in the wake of ChoicePoint", Quarterly Meeting, Technology Law Section, Georgia Bar, Atlanta, Georgia, December 8, 2005.
  • "An Update on the Inevitable Disclosure Doctrine," Trade Secrets Litigation and Transactions, Law Seminars International, Chicago, Illinois, November 16, 2005 (Speaker).
  • Co-Chair "Software Litigation Conference," Law Seminars International, Atlanta, Georgia, September 22-23, 2005. 
    • "Strategies for Proving/Refuting Liability," Software Litigation Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, September 22, 2005. 
    • "What Makes Software Development and Systems Integration Litigation Unique?" Software Litigation Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, September 22, 2005.
  • "Privacy: Is it Any of Your Business? – A primer on state and federal data collection legislation in the wake of ChoicePoint," Computer & Internet Litigation Committee Breakfast Meeting, 2005 ABA Annual Meeting, Section of Litigation, Chicago, Illinois, August 6, 2005.
  • "Corporate Management and Ethical Issues: To Shred or Not to Shred? (And Other Corporate Dilemmas)," 6th Annual Institute on Privacy Law: Data Protection – The Convergence of Privacy & Security, Practising Law Institute, Atlanta, Georgia, May 23, 2005.
  • "Initial Analysis and Planning," Expert Testimony in Litigation: Capitalizing on Expertise for Success, Law Seminars International, Reston, Virginia, December 6, 2004.
  • "Initial Analysis and Planning: Choosing the Expert and Getting Started," Effective Financial Expert Testimony: Significant Strategies and Tactics, Law Seminars International, San Francisco, California, November 4, 2004.
  • "The Internet and the First Amendment at the Crossroads: Cutting Edge Issues," 19th Annual Technology Law Institute, Atlanta, Georgia, October 6, 2004.
  • "'Who Told You to Do That?': Emerging Issues Regarding the Way Clients Create and Store Documents, and the Impact on Costs in Discovery," Quarterly Meeting, Technology Law Section, Georgia Bar, Atlanta, Georgia, August 12, 2004.
  • "CyberCrimes and Other Internet Invasions of Privacy" 2004, ABA Annual Meeting, Section of Litigation, Atlanta, Georgia, August 6, 2004.
  • "Cutting Edge Internet Law Issues: 'Ask the Experts' – Emerging Internet Issues," 18th Annual Technology Law Institute, Atlanta, Georgia, October 9, 2003.
  • Co-Chair, Information Technology Litigation Conference, Law Seminars International, Atlanta, Georgia, December 9-10, 2002. 
    • "Strategies for Proving/Refuting Liability," Information Technology Litigation Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, December 9, 2002. 
    • "What Makes IT Litigation Unique?" Information Technology Litigation Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, December 9, 2002.
  • "We Got What We Wanted In The Agreement; Now What Do We Get If They Breach? Remedies and Damages in Information Technology Agreements," 17th Annual Technology Law Institute, Atlanta, Georgia, October 4, 2002.
  • Co-Chair, Information Technology Litigation Conference, Law Seminars International, Atlanta, Georgia, December 13-14, 2001. 
    • "Cutting Edge Issues in Technology Disputes," Information Technology Litigation Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, December 14, 2001. 
    •  "What Makes IT Litigation Unique?" Information Technology Litigation Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, December 13, 2001.

Publications

  • Co-Editor and Chief, Information Intersection (2010-2014).
  • Do Email Disclaimers Really Work? Technology for the Litigator, Vol. 7, No. 2 (Winter 2013).
  • "Does Your Company Need a Chief Privacy Officer?" Law360, Expert Analysis (October 2012).
  • "Can I Use That Great YouTube Video?" Law360, Expert Analysis (July 2012).
  • "The Problem with Access and Accuracy," Law360, Expert Analysis (May 2012).
  • "Direct Examination of Your Expert at Trial," Litigators on Experts: Strategies for Managing Expert Witnesses from Retention through Trial (American Bar Association 2010).
  • "A New Frontier: Litigation Over Data Breaches," The Practical Litigator (July 2009).
  • "Who owns the code? Beware copyright pitfalls," Computerworld Magazine Online (January 30, 2009).
  • "Major Victory for Open Source Software Industry," ABA Section of Litigation, Intellectual Property Litigation Committee, News & Developments (November 2008).
  • U.S. Data Breach Notification Law: State by State (American Bar Association 2007).
  • Who Owns the Code?: Collaboration in Software Development While Protecting Your Legal Rights,” Written Materials for “Protecting Your Business’ Business: Tips for Guarding Your Client’s Ideas, Brands, and Critical Business Assets,” 2007 Section of Litigation Annual Conference, San Antonio, Texas, April 12, 2007.
  • "Valuing IP Assets, Always Difficult, Just Got Harder," Practising Law Institute’s All-Star Briefing, Vol. 4:18 (May 4, 2006).
  • "The Rush by State Lawmakers to "Do Something" about Commercial Data Security may be Yielding Flawed Legislation," ABA Consumer & Personal Rights Litigation Newsletter (Winter 2006).
  • "When the Dike Breaks: Responding to the Inevitable Data Breach," CSO Magazine Online (December 2005).
  • "Beyond the Water Cooler: Does corporate blogging change the legal landscape?" Computerworld (November 14, 2005).
  • "Responding to the Inevitable Data Breach - Don't Be Caught Flat-Footed," Atlantic Coast In-House and Midwest In-House (October 2005).
  • "You Don't Have to Worry About Whether to Retain a Document That Was Never Created," Practising Law Institute’s All-Star Briefing, Vol. 3:26 (July 14, 2005).
  • "Whose Crime Is It Anyway?" CIO Magazine Online (June 6, 2005).
  • "Why Technology Companies Should Rethink the “Standard” Arbitration Clause," ABA Computer & Internet Litigation Journal (Spring 2005).
  • "Long-Term Employment Agreements With In-House Counsel: Employment Security or Ethical Quagmire," 9 Georgia Bar Journal, No. 3 (December 2003).
  • "Why Technology Companies Should Re-Think the “Standard” Arbitration Clause (Part II)," Technology Law, Technology Section Newsletter, State Bar of Georgia (Winter 2002).
  • "Why Technology Companies Should Re-Think the “Standard” Arbitration Clause (Part I)," Technology Law, Technology Section Newsletter, State Bar of Georgia (Fall 2002).
  • "Stopping the Deadbeat Cybersquatter: A Plea to ICANN for Better Default Provisions Under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy," 6 Cyberspace Lawyer, No. 2 (October 2001).

Professional and Community Involvement

  • American Bar Association (Litigation Section: Division Director, 2014-2015; Litigation Section: Intellectual Property Litigation Committee, Past Co-Chair; Litigation Section: Technology for the Litigator Committee, Past Co-Chair; Death Penalty Representation Project, Special Advisor, 2014-2015, Steering Committee, 2009-2012)
  • State Bar of Georgia (Technology Law Section, Past Chair)
  • Member, Board of Directors, Techbridge, 2007-2012
  • Member, Board of Directors, Youth Villages, 2009-2011
  • Member, Board of Directors, Inner Harbour, 2007-2009

Rankings and Recognition

  • Achieved Martindale-Hubbell’s highest rating for legal ability and ethical standards.
  • Selected as a Super Lawyer in Intellectual Property Litigation by Law & Politics and Atlanta Magazine (2005-2014).
  • Named to Georgia Trend magazine’s Legal Elite in Intellectual Property (2005-2008, 2012) and Technology Law (2012).
  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America in Information Technology Law, Copyright Law (2009-2014).
  • Selected as a Future Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation (2011-2014).
  • 2008 Thurgood Marshall Award for Capital Representation.
  • Appointed as Special Advisor to ABA Death Penalty Representation Project (2014-2015).
  • “Advocate” Designation by National Institute of Trial Advocacy, signifying completion of a series of intensive, multi-day, hands-on programs in trial advocacy.
  • “Faculty” Designation by National Institute of Trial Advocacy, accorded faculty members who have continuously maintained a highly rated teaching level.

Professional Experience

  • Partner, Troutman Sanders LLP, 2004-present
  • Partner, McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, 2002-2004
  • Associate, McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, 1993-2001
  • Associate, Ballard & Ballard, 1992-1993

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Education

  • University of South Carolina, J.D., 1992
    South Carolina Law Review
  • University of South Carolina, B.A., 1988
    Phi Beta Kappa

Bar Admissions

  • Georgia
  • South Carolina

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina