Cutter Hughes is a retired partner in the firm's Huntsville office. He practiced in the areas of media law, litigation and public utility law, and
represented newspapers, radio and television stations, and public utilities for more than 25 years. He served as the Alabama editor of theMedia Law Resource Center Annual 50-State Survey of Media Privacy and Related Law and has been listed for 15 years in The Best Lawyers in America. He is a member of the Board of Visitors of the University of Alabama College of Communication.
Cutter has represented the electric, gas and water boards for the City of Huntsville in trial and appellate litigation, and served as attorney for the
Huntsville Electric Utility Board for more than 25 years. He has regularly participated in APPA and TVPPA legal seminars and has served on panels
addressing current legal topics pertinent to power distributors at legal conferences.
Listed in The Best Lawyers of America, First Amendment Law, 1995-2018 University of Alabama in Huntsville, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Communications Professorships Richard Allen v. Mary Barksdale, Alabama Supreme Court No. 1080242, on appeal from Montgomery County, Alabama Circuit Court (CV07-900654) Successful participation as amicus curiae on complaint under Alabama Open Records Act. Favorable Circuit Court opinion affirmed with strong opinion by Alabama Supreme Court. Edward W. Smith v. The Huntsville Times and David Person, 888 So.2d 492 (Ala. 2004) Successful defense of libel action by police officer against The Huntsville Times, affirmed on appeal. Finebaum v. Coulter, 854 So.2d 1120 (Ala. 2003) Successful participation as amicus curiae in application for rehearing before the Alabama Supreme Court on question of rhetorical hyperbole. Favorable appellate opinion on issues surrounding rhetorical hyperbole. State v. Hunt, 624 So.2d 1117 (______) Successful participation as amicus curiae on issue of access to pretrial and trial proceedings of criminal prosecution of Governor of the State of Alabama. Participation at the trial and appellate level. Birmingham News Company v. Jones, Shelby County, Alabama, Circuit Court, CV00-677 Successful participation as amicus curiae on issue of access to police incident reports. Cited in Allen case discussed above. Moseley v. The Birmingham News Co., Madison County, Alabama, Circuit Court, CV-90-746 (Oct. 5, 1990), 18 Med. L. Rptr. 1742 Successful defense of libel and false light case against The Huntsville Times by former police chief. Good discussion in opinion of “false light” doctrine in Alabama. Huntsville-Madison County Airport Authority v. The Huntsville Times, 564 So.2d 904 (Ala. 1990). Successful defense of action by Airport Authority against The Huntsville Times, affirmed on appeal by the Alabama Supreme Court. Brothers v. Brothers, Marshall County, Alabama, Circuit Court, DR-86-200107 (Jan. 9, 1989), 16 Med. L. Rept. 1031 Successful use of Alabama Shield Law and constitutional defense of protection of reporter’s sources for Huntsville television station. Often cited in the absence of helpful Alabama appellate court guidance on these issues. Norandal USA, Inc. v. Local Union No. 7468, Jackson County, Alabama, Circuit Court, CV-86-136 (Sept. 11, 1986), 13 Med. L. Rptr. 2167 Successful defense based on reporter’s privilege involving photographs of union members during violent strike at Norandal plant. The City of Huntsville d/b/a Huntsville Utilities v. ProLiance Energy, L.L.C., et al., United States District Court of the Northern District of Alabama, Northeastern Division, 5:02-cv-1296-VEH Successful trial under RICO and other theories against natural gas supplier. Verdict of $35,000,000 obtained for public utility. Resolved in court sanctioned mediation in Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. The City of Huntsville d/b/a Huntsville Utilities v. ProLiance Energy, L.L.C., et al., United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, Nos. 05-14130-AA and 05-14399-AA Successful participation in appeal and appellate court mediation. Alabama-Tennessee Natural Gas Company v. Southern Natural Gas Company and City of Huntsville, 694 So.2d 1344 (Ala. 1997) Successful defense of Huntsville Natural Gas Board in action under competitive bid law. Affirmed on appeal by Alabama Supreme Court. Watters v. City of Huntsville, ________ Successful defense of public utility involving death of worker from contact with power line. Summary judgment based on contributory negligence as a matter of law affirmed on appeal by Alabama Supreme Court. Freddie Roach v. WAFF 48, Raycom Media, Inc., et al., CV05-278 (Circuit Court Colbert County, Ala.) Represented TV station and reporter in libel action by University of Alabama football player against Huntsville television station.