HUTSON-DUNN, D. CAMILLE (1925~) D. Camille Hutson-Dunn, first woman elected to a Court of Appeals in Texas (1st Court of Appeals), was born on June 16, 1925, in Orangeburg, South Carolina. She entered the University of South Carolina, at age 16, and completed her degree and one year of law school by 19. While at USC, she served on the Executive Council of the student body, was a member and president of the Hypatian Literary Society, was a member of the Chemical Honor Society, Social Director of the Independents club, and was very active in Vesper services held in the college Chapel.
After graduating, Hutson studied law in her father's law office and organized the Orangeburg, South Carolina Chapter of the Business and Professional Women's Club and was elected their first president. She also assisted in the organization of the YWCA, taught a young peoples group at the First Baptist Church, and was President of the Baptist Training Union.
At age 20, Hutson passed the South Carolina Bar, but had to receive special permission to practice law because she was not 21. She was admitted to the bar on June 10, 1946, and celebrated her 21st birthday six days later.
Hutson continued her practice until 1947, when she received an appointment to the legal division of the Corp. of Engineers. She was part of the American Mission to Greece, where she spent most of her time in the Labor Relations Section. Her work consisted of adjusting labor difficulties and differences between employees, both American and Greek. This type of work prepared Hutson for her future as judge. It gave her insight into solving problems, making decisions and dealing with various personalities.
After returning to the U. S. in 1949, Hutson entered law school at the University of Michigan and received a Juris Doctor Degree in 1952. After graduating, she worked as an attorney in the legal division of the Detroit Ordinance District. While living in Detroit, Hutson met and married Dr. Ralph Dunn, and later moved to Houston, where they had three children, Rod, Alix, and Steven.
Hutson-Dunn was admitted to the Texas bar in 1963, and took up a private practice. There she worked in several venues, including criminal, civil, and administrative law. In 1977, she began specializing in family law and was later certified.
In November, 1984, Hutson-Dunn ran for, and won, a seat on the First Court of Appeals, the first woman to ever hold such a position. On the court, she considered both civil and criminal cases until she assumed senior status in 1997.
Throughout her judicial career, Justice Hutson-Dunn has been a member of the College of the State Bar of Texas, attended numerous appellate judges seminars, judicial opinion writing schools and judicial conferences. She has also been a member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Texas, Harris County Bar Association, as well as the Judicial Section of the State Bar, Texas Centers for the Judiciary, and the Institute of Judicial Administration.