James Edward Hutchins was born in 1886 in Marion County, Kentucky. He later moved to Louisville to attend the Jefferson School of Law, which he graduated from in 1915. He practiced law for 47 years. Hutchins served as magistrate (1924-25), alderman (1943-45), judge for police and traffic courts (1948-50), and trial commissioner (1954-61). He was a charter member of the Jefferson Post American Legion. Hutchins was married to Erva Mumford but they had no children. He died on March 3, 1963 at the age of 76.