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Bruce Anthony McMullen

Shareholder
Memphis
T: 901.577.2356
F: 901.577.4262

Bruce A. McMullen, shareholder in the Memphis office of Baker Donelson, concentrates his practice in health care litigation, municipal law, tort liability, commercial litigation and class action defense.

Featured Experience

Obtained a defense verdict in a month-long jury trial on behalf of a rehabilitation hospital against allegations that negligent acts of its nurses caused permanent brain damage to a well-known former TV weatherman and kids' show host.
Obtained a defense verdict in a jury trial representing a public school district and its board in a $4.5 million breach of contract suit.
Successfully defended before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals a constitutional challenge, based on the Commerce and Privileges and Immunities clauses of the U.S. Constitution, to the "Citizens Only provision" of the Tennessee Open Records Act.
2013

Professional Biography

Overview

Mr. McMullen has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America® for the past seven years, Mid-South Super Lawyers 2012 – 2016 and is AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell. He has tried more than 25 jury cases.

Mr. McMullen has extensive experience in the areas of insurance coverage and bad faith actions, medical malpractice defense, municipal law defense and premises liability defense. He has defended hospitals and health care facilities, utility companies, hotels, municipalities and national insurance carriers in class actions and multi plaintiff claims.

Mr. McMullen currently serves as city attorney and chief legal officer for the city of Memphis.

Representative Matters
  • Obtained a defense verdict in a month-long jury trial on behalf of a rehabilitation hospital against allegations that negligent acts of its nurses caused permanent brain damage to a well-known former TV weatherman and kids' show host.
  • Obtained a defense verdict in a jury trial representing a public school district and its board in a $4.5 million breach of contract suit.
  • Successfully defended before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals a constitutional challenge, based on the Commerce and Privileges and Immunities clauses of the U.S. Constitution, to the "Citizens Only provision" of the Tennessee Open Records Act. (2013)
  • Successfully defended, before the Tennessee Court of Appeals, an appeal of summary judgment in favor of a utility's pension plan.
  • Obtained the dismissal of a putative class action seeking the certification of a class of more than 2,000 employees alleging reverse discrimination.
  • Successfully argued before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals summary judgment dismissal of a Title VII Complaint based on race discrimination. (2013)
  • Obtained a defense verdict in a medical malpractice lawsuit against physician surgeon.
  • Obtained the dismissal of a rehabilitation facility in a wrongful death lawsuit.
  • Obtained a directed verdict for the physician director of a long term health care facility in a medical malpractice and abuse trial.
  • Argued the appeal of a defense verdict before the Tennessee Court of Appeals related to Tennessee's discovery rule.
  • Tried a federal court jury trial involving insurance bad faith and coverage and successfully obtained dismissal of the bad faith action.
  • Represented a large municipality in defeating class certification on an action based on easement violations.
  • Served as outside general counsel for a municipal transit system, managing legal matters including contract negotiation, real estate purchases, open records request and litigation.
  • Obtained summary judgment dismissal in a bad faith and coverage dispute. 
  • Obtained a directed verdict in a state court jury trial on behalf of an over-the-road carrier in a case involving a collision accident.
  • Defended a major soft drink bottling company in a catastrophic multi-death case involving a twelve-bay semi truck.
  • Successfully secured a defense verdict and subsequent denial of motion for new trial on behalf of a hospital in health care liability action. (2014)
  • Won dismissal of governmental entity in suit alleging state constitutional violations and violations of the Tennessee Human Rights Act. (2015)
  • Won dismissal of insurer in breach of contract action. (2014)
Professional Honors & Activities
  • AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® in Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants (since 2009) and Commercial Litigation 
  • Listed in Mid-South Super Lawyers in Civil Litigation Defense (2012 – 2016); listed as one of the top 100 Tennessee attorneys and top 50 Memphis attorneys (2016)  
  • Appointed to the Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization (2012 – 2014)
  • Member – Memphis Bar Association and American Bar Association
  • Member – Tennessee Bar Association  
  • Member – National Bar Association
  • Former Board Member – Memphis Area Legal Services
  • Former Hearing Officer – Board of Professional Responsibility
  • Fellow – Memphis Bar Foundation
  • Former Civil Service Commissioner – City of Memphis
  • Graduate – Tennessee Bar Association Leadership Law Program (2004)
Publications
Speaking Engagements
  • Keynote Speaker – University of Tennessee College of Law's 16th Annual Julian Blackshear Jr. Scholarship Gala (February, 2016)
  • Panelist – "Improving Communications," Advocacy Department Retreat (April, 2014)
  • "The Evolving Landscape of Class Actions: Basics, Significant Developments, and Litigant Strategies," ABA's Young Lawyers Division Spring Conference (May, 2012)
  • Panelist – "Dos and Don'ts of Financial Service Marketing," NAIFA Memphis Member Luncheon (March, 2012)
  • "The Ethics, The Rules, The Pitch - Overview of Rule 7.2 and 7.3," National Bar Association (September, 2011)

Awards

Education

  • University of Tennessee College of Law, J.D., 1996
  • Georgia College & University, M.B.A., 1991
  • University of Georgia, B.A., 1986

Admissions

  • Tennessee, 1996
  • Arkansas, 1997
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of Tennessee
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas

Bruce has a way with people, and I think he is a very good trial lawyer, which is what we are looking for. I have a lot of confidence in Bruce when we need to go to trial.

Associate General Counsel at the US's largest owner and operator of impatient rehabilitative hospitals

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