Bruce Anthony McMullen

First Tennessee Building
165 Madison Avenue
Suite 2000
Memphis, Tennessee 38103
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. Mr. McMullen has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America® for the past seven years, Mid-South Super Lawyers 2012 – 2015 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.

Recent Representative Matters

  • Obtained a defense verdict in a month-long jury trial representing a rehabilitation hospital against allegations that negligent acts of its nurses caused permanent brain damage to the Plaintiff. The Plaintiff was a well-known former TV weatherman and kids' show host.
  • Obtained defense verdict in 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.
  • Successfully defended, before the Tennessee Court of Appeals, an appeal of summary judgment in favor of a utility's pension plan.
  • Obtained dismissal of a putative class action seeking 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.
  • Obtained defense verdict in medical malpractice lawsuit against physician surgeon.
  • Obtained dismissal of rehabilitation facility in wrongful death lawsuit.
  • Obtained a directed verdict for physician (director of long term health care facility) in medical malpractice and abuse trial.
  • Argued appeal of a defense verdict before Tennessee Court of Appeals related to Tennessee's discovery rule.
  • Tried 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.
  • 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 bad faith and coverage dispute. 
  • Obtained directed verdict in state court jury trial for over-the-road carrier in collision accident.
  • Defended major soft drink bottling company in catastrophic multi-death case involving twelve-bay semi truck.

Publications & Speaking Engagements

  • Keynote Speaker – University of Tennessee College of Law's 16th Annual Julian Blackshear Jr. Scholarship Gala, February 2016
  • Featured – "The Last Word," Cover Story, Mid-South Super Lawyers, November 6, 2015
  • Featured – "Minority Powerbrokers Q&A: Baker Donelson's McMullen," Law360, March 4, 2015
  • Presenter – "Handling the Big Case," Baker Donelson Diversity Retreat, October 16, 2014
  • Panelist – "Improving Communications," Advocacy Department Retreat, April 25, 2014
  • Co-author – Bruce McMullen and Joshua Mullen, "Sunk: What Protection Does the Sinkhole Statute Offer Your Clients?" Tennessee Bar Journal, Vol. 49, No. 10, October 2013
  • Presenter – "The Evolving Landscape of Class Actions: Basics, Significant Developments, and Litigant Strategies," ABA's Young Lawyers Division Spring Conference, May 5, 2012 
  • Panelist – "Dos and Don'ts of Financial Service Marketing," NAIFA Memphis Member Luncheon, March 8, 2012
  • Presenter – "The Ethics, The Rules, The Pitch - Overview of Rule 7.2 and 7.3," National Bar Association, September 20, 2011
  • Presenter – "Networking 101," National Bar Association and Black Law Students Association Networking Reception, October 2010
  • Presenter – "Changes to the FRCP Local Rules & How They Affect Your Practice," 2010 Bench Bar Conference, April 2010
  • Presenter – "Perspectives on the Disciplinary Process," Demystifying the Ethics Process seminar, TennBarU, February 19, 2010
  • Presenter – "Secret Settlements," National Association of Women Judges Conference, October 2009
  • Presenter – "Transition from Associate to Partner," TLAW/TABL, June 19, 2009
  • Presenter – "Anatomy of a Jury Trial," Baker Donelson, March 2008
  • Presenter – "Insurance Law from A to Z," NBI, 2008
  • Keynote Speaker – "Introductory Period for University of Tennessee College of Law Class of 2009," August 2006
  • Presenter – "Tennessee New Jury Rules," Bench Bar, 2005

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 – 2015)  
  • 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)


  • 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


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