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Bruce Anthony McMullen

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Bruce McMullen concentrates his practice in health care litigation, municipal law, tort liability, commercial litigation and class action defense.

Featured Experience

Successfully defended a municipality in appellate proceedings alleging the sale of public park to private, non-profit organization and subsequent removal of historic monuments as fraudulent and violative of Tennessee law.

Obtained dismissal in the Arkansas Supreme Court of a putative class action against a nation grocery retailer where the Plaintiffs alleged that the retailer's honor card system violated Arkansas' price discrimination statue.

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.

Professional Biography

Overview

Mr. McMullen has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America® since 2009, Mid-South Super Lawyers since 2012 and is AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell. He has tried more than 25 jury cases.

Mr. McMullen is an experienced commercial litigator who has defended large corporations and businesses in complex litigation matters in numerous trial and appellate proceedings in federal and state courts. Specifically, Mr. McMullen has defended clients in complex class actions and multi-plaintiff litigation alleging a variety of contractual claims. Mr. McMullen has also assisted clients in enforcement of non-compete contracts.

Mr. McMullen also has extensive experience representing hospitals and health care facilities in medical malpractice actions, as well as experience representing national insurance carriers in coverage and bad faith denial disputes. Mr. McMullen has tried numerous cases to verdict in state and federal courts and successfully defended favorable outcomes in appellate proceedings.

Mr. McMullen also has broad experience in governmental entity defense. He has defended governmental entities in state and federal constitutional claims, such as 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claims and First Amendment and civil rights issues. Additionally, Mr. McMullen assists governmental entities with compliance, enforcement, and associated litigation with respect to consent decrees.

Mr. McMullen served a four-year term as the Chief Legal Officer for the City of Memphis from January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2019, while simultaneously maintaining his practice at Baker Donelson. During his time with the City, he worked closely on matters involving the following:

  • Government contracts, including Minority & Women Business Enterprises (MWBE) requirements;
  • Disaster recovery contracting, DHS – OIG investigations and appeals of deobligations of FEMA funds;
  • Confederate monument removal;
  • Internal investigations.
Representative Matters
  • Successfully defended a municipality in appellate proceedings alleging the sale of public park to private, non-profit organization and subsequent removal of historic monuments as fraudulent and violative of Tennessee law.

  • Obtained dismissal in the Arkansas Supreme Court of a putative class action against a nation grocery retailer where the Plaintiffs alleged that the retailer's honor card system violated Arkansas' price discrimination statue.

  • 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.

  • 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.
  • Obtained a defense verdict in a medical malpractice jury trial where plaintiff alleged breach of the standard of care during a liver transplant.

  • Obtained the dismissal on motion 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.

  • Successfully 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 a directed verdict in a state court jury trial on behalf of an over-the-road carrier in a case involving a collision accident.

  • Successfully secured a defense verdict in the jury trial and subsequently a denial of motion for new trial on behalf of a hospital in health care liability action.

  • Won dismissal of governmental entity in suit alleging state constitutional violations and violations of the Tennessee Human Rights Act.
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), Commercial Litigation and Medical Malpractice Law - Defendants (2018 – 2020); Municipal Litigation (2019, 2020)
  • Listed in Mid-South Super Lawyers in Civil Litigation Defense (2012 – 2019); listed as one of the top 100 Tennessee attorneys (2016) and top 50 Memphis attorneys (2016, 2018)
  • Named to "The Business Journals' Influencers: Law List," highlighting key influencers and dealmakers in the national legal scene (2018)
  • Recipient – MLK Luminary Award, which recognizes attorneys who champion civil rights in Memphis (2020)
  • 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
  • Recipient – The Memphis Business Journal Public Service Award, 2018 Best of the Bar Awards
  • 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)

Industries

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 inpatient rehabilitative hospitals

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