Skip to content James McMullen


San Diego
101 W. Broadway
Suite 2000
San Diego, CA 92101

Los Angeles
633 West Fifth Street
52nd Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90071

5 Park Plaza
Suite 1100
Irvine, CA 92614


J.D., University of San Diego School of Law

B.S., University of Santa Clara


Best Lawyers in America® distinction in Employment Law - Management (2014-2023), Admiralty and Maritime Law and Litigation - Labor & Employment (2016-2024)

Top Rated Lawyer-AV® Preeminent™, Martindale-Hubbell

Top Rated Lawyers in Labor & Employment Law (2016)

Super Lawyers® distinction in the fields of Employment & Labor, Business Litigation, and Transportation/Maritime (2007-2023)

"Top 50 San Diego Super Lawyers®"

Member, American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)

Top Lawyers in San Diego distinction in Employment Law, San Diego Magazine (2017)

Award for Volunteer Service, American Red Cross

Award for Volunteer Service, Knights of Columbus


Jim McMullen is a Partner in the San Diego, Orange County, and Los Angeles offices of GRSM. For nine years, Jim led the firm’s Labor & Employment (L&E) practice group in Southern California, building the group into the robust group it is today. He now serves in other management roles and is the coordinator of the NLRB, OSHA, and Cal-OSHA practice groups at GRSM. Jim has successfully handled NLRB, OSHA, and DOL proceedings for national clients throughout the United States.

He often assists in the L&E aspects of due diligence periods for M&A purposes and assists with employer audits of various types. He has coordinated the L&E issues during M&A-related transactions, including review of Labor Agreements, Employment Agreements, and all Employer P&P and payroll practices. He also consults regarding bargaining unit mergers and unit acquisition issues in the M&A area of practice. He also coordinates bridge D&O and EPL coverage and has litigated M&A-related employment disputes before Labor Arbitrators, AAA Arbitrators, and in courts. The groups GRSM assembles to accomplish these types of tasks include attorneys from the various states whose laws may be implicated, handbook and various enforcement and compliance specialists, as well as transactional ERISA lawyers.
Jim is a nationally recognized trial lawyer in all areas of employment law, in addition to litigating significant and complex non-employment matters. He has been featured in national television and press, and his experience as a jury trial attorney has been verified by and has led to his admission to the ranks of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). He represents a wide range of clients in the maritime, transportation, manufacturing, high-tech, and construction industries. In addition to his litigation and agency practice, Jim assists employers with various types of compliance programs. He routinely develops employee relations strategies for specialized industries and coordinates the implementation, administration, and review of such strategies. He also has provided WARN and reduction-in-force counseling to various national and international clients.
Prior to joining GRSM, he was a senior shareholder at a large firm where he assisted clients in many locations along the West Coast and Pacific Rim with employee-related matters for more than 15 years. There, he developed experience in a wide range of employment and labor law issues with a special focus on jurisdictional questions and disputes. Before joining that firm, Jim was with general practice firms where he focused on the maritime, transportation, construction, and insurance industries. He has also worked in the research, real estate, construction, security, and semiconductor industries. He holds a California Real Estate license. Additionally, Jim is a licensed pilot and has tried several aviation-related cases. He has served as a Judge Pro-Tem and a State and County Bar Fee Arbitrator.
Jim is an inventor and holder of patents, a private pilot, boater, skier, surfer, boarder, horseman, and cyclist.


  • California


  • University of California, San Diego, and Scripps Institute of Oceanography
    • Student
    • Instructor
    • Underwater Researcher

Community Involvement

  • CYSA 
  • YMCA
  • American Red Cross, Volunteer
  • Knights of Columbus, Volunteer
Publications & Presentations