Joyce Grimes Safley

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30 Years of Trial and Litigation Experience

Joyce Grimes Safley obtained her Doctor of Jurisprudence from Vanderbilt Law School. She also graduated from Vanderbilt University with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Nursing, and a Master’s of Science degree in Nursing. Joyce practiced as a Registered Nurse for several years prior to attending law school, and worked in various areas of health care, including working as a charge nurse and head nurse in critical care, and serving as a Department Head in hospital administration at a local hospital.  After completing a year’s judicial clerkship, she practiced law with a litigation defense firm in Nashville for several years; then joined another litigation firm in Nashville as a Principal, primarily representing plaintiffs in employment discrimination cases. While in private practice, she practiced civil litigation in State and Federal courts, and had numerous successful jury trials.  She has been listed as a Rule 31 Mediator with the Tennessee Supreme Court since 2001. 

In 2001 Joyce was appointed to the State of Tennessee’s Central Panel of Administrative Judges. She served as a Central Panel Judge for the next fifteen years. In 2016 she returned to private litigation practice with a defense firm, litigating cases in Federal Court.  In 2017, she formed Safley Law in Nashville, Tennessee, where she focuses on representing plaintiffs in workplace discrimination cases, administrative law, and other types of civil litigation, and also serves on the Panel of Administrative Law Judges for Nashville Electric Service’s Administrative Hearings. Her litigation caseload at Safley Law includes representation of parties in Employment Discrimination actions, general civil litigation, and representing Respondents in Administrative Hearings.  She is a graduate of the National Judicial College, and has presented numerous CLE’s on Administrative Law, Ethics, Litigation, Evidence, and Mediation. Joyce is a member of the Board for the Lawyers’ Association for Women (LAW), and is co-chair of LAW’s Judicial Appointments, Elections, and Awards Committee. She served as a member of the TBA's Administrative Law Section Executive Council, is a LAW Mentoring Circles Mentor and Leader, and has served as a Master of the Bench, a team leader and a member of Belmont College of Law's American Inns of Court. She has written articles about Administrative Law for LAW Matters.

Joyce is a native Tennessean. She is married to fellow attorney Mike Safley, whom she met in Court. They have three children, two grandchildren, and the world's most neurotic golden retriever.  Joyce enjoys spending time with her family and friends, is a voracious reader of an eclectic mixture of books, loves trivia games, travel, and is a huge movie buff.


Judge and Public Servant for fifteen years, Attorney for 30 years, Litigator, Mediator, former Hospital Administrator, and Registered Nurse