Born in Florence, South Carolina, but growing up in a military family at various places around the country and world, Jim graduated from Washington-Lee High School, Arlington, VA, in 1964, and from The Citadel with a BA in History in 1968. Upon graduation, Jim was commissioned and served on active duty from 1968-1973 as an Infantry officer in the US Army in Vietnam and Europe, remaining active in the US Army Reserve until 1988. In 1976 he graduated from The University of South Carolina School of Law and was admitted to the South Carolina Bar. He is admitted before the South Carolina Supreme Court and the US District Court for the District of South Carolina.
Following graduation from Law School in 1976, Grimsley and his family located to Beaufort, with Jim beginning his legal career with the firm of Levin, Sams and Davis, PA. In 1993, he moved to Davis, Tupper and Grimsley, LLP, predecessor to Tupper, Grimsley and Dean, PA. Professionally, Jim has specialized in commercial and residential real estate transactions, estate planning and probate law, and has handled litigation in those areas since beginning his practice of law. He has served as the Municipal Judge for the Town of Port Royal continuously since 1985.
Jim is very active in community affairs, having served as President and Secretary of the Sea Island Rotary Club and is a three-time recipient of that Club’s Rotarian of the Year award; he served on the Vestry of St. Helena’s Episcopal Church for three 3-year terms, one as Senior Warden, and currently serves as a lay eucharistic minister; he served two 3-year terms on the Greater Beaufort Chamber of Commerce Board, and was that organization’s recipient of the 2005 Lifetime of Leadership Award; he served ten years as chairman of the City of Beaufort Zoning Board of Adjustments; he served for a number of years as an adjunct faculty member for the Paralegal program at the Technical College of the Lowcountry; he presided for several years over the Beaufort Dixie Youth Baseball Association; he served as President of the Northern Beaufort County Public Education Foundation from 1996-2014; and served two 3-year terms on the United Way of the Lowcountry Board of Directors. Jim is a 1989 graduate of Leadership South Carolina. Jim and his wife Josette, a recently-retired public school teacher, were married in 1969, and they have three grown children.