Derek H. Potts is the Founder and National Managing Partner of Potts Law Firm, LLP. Founded in 2001 in a two room office in Kansas City, Missouri without any staff, Mr. Potts has guided the firm to what it is today â€“ a national law firm with offices in multiple states which has been involved in some of the most groundbreaking litigations of the past several decades and has represented tens of thousands of plaintiffs who have been injured or wronged. Regularly interviewed by local and national media, Mr. Potts is seen as a national authority on issues related to civil litigation, mass action litigation, and plaintiffs personal injury.
Mr. Potts is routinely appointed by federal and state court judges across the United States to lead large litigations on behalf of those who have been injured or wronged. Those court appointments include:
Plaintiffs Co-Lead Class Counsel for the Hurricane Harvey Litigation (In re Downstream Addicks and Barker (Texas) Flood Control Reservoirs, Cause No. 17-9001, US Court of Federal Claims
Plaintiffs Liaison and Co-Lead Counsel for In Re Mentor Corp. Obtape Transobturator Sling Products Liability Litigation, MDL Case No. 2004, United States District Court, Middle District of Georgia
Plaintiffs Bellwether Trial Team, Plaintiffs Steering Committee for In Re Kugel Mesh Hernia Patch Products Liability Litigation, MDL Case No. 1842, United States District Court, District of Rhode Island
Executive Committee member for the plaintiffs in transvaginal mesh consolidated litigation, including In Re C.R. Bard, Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation, MDL Case No. 2187; In Re American Medical Systems, Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation, MDL Case No. 2325; In Re Boston Scientific Corp., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation, MDL Case No. 2326; In Re Ethicon, Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation, MDL Case No. 2327; In Re Coloplast Corp., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation, MDL Case No. 2387; In Re Cook Medical Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation, MDL Case No. 2440; and In Re Neomedic Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation, MDL Case No. 2511, United States District Court, Southern District of West Virginia
Plaintiffs Co-Lead Counsel, In Re C.R. Bard, Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation, MDL Case No. 2187, United States District Court, Southern District of West Virginia
Plaintiffs' Liaison Counsel in California's Judicial Council Coordinated Proceedings for all Xarelto cases, Los Angeles County, California
Mr. Potts has served as lead trial counsel in jury trials across the United States. Some of the most notable include:
State of Kansas vs. John Cheek Jury Trial, Wyandotte County District Court, 1995. Member of Prosecution Trial Team which obtained a 1st degree murder conviction of an off-duty police officer.
Wilburn vs. Bethany Medical Center Jury Trial, Wyandotte District Court, 1995. Member of Plaintiffs Trial Team which obtained a $4,600,000 jury verdict for a minor. Total fees and expenses of $2,300,000.
Sgroi vs. St. Louis University Hospital Jury Trial, St. Louis City Circuit Court, 2009. Lead Plaintiffs Trial Counsel which obtained a $1,004,421 jury verdict due to medical malpractice and successfully argued appeal before Missouri Supreme Court upholding verdict. Total fees and expenses of $525,702.04. See Sgroi vs SLUH Supreme Court.
Novogradac vs. Shirshekan Jury Trial, Platte County Circuit Court, 2009. Co-Lead Plaintiffs Trial Counsel which obtained a $3,022,500 verdict for the estate of a deceased nursing home resident. The defendants appealed the verdict and, after going through the appellate process, the Novogradac estate was awarded the original verdict amount plus interest, totaling $3,581,455. Total fees and expenses of $1,588,482.97. See Novogradac v. Shirsheken 295 S.W. 3d 528.
Millard vs. Gard, M.D. Jury Trial, U.S. District Court of Kansas, 2010. Lead Plaintiffs' Trial Counsel and obtained a $12,100,000 jury verdict for a minor against her Emergency Room Physician.
Whitfield vs. C.R. Bard, U.S. District Court of Rhode Island, 2011. Co-Lead Plaintiffs' Bellwether Trial Counsel which obtained jury finding that C.R. Bard's Kugel Mesh was unreasonably dangerous.
Callen vs. Heartland Health, Buchanan County Circuit Court, 2006. Lead Plaintiffs' Counsel which obtained a seven-figure settlement during trial due to medical malpractice.
Lead Negotiator In Over $1 Billion in Settlements
Mr. Potts has been a lead negotiator in settlements of mass torts and class actions which have resulted in over $1 Billion in recovery for his clients. Some of the most notable include:
Transvaginal Mesh: Mr. Potts was a lead negotiator for settlements exceeding $1,000,0000,000 on behalf of over 50,000 women injured by transvaginal mesh products
Kugel Mesh: Mr. Potts was a lead negotiator for over $100,000,000 in settlements on behalf of thousands of plaintiffs injured by the recalled Kugel Hernia Mesh
General Motors Ignition Switch: Mr. Potts was a lead negotiator for over $100,000,000 I settlements on behalf of over 1000 plaintiffs injured or killed as a result of the recalled cars with the defective ignition switch
ATT Mobility Class Action: Mr. Potts was class counsel for multiple states resulting in settlements exceeding $250,000,000
Mr. Potts is routinely interviewed by the print media, radio media, and television media concerning cases that he is handling and civil litigation matters. They include the following links:
Houston Hotel Fire Case
- ABC WFAA
GM Ignition Switch
Mr. Potts is as passionate about giving back to the community as he is about representing his clients. He established the Potts Family Foundation, a nonprofit foundation to provide funding for certain charitable causes. Some of the most recent causes include:
Mr. Potts through Potts Family Foundation has worked in a partnership with Houston Methodist Center to send teams of doctors to the impoverished nation of Haiti to provide free medical care to its residents on several occasions.
Mr. Potts is a financial supporter of Crime Stoppers Houston which is dedicated to eliminate and reduce crime in the Houston Metropolitan Area. Mr. Potts' representation of victims of sex trafficking has further led to his involvement in the organization.
Mr. Potts has been a financial supporter of Just Keep Livin, a charity organization founded by actor Matthew McConaughey to provide support to children's charities and hospitals in Austin, Texas.
Houston Fire Department Support - COVID-19 BBQ Event - View the article here.
Mr. Potts often uses his BBQ Competition Team, Southern Justice Smokers, to assist people in need. Most recently, he provided free barbeque to Houston Fire Fighters and EMTs across Houston to support them as they fought on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr. Potts has been admitted to practice in multiple states and in many federal courts across the United States.
U.S. District Court District of Kansas
U.S. District Court Eastern District of Missouri
U.S. District Court Western District of Missouri
U.S. District Court Eastern District of Arkansas
U.S. District Court Western District of Arkansas
U.S. District Court Southern District of New York
U.S. District Court Southern District of Texas
U.S. District Court Western District of Texas
J.D., University of Missouri-Kansas City
B.A., William Jewell College
Mr. Potts attended William Jewell College, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in History. His scholarship earned him admittance into Phi Alpha Delta, the largest co-ed professional law fraternity in the country. He was also named a member of Mortar Board, a national honor society recognizing outstanding students. After college, he pursued his Juris Doctor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law, where he made the Dean's List, participated as a member of the National Appellate Advocacy Team, and received the Judge Conrad B. Duberstein Appellate Advocacy Award.
Starting in law school, Mr. Potts has been routinely recognized for his achievements inside and outside of the courtroom.
Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America, 2020
The Best Lawyers in America© (a Woodward White, Inc. service), Best Lawyers®, 2012-2014, 2016- 2017, 2019-2020
Super Lawyers® Texas (a Thomson Reuters service), 2016-2020
AV Preeminent Rating, Martindale-Hubbell, 2006-2020
Top 100 Trial Lawyers, The National Trial Lawyers, 2011-2014, 2019-2020
The American Society of Legal Advocates Award
Best of the Bar, American Lawyer Media
Best of the Bar, Kansas City Business Journal, 2005, 2007, 2009-2011
Super Lawyers® Missouri & Kansas (a Thomson Reuters service), 2008-2014, 2016
Super Lawyers® Top 100 Missouri & Kansas (a Thomson Reuters service), 2011
Super Lawyers® Top 50 Kansas City (a Thomson Reuters service), 2011
Thomas J. Conway Young Trial Lawyers Award, Kansas City Missouri Bar Association, 2008
Top Rated Lawyer in Mass Torts, Martindale-Hubbell, 2013
Up and Coming Lawyers Under 40, Missouri Lawyers Weekly, 2002
Publications and Speaking Engagements
Throughout his entire career, Mr. Potts was been invited to speak at events concerning litigation and trials as well as submit articles.
2018 Speaker, "Navigating the Most Expensive Hurricane Season in U.S. History, A Claims Handling Boot Camp," Harris Martin's Hurricane Litigation Conference, Miami, Florida
2018 Panelist, "Legal Impacts of Hurricane Harvey," Eminent Domain- Hurricane Harvey and Pipeline Takings Conference, Houston, Texas
2017 Speaker, "What is Inverse Condemnation and How Do I Identify Potential Claims?" Harris Martin's Hurricane Harvey Conference, Houston, Texas
2016 Speaker, "Current Status and Future Potential for the Use of Mesh and Slings in Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery," American Urogynecologic Society Conference, Denver, Colorado
2015 Speaker, GM Litigation Update, Harris Martin Conference, Miami, Florida
2015 Speaker "Breakout GM Strategy Session," at the Mass Torts Made Perfect Conference
2014 Speaker Houtson Trial Lawyers Association- Law Practice Management, Houston, Texas
2014 Speaker Houston Bar Association Meeting â€“ Update on Transvaginal Mesh Litigation
2014 Speaker HarrisMartin's CLE Summit- Major Developments in Drug and Medical Device Litigation , New Orleans, Louisiana
2013 Speaker, Update on Transvaginal Mesh Litigation, Chicago
2012 Speaker "Mentor ObTape and Transvaginal Mesh (TVM) Litigation Update," American Association for Justice Teleseminar
2010 Speaker "Weaving Community Safety Standards Through Discovery and Trial," Kansas Association for Justice Annual Convention, Crown Center, Kansas City, Missouri
2010 Speaker "Implementing Community Safety Standards in Trial," Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association Seminar, Bentonville, Arkansas
2009 Speaker "The Reptile And Trial Techniques," David Ball and Don Keenan Reptile Masters Seminar, Dallas, Texas
2008 Speaker "Vytorin and Zetia Class Action," American Association for Justice Annual Convention, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2007 Moderator/Speaker "Emerging Hospital Liability Trends," Missouri Bar CLE, Kansas City, Missouri and St. Louis, Missouri
2005 Moderator/Speaker "Update on Nursing Home Litigation," Missouri Bar CLE, Kansas City, Missouri and St. Louis, Missouri
2003 Speaker/Witness "Prevalence of Medical Malpractice and Its Correlation to Systemic Breakdown in Hospitals," Missouri Patient Safety Commission
2003 Speaker "Advanced Nursing Home Litigation Strategies," Missouri Bar CLE, Kansas City, Missouri and St. Louis, Missouri
2003 Planning Co-Chair/Speaker "Hot Topics in Medical Malpractice, Hospital and Nursing Home Neglect-Decubitis Ulcers, Malnutrition, and Dehydration," Missouri Bar, CLE, Kansas City, Missouri and St. Louis, Missouri
2002 Speaker "Investigation of Nursing Home Resident Abuse and Neglect," Missouri Ombudsman Program/Northwest Region Winter Training Meeting
2002 Moderator "Proving Catastrophic Damages," Missouri Bar CLE, Kansas City, Missouri and St. Louis, Missouri
2002 Speaker "What is Medical Malpractice," American Society of Registered Nurses, ASORN, Annual Meeting, Kansas University Medical Center
2001 Moderator/Speaker "Evaluation and Prosecution of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Cases," Missouri Bar CLE, Kansas City, Missouri and St. Louis, Missouri
2000 Moderator/Speaker "Nursing Home Negligence: Plaintiff and Defense Perspectives," Missouri Bar CLE, Kansas City, Missouri
1999 Speaker/Witness "Understaffing in Nursing Homes," Missouri Senate Elder Law Committee
1999 Speaker/Witness "Prevalence of Nursing Home Abuse," Missouri House of Representatives Sub-Committee on Elderly Abuse
1999 Speaker "Nursing Home Negligence," Missouri Ombudsman Program Winter Meeting
"Wrongful Death Settlements," 2009, Chapter Supplement, Missouri Bar Litigation Settlements Deskbook
"Proving Liability for Pressure Ulcers," August 2002, Missouri Lawyers Weekly Newspaper
"Proving Traumatic Brain Injury With Positron Emission Tomography," August 2000, Missouri Lawyers Weekly Newspaper
"Handling HMO Negligence Cases in Missouri," July 1999, Missouri Lawyers Weekly Newspaper
"Newman v. Ford Motor Company, the Confusion Remains over Product Defects," Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers' Journal, Winter 1999 edition, page 5
"Defective Product Design, What Does "Unreasonably Dangerous" Mean?" December 1998, Missouri Lawyers Weekly Newspaper