As founder and Managing Partner of The Potts Law Firm, Derek H. Potts focuses his casework on complex litigation and trials, including mass torts, pharmaceutical matters, and medical device cases. He has become a respected name among the legal community, serving in various national litigation leadership roles, speaking at numerous seminars throughout the country, and obtaining landmark jury verdicts and settlements for his clients.
His impressive list of awards and honors includes recognition among the Top 100 Trial Lawyers by The National Trial Lawyers, being selected as one of the Best Lawyers in America ( a Woodward White, Inc. service) in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, and 2017 and being named Best of the Bar by the Kansas City Business Journal and American Lawyer Media, and Martindale-Hubbell granted him the title of Top Rated Lawyer in Mass Torts in 2013.
Among his many professional associations, Mr. Potts is a member of the American Association for Justice, where he served on the Board of Governor for New Lawyers for three years. He has also served on the Board of Governors for the Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys and the Kansas Association for Justice. He is also a member of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association.
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.
After serving as a Prosecutor Intern in the Wyandotte County, Kansas District Attorney’s Office for a year, Mr. Potts joined Brown and James, P.C. and worked for that large defense firm and one other firm for over six years before founding his own practice, where he has earned a reputation as one of the top mass tort lawyers in the country.
Among the many cases he has been a part of, Mr. Potts has served in leadership positions for multiple national litigations, including acting as Liaison and Co-Lead Counsel in In Re Mentor Corp. Obtape Transobturator Sling Products Liability Litigation, MDL Case No. 2004 and leading the bellwether trial team in In Re Kugel Mesh Hernia Patch Products Liability Litigation, MDL Case No. 1842 where he was also a member of the Plaintiffs’ Steering committee. He currently serves as a member of the Executive Committee 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. He was appointed Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel in California’s Judicial Council Coordinated Proceedings for all Xarelto cases. He is also Plaintiffs’ co-lead counsel in the CR Bard and Neomedic MDLs.
In addition to his work at The Potts Law Firm, he has provided pro bono representation as part of the Jackson County Bar Association Volunteer Attorney Project. In this capacity, he has donated his time and experience to represent indigent clients, children, the elderly, and other individuals who may not be able to afford legal counsel in Kansas City.
He is licensed in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, New York, and Texas, as well as the U.S. District Courts for the District of Kansas, Eastern District of Missouri, Western District of Missouri, Eastern District of Arkansas, Western District of Arkansas, Southern District of New York, Southern District of Texas, Western District of Texas, and the District of West Virginia, and the Middle District of Georgia.
- J.D., University of Missouri-Kansas City
- B.A., William Jewell College
- New York
- 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
- U.S. District Court District of West Virginia
- U.S. District Court Middle District of Georgia
- American Lawyer Media and Martindale-Hubbell, Top Rated Lawyer in Mass Torts, 2013
- Best Lawyers in America, ( a Woodward White, Inc. service) 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017
- The National Trial Lawyers, Top 100 Trial Lawyers, 2011-2014
- Super Lawyers® Texas (a Thomson Reuters service), 2016
- 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
- Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rating, 2006 – present
- Best of the Bar, Kansas City Business Journal, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011
- Up and Coming Lawyers Under 40, Missouri Lawyers Weekly, 2002
- American Association For Justice (AAJ/ATLA), 1995-Present
- Board of Governors for New Lawyers, 2001-2004
- Alloderm Litigation Group/ Co-Chair
- Nursing Home Litigation Group
- Kugel Mesh Litigation Group
- Transvaginal Mesh Litigation Group
- Arkansas State Bar
- Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association 2008 – present
- Houston Trial Lawyers Association
- Kansas State Bar
- Kansas Trial Lawyers Association changed to Kansas Association for Justice, 2000-Present
- Board of Governors, 2009-2014
- Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys, 2001-Present
- Missouri Bar Professionalism Committee
- Missouri State Bar
- New York State Bar
- Texas State Bar
- Texas Trial Lawyers Association
- UMKC School of Law’s Litigation Advisory Committee, 2008- Present
- 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 for the HarrisMartin Conference, Miami, Florida
- 2015 Speaker – “Breakout GM Strategy Session,” at the Mass Torts Made Perfect Conference
- 2014 Speaker – HTLA- Law Practice Management, Houston, Texas
- 2014 Speaker – HBA- TVM
- 2014 Speaker – HarrisMartin’s CLE Summit- Major Developments in Drug and Medical Device Litigation (TVM), New Orleans, Louisiana
- 2013 Speaker – Chicago- TVM
- 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 Trail”, Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association Seminar, Bentonville, Arkansas
- 2009 Speaker – “The Reptile And Trial Techniques”, David Ball and Don Keenan 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 “Unreasonable Dangerous” Mean?” December 1998, Missouri Lawyers Weekly Newspaper
- State of Kansas vs. John Cheek Jury Trial- Wyandotte County District Court 1995. Member of Prosecution Trial Team which obtained 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 jury verdict for a minor.
- Sgroi vs. St. Louis University Hospital- St. Louis City District Court, 2009. Lead Plaintiffs Trial Counsel which obtained a verdict due to medical malpractice and successfully argued appeal before Missouri Supreme Court upholding verdict. See Sgroi vs SLUH, No. SC 89840.
- Novogradac vs. Shirshekan- Platte County Circuit Court, 2009. Co-Lead Plaintiffs Trial Counsel which obtained a verdict for estate of deceased nursing home resident. See Novogradac v. Shirsheken 295 S.W. 3d 528
- Millard vs. Gard, M.D. – U.S. District Court of Kansas, 2010. Lead Plaintiffs’ Trial Counsel which obtained jury verdict for a minor.
- Whitfield vs. C.R. Bard- U.S. District Court of Rhode Island, 2011. Co-Lead Plaintiffs’ Counsel which obtained jury finding that C.R. Bard’s Kugel Mesh is unreasonably dangerous.
- Callen vs. Heartland- Buchanan County Circuit Court, 2008. Lead Plaintiffs’ Counsel which obtained a settlement during trial due to medical malpractice.
- In re: Kugel Mesh Hernia Patch Litigation settlement- Lead Negotiating counsel for thousands of cases resulting in multi-million dollar settlement as part of a global settlement.
- In Re: American Medical Systems Litigation settlement- Co-Lead Negotiation counsel for over 13,000 cases resulting in near global settlement.
- In Re: AT&T Mobility Class Action Settlement- Class counsel for consumers in states of New York, New Jersey and Arkansas which participated in a global settlement.