Derek H. Potts
“After several years as a successful defense lawyer, Mr. Potts decided to use his knowledge of defense tactics to represent only those who are injured or victimized by others.”
Derek H. Potts is the founder and managing partner of The Potts Law Firm, LLP. Before the age of 40, Derek Potts established himself as one of the top up and coming trial lawyers in the nation, having participated in landmark jury trials and obtained record setting verdicts and settlements for his clients. But his passion for advocacy and the justice system started much earlier than that.
As early as 8th grade, Mr. Potts can remember his fascination with the justice system. It was then, in his civics class, that he vowed to be an attorney. His interest and skill in advocacy grew over the years as he pursued debate camps and became captain of his high school and college debate teams which competed nationally. Before graduating law school, he accepted an internship with the Wyandotte County, Kansas District Attorney’s office and by age 23 was prosecuting major crime cases in court, including being the 2nd chair prosecutor in the 1st degree murder trial of Kansas City, Kansas police officer John Cheek.
Mr. Potts began his civil trial career at a large corporate defense firm, where he learned how big corporations and insurance companies defend cases both in and out of the courtroom. He defended these companies in multiple trials including product liability, professional negligence, and trucking accidents. Derek Potts has always had a respect for the medical field and the commitment to improving patients’ health and providing care. Coming from a long line of doctors in his family, dating back to the Civil War, he knew there was a desire to assist injured people. But after a medical trip to Haiti with his surgeon father to provide free surgery for people in remote villages, he became more determined than ever that he would assist people another way, as a trial lawyer. He decided to help consumers and patients who have been injured by dangerous procedures or products.
Following his years as a corporate defense lawyer, Mr. Potts began working at a plaintiffs’ law firm and trying cases involving catastrophically injured children. In 2002, Derek Potts founded The Potts Law Firm in Kansas City, Missouri. Since that time, Mr. Potts has developed a reputation nationally as a persistent and skilled trial advocate winning cases for his clients, who he now represents with offices located around the country. He is licensed in Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, Texas and New York.
On the surface, Derek Potts manages and directs the Potts Law Firm, but if you dig deeper you will find an educator, teacher, and activist. He speaks nationally concerning trial strategy and has been repeatedly invited to speak at seminars put on by the American Association for Justice, Missouri Bar, Kansas Association for Justice, Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association and other groups. He has taught trial strategy at seminars like “Reptile Masters,” put on by well-known jury consultant David Ball and attorney Don Keenan. Mr. Potts has also enjoyed speaking before Missouri Senate Committees and Missouri House of Representative Committees.
According to Mr. Potts, “The whole basis for our justice system is to have strong, well prepared advocates. I want to do anything I can to help that process and educate other lawyers on how to do that best.” He stands firm by the entire word, “Advocate” which is derived from the Latin word “advocātus” which means to call to one’s aid or plead for or in behalf of another; intercessor. “The law creates a level playing field, everyone is entitled to have the best representation regardless of who they are,” Derek Potts shares.
Mr. Potts has also become known as one of America’s top mass tort lawyers and represents victims across the country who have been injured by pharmaceutical drugs, medical devices, and other dangerous products. He has been appointed to various leadership positions in several national litigations, including being liaison/co-lead counsel in the OB Tape Vaginal Sling MDL and Plaintiffs Steering Committee in the Kugel Mesh MDL. In those roles, Mr. Potts is responsible for coordinating all cases involving those products. Mr. Potts also successfully resolved hundreds of catastrophic injury cases. Some of these are listed on our Results page.
Be sure to also view his accomplishments, honors, and presentations by following the links on his page.