Derek H. Potts
National Managing Partner
MEET
Derek H. Potts
National Managing Partner
Professional Bio
Bar Admissions
Court Appointments
Education
Honors and Awards
Memberships and Associations
Notable Cases
Publications and Speaking Engagements
Charity and Volunteer Work

Mr. Potts is the Founder and National Managing Partner of the Firm which he founded in 2002. Over the past two decades, the Firm under Mr. Potts’ leadership has grown from a small personal injury law firm in Kansas City, Missouri to a national law firm that is regularly involved in groundbreaking litigations representing people who have been injured or suffered financial losses due to the negligence or conduct of others.  Throughout his career, Mr. Potts has been lead counsel in jury trials representing catastrophically injured clients. Examples of some of his jury verdicts include the $3.0 million verdict in Novogradac vs. Shirshekan, a nursing home negligence case tried in Platte County Missouri Circuit Court which was appealed and sustained by the Missouri Supreme Court and Millard v. Gard, M.D. a medical malpractice case tried in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas which resulted in a $12.1 million verdict for a minor injured due to medical malpractice.

Mr. Potts is also nationally known for his leading of complex litigations and being regularly appointed by judges to lead MDLs’ on behalf of thousands of clients.  In 2009, Mr. Potts was appointed to be a member of the Kugel Hernia Mesh MDL Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee(“PSC”).  As a member of the PSC, he was one of the leaders of the litigation on behalf of all plaintiffs and was one of the lead trial counsel in the first bellwether jury trial that resulted in a finding of defective design of the medical device.

Mr. Potts began pursuing cases for women injured by transvaginal mesh products in 2009.  He was one of a handful of plaintiffs’ lawyers from around the country who spearheaded the establishment of what would become the largest medical device MDL consolidation in history.  He would be appointed by the Judge overseeing the litigation as one of 8 members of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Executive Committee and Plaintiffs’ Co Lead Counsel of 3 transvaginal mesh MDLs.  He and his partners in the litigation would ultimately resolve over $1,000,000,000 in transvaginal mesh settlements. Mr. Potts has also been involved in numerous mass pharmaceutical litigations including being appointed the Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel of the Los Angeles Country Superior Court’s consolidation related to the drug, Xarelto. Mr. Potts has also been involved in multiple class actions including being class counsel for the states of New York, New Jersey, and Arkansas in the In Re ATT Mobility MDL which resulted in over $1,000,000,000 in settlements nationwide relating to the improper charging of sales tax. Mr. Potts also spearheaded a series of state court consolidations against General Motors related to its ignition switch auto defect in certain model cars.  Mr. Potts successfully resolved thousands of personal injury and wrongful death cases with General Motors through his state court consolidations. After Hurricane Harvey hit Houston in August 2017, Mr. Potts spearheaded litigation against the United States Army Corp of Engineers related to its intentional release of water during the storm which flooded tens of thousands of homes and businesses in the City.  Mr. Potts was appointed as Plaintiffs’ Class Counsel by the United States Court of Claims to lead the prosecution of the case. In 2020, Mr. Potts spearheaded the formation of the In Re Generali Travel Insurance MDL and was appointed Plaintiffs’ Class Counsel to represent the thousands of individuals who were improperly denied their travel insurance benefits as a result of Covid-19 related travel restrictions. In 2021, Mr. Potts filed a $1 Billion Class Action against the electricity retailer Griddy related to its overcharging of Texas customers during Winter Storm Uri.

  

Mr. Potts has been admitted to practice in multiple states and in many federal courts across the United States.

  • Arkansas
  • Kansas
  • Missouri
  • New York
  • Texas
  • 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
  • 2021 – Appointed Plaintiffs’ Co-Lead Class Counsel for the In Re: Generali Covid-19 Travel Insurance Litigation, MDL 2968, United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Judge John G. Koeltl
  • 2017 –  Appointed Plaintiffs’ Co-Lead Class Counsel for the Hurricane Harvey Litigation, In re Downstream Addicks and Barker (Texas) Flood Control Reservoirs, Cause No. 17-9001, United States Court of Claims, Chief Judge Susan Braden
  • 2017 – Appointed Plaintiffs Liaison Counsel, Xarelto JCCP, Los Angeles California Superior Court, Judge Kenneth R. Freeman
  • 2016 – Appointed Plaintiffs’ Co-Lead Counsel for the In Re Neomedic Pelvic Repair Systems Product Liability Litigation, MDL 2511, United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, Judge Joseph Robert Goodwin
  • 2014 – Appointed Plaintiffs’ Co-Lead Counsel for the In Re C.R. Bard, Inc. Pelvic Repair Systems Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2187, United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, Judge Joseph Robert Goodwin
  • 2014  – Appointed Plaintiffs’Executive Committee for the consolidated Pelvic Mesh 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
  • 2013 – Appointed  Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel and Plaintiffs’ Co-Lead Counsel for the  In Re Mentor Corp. Obtape Transobturator Sling Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2004, United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, Judge Clay D. Land
  • 2011 –   Appointed Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee for the In Re Kugel Mesh Hernia Patch Products Liability Litigation, MDL 1842, United States District Court for Rhode Island, Judge Mary Lisi
  • 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.

  • Top 10 Attorney Award, National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys, 2021
  • Attorney and Practice Magazine’s Top 10 Personal Injury Attorney, 2021
  • National Law Journal 2021 Plaintiff’s Trailblazer, 2021
  • 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

Top 100 Lawyer - 2021 Badge

  • 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
    • Board of Governors
  • Missouri Bar Professionalism Committee
  • Missouri State Bar
  • New York State Bar
  • Sports Lawyers Association
  • Texas State Bar
  • Texas Trial Lawyers Association
  • UMKC School of Law’s Litigation Advisory Committee, 2008- Present
  • 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 – St. Louis City District Court, 2009. Lead Plaintiffs Trial Counsel which obtained a $1,004,421 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, No. SC 89840.
  • Novogradac vs. Shirshekan – 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. – U.S. District Court of Kansas, 2010. Lead Plaintiffs’ Trial Counsel which obtained a $12,100,000 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, 2006. Lead Plaintiffs’ Counsel which obtained a seven-figure 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.

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 for the Harris Martin 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 Trial,” 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

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:

  • Promise for HaitiPaper City Mag
    • 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.
  • Crime Stoppers
    • 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.
  • MJM –  Just Keep Livin Foundation
    • Mr. Potts has been a financial supporter of Just Keep Livin, a charity organization founded by actor Matthew McConaughey to provide support to childrens’ charities and hospitals in Austin, Texas.
  • Houston Fire Department Support – COVID-19 – BBQ Event
    • 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.
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