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Wendy L. Potts
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Wendy L. Potts

Latest Insights
Upcoming Events
General Biography
Practice Areas
Business & Commercial
Employment Law
Family Law
Personal Injury/Torts
Professional Liability
Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities
Background and Education

Wendy Potts, Retired Judge, Oakland County (Michigan) Circuit Court, joins JAMS in Michigan after over 20 years of distinguished service to the Oakland County judiciary, including terms as a trial judge on both the Probate Court and Circuit Court, where she served as chief judge for six years. She also served as a magistrate in the 48th District Court (Birmingham, Bloomfield and West Bloomfield). 

Judge Potts served on the Oakland County Business Court since its inception in 2013 and contributed to making that court one of the best in the state for business/commercial disputes. From the founding of the business court to her retirement, Judge Potts engaged with Michigan business leaders about how her court could best respond to the challenges of complex litigation. Along the way, she garnered a reputation as a determined and resilient problem solver in the Tri-County legal community.

A past president of the Oakland County Bar Association, Judge Potts has lent her expertise and support to community dispute resolution organizations and has been active in the areas of domestic violence and juvenile justice. She is a founder of The RESTORE Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to ensuring funding for Oakland County’s drug courts, and was a 2010 State Bar of Michigan Champion of Justice.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

Judge Potts has substantial litigation, judicial and settlement experience in the following areas:

  • Business/Commercial
  • Employment
  • Estates/Probate/Trusts
  • Family Law
  • Insurance
  • Litigation Management/Litigation Strategy
  • Neutral Case Evaluation/Neutral Analysis
  • Personal Injury/Torts
  • Professional Liability

Representative Matters

Judge Potts presided over hundreds of cases in the Probate Court, the Family Division of the Circuit Court and on her civil and criminal dockets. She routinely held early-intervention conferences to manage her cases and was able to help parties effect early settlement in many matters. She has significant experience in tort law and is able to evaluate claims realistically and with credibility.

Judge Potts facilitated auto supplier-related matters, covenants not to compete and business dissolutions. She has experience in will contests and in guardianships/conservatorships. She is a strategist in managing complex litigation among various arms of the court or several courts.

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

Professional, Public Service and Community Activities

  • Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS
  • Chair, Oakland County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, 2006–2010
  • Founder and Honorary Member, The RESTORE Foundation, an Oakland County, Michigan-based nonprofit organization dedicated to privately funding the Oakland County drug treatment courts
  • Trustee, Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society, 1997–2006
  • Member, Janice Morganroth Advocates for Children Advisory Committee, Council on Child Abuse and Neglect
  • Past Member, Michigan Judicial Institute Advisory Committee
  • Member, Michigan Supreme Court Model Civil Jury Instructions Committee, 2002–2006
  • Member, Michigan Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Rules of Evidence, 1999–2002
  • Chair and Member, Criminal Assignment Committee, Oakland County Circuit Court, 1999–2002
  • Circle of Visitors, Wayne State University Law School, 1997
  • Member, Board of Directors, Child Abuse and Neglect Council of Oakland County, 1997–2003
  • Chair, Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Board, 1994–1997
  • Member, Governor’s Task Force on Domestic Violence, 1994
  • Ex-Officio Member, 21st Century Courts Committee, State Bar of Michigan
  • Member, Community Dispute Resolution Program, Michigan State Court Administrative Office
  • Magistrate, 48th District Court, 1984–1995

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • State Bar of Michigan
  • Oakland County Bar Association
  • Fellow, American Bar Association
  • Fellow, State Bar of Michigan
  • Charter Fellow, Oakland County Bar Association Adams Pratt Foundation
  • American College of Business Court Judges

Bar Activities

  • Vice Chair, Fellows of the Michigan State Bar Foundation, 2009–present
  • Trustee, Michigan State Bar Foundation, 2004–2009
  • Chancellor, Oakland County Bar Association American Inns of Court, 2002–2004
  • Master, American Inns of Court, 2000–2010
  • Delegate to the American Bar Association, Oakland County Bar Association, 2000–2004
  • Delegate to the American Bar Association, State Bar of Michigan, 1999-2000
  • State Bar of Michigan
    • Secretary, 1996–1997
    • Commissioner, 1990–2000
    • Chair, Nominating Committee, 1998
    • Chair, Judiciary Committee, 1996
    • Co-Chair, Children’s Justice Committee, 1995
    • Chair, Legislative Committee, 1993–1996
    • Member, Special Commissioner’s Committee Regarding Recommendations of Supreme Court Task Force on Gender and Race/Ethnic Issues in the Court
    • Member, Scope & Correlation Committee
    • Member, Executive Committee
    • Liaison, Judicial Qualifications Committee
    • Liaison, Annual Meeting Committee
    • Liaison, Professionalism Committee
    • Liaison, Long Range Planning Committee
  • Oakland County Bar Association (OCBA)
    • President, 1994–1995
    • President-Elect, 1993–1994
    • Treasurer, 1992–1993
    • Secretary, 1991–1992
    • Board of Directors, 1987–1995
    • Member, OCBA Past President’s Council , 2002–present
  • Member, Woman’s Bar Association, Oakland County Region of Women Lawyers Association, 2006–2012
  • Trustee, Oakland County Bar Association Adams-Pratt Foundation, 1988–1997
  • Board Member, Pro Bono Advisory Committee, Oakland Livingston Legal Aid and Oakland County Bar Association, 1990–1996

Awards and Recognition

  • Honoree, Leading Lawyers, Michigan, 2020
  • Honoree, Notable Women in Law, Crain’s Detroit, 2019
  • State Bar of Michigan, Champion of Justice Award, 2010
  • Distinguished Service Award, Oakland County Bar Association, 1995 and 2008
  • Francis R. Avadenka Memorial Award, Oakland County Bar Association, 2006
  • Eleanor Roosevelt Humanities Award, 2006
  • Kaleidoscope Award, Circle of Friends, Child Abuse & Neglect Council, 2004
  • Honoree, Women’s Bar Association, 2005
  • Nanci S. Klein Memorial Award, Oakland Mediation Center, 2014
  • Honoree, Esteemed Women of Michigan, Gary Burnstein Community Health Care Clinic, 2014
  • Honoree, Top Circuit Court Judges; DBusiness; 2015, 2016, 2018
  • Honoree, Women in the Law, Michigan Lawyers Weekly, 2015
  • Wonder Woman, Women Officials Network Foundation, 2016   

Background and Education

  • Judge, Oakland County Circuit Court, 1998–2018
    • Appointed to Business Court, 2013
    • Chief Judge, 2004–2010
    • Chief Judge Pro Tempore, 2002–2003
  • Judge, Oakland County Probate Court, 3/1997–12/1997
  • Member; Clark Hill, P.L.C. (subsequent to merger with Hill Lewis); 1996–1997
  • Associate; Hill Lewis, P.C.; 1983–1996
  • Associate; Morris, Rowland, Prekel, Paquette, Keiden & White; 1980–1983
  • Clerk, The Honorable William R. Beasley, Michigan Court of Appeals, 1978–1980
  • J.D., Wayne State University Law School, 1977
  • B.A., University of Michigan, 1965


This page is for general information purposes.  JAMS makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy or completeness.  Interested persons should conduct their own research regarding information on this website before deciding to use JAMS, including investigation and research of JAMS neutrals. See More

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