Lee Potts is a principal in the Los Angeles office of McKool Smith. His practice is concentrated in the areas of complex business litigation, constitutional law, and appellate practice.

Lee has been with the firm since 1995.


Representative Matters

Lee's experience includes:

  • Obtaining a permanent injunction against destruction of Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre
  • Recovering funds embezzled from an entertainment venue development project
  • Participating in defense of claims against a developer for a purported interest in a major retail shopping center
  • Prosecuting claims on behalf of Cogent Systems, a publicly traded automatic fingerprint identification system company, against Northrop Grumman for trade secret misappropriation in connection with a $250M fingerprint identification contract in the UK

Lee has had primary responsibility as defense liaison counsel and lead law and motion and appellate lawyer in coordinated cases involving more than 730 plaintiffs and more than 65 defendants. He appeared as amicus curiae in the Supreme Court of California in support of the prevailing parties in Doe v. City of Los Angeles (2007) 42 Cal.4th 531, and Shirk v. Vista Unified School Dist. (2007) 42 Cal.4th 201. He secured a change in status from unpublished to published in the Court of Appeal and successfully opposed depublication in the California Supreme Court before grant of review of Doe v. City of Los Angeles (2006) 137 Cal.App.4th 438.

Lee twice overturned defense summary judgments involving the duties of out-of-state lawyers representing California clients. Geddes v. Campbell, 2006 Cal.App. LEXIS 10497, 2004 Cal.App. LEXIS 2402. He preserved a summary judgment in favor of a title insurance company for an insured’s failure to disclose material information. Bank of San Diego v. Commonwealth Land Title Ins. Co. (1991) 231 Cal.App.3d 1265.

In addition to commercial and entertainment industry clients, Lee has represented the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego, former members of the Church of Scientology against the Church of Scientology, and victims of unlawful human experimentation.


Rankings & Honors

  • Articles editor, Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly
  • AmJur Award in Torts


Community & Professional Activities

  • California State Bar Committee on the Administration of Justice, 1989-1993
  • Director of Criminal Justice Program, University of Mississippi, 1978-1983
  • Chief executive officer, Domestic Violence Project of Oxford, Mississippi, 1979-1983
  • Consultant to the National Institute of Corrections, 1983-1984; police consultant on sexual assault, 1978-1983

Media & Events


J.D., Hastings College of the Law, University of California, San Francisco, 1986

Ph.D., Political Science/Public Policy, University of California, Davis, 1978

M.A., San Jose State University, 1974

B.A., San Jose State University, 1972

Court Admissions

  • State of California
  • United States District Courts for the Central, Eastern, Northern, and Southern District of California
  • United States Court of Appeals for Ninth Circuit

Bar Associations

  • American Bar Association
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
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