What's Under the Robe: Chief Judge Wendy Potts, Oakland County Circuit Court

Judge Wendy Potts likes it when attorneys get down to business in the courtroom. Her service to the courts began in 1984 in the Oakland County 48th District Court, where she served as a magistrate. She was later appointed as a probate judge by Governor John Engler and then elected to the Oakland County Circuit Court bench, where she is in her third term. She served as chief judge pro tempore in 2002 and 2003 before beginning her term as chief judge in 2004. She chairs the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council and is a past president of the Oakland County Bar Association. She has won multiple awards for her involvement in legal and community associations.

Potts took some time to help Motions readers understand who she is, both inside and outside the courtroom.

If you werent an attorney/judge, what would you be?
Full-time grandmother.

What would attorneys be most surprised to know about you?
It took me 11 years to obtain my law degree.

What are your pet peeves in your courtroom?

What groups or organizations do you belong to?
State Bar of Michigan; American Bar Association; Oakland County Bar Association; American Inns of Court; Trustee, Michigan State Bar Foundation; Fellow, American Bar Foundation; Fellow, Oakland County Bar Foundation; Trustee, Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society; Child Abuse and Neglect Council.
What advice would you give a new attorney about courtroom etiquette?
Treat the judges staff with the same respect as the judge.

Were you elected or appointed?

What hobbies do you enjoy?
Hiking and cooking.

Favorite law-related TV show or movie?
Re-runs of my Court TV programs.

What is the last book you read?
Americas Survival Guide by Judge Michael Warren.

How many years have you been on the bench? How long have you been chief judge?
Probate Court 10 months, Circuit Court 10 years. Third term as Chief Judge.

Who is your hero?
My brother, Bryan Yolles, who survived a recent liver transplant and plans to run a half marathon in the fall with his U of M surgeon.

Who isor wasyour mentor?
My former law partner, Judge Robert B. Webster.

Please list your degrees and schools attended, including bachelors degree and law degree.
B.A. University of Michigan. J.D. Wayne State University Law School.

What is your favorite movie?
Pretty Woman.

What is your favorite food?

What is your favorite restaurant?
Phoenicia (best ribs around).

Please describe your background prior to taking the bench.

What is your idea of a perfect day off?
Sunny and 75 degrees.

What else would you like attorneys to know about you or about practicing in your courtroom?
P.P.P.Be prompt, prepared, professional.

Last but not least: What is the most unusual outfit you have worn under your robe?
Ill have to take the Fifth on that.

For more complete information about Judge Potts, visit www.oakgov.com/circuit/judges.

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