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Potts stays on the ball in and outside the court

WLJ Photo by Kevin Harnack

Since joining Foley & Lardner LLP in 2007, Brian Potts has been racking up the wins in his environmental and energy law practice.

Potts, 32, primarily represents utilities in their dealings with energy and environmental agencies.

He recently obtained approval from the Public Service Commission for a client to construct a 32-mile electric power transmission line across Dane County. Opponents sought to have the line built underground, but Potts successfully demonstrated that it would be too costly for the public.

He also recently secured approval for an aging power plant near Portage to add emissions control systems that will reduce the plant’s pollution by 90 percent.

In addition to his environmental and energy practice, Potts takes pro bono criminal cases from the 7th Circuit. In one case, he has prevailed twice. The first time the court heard the case, it vacated one of the convictions; the second time, it vacated the sentence.

Potts enjoys winning outside the courtroom as well. He recently convinced the firm to install a pingpong table at Foley’s Madison office to build camaraderie.

— David Ziemer

What was your worst law school course?


What is your favorite Supreme Court opinion?

Environmental Defense v. Duke Energy Corp., 127 S.Ct. 1423 (2007)

If you hadn’t become a lawyer, what would you have done?


What is your favorite thing to do in Wisconsin?

Hiking or sailing — generally being outside in summer

Who are your favorite writers?

Ken Follett and John Kennedy Toole

What is the first concert you went to?

Santana, in Cincinnati

What trait do you most like in others?


What famous person would you most like to have a drink with?

Scarlett Johansson

How many foreign countries have you visited? Which ones?

About 30 — too many to list. Favorites are Kenya, Morocco and Cuba

What is the best part of being an attorney?

Being respected

What can you spend hours doing that’s not law-related?

Watching college basketball

What word in the English language do you wish you had invented?


What is your favorite sports team?

(University of) Louisville Cardinals

What is your greatest extravagance?

Pingpong rubbers

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