Index of Memorial Resolutions and Biographical Sketches
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CHARLES SHIRLEY POTTS
Charles Shirley Potts, retired professor of law, died on May 9, 1963. He was 90.
Professor Potts was born on September 22, 1872, in Weatherford, Texas. He received bachelor's and master's degrees from The University of Texas at Austin in 1902 and a law degree from the UT law school in 1909. While a law student, he cofounded the Texas Law Review and served as the chairman of its first editorial board. He earned a doctorate in law from Harvard University in 1926.
Dr. Potts taught at Texas A&M University from 1902 to 1907. He joined the faculty of the University in 1909, first as a professor of government and later as a professor of law. His specialties were criminal law and procedure and constitutional law. He also served as assistant dean of the law school for a number of years. He worked on the impeachment case against Governor James E. Ferguson in 1917 and was involved in reforming Texas procedural law.
Professor Potts authored numerous publications, especially in criminal law. His works included The Convict Labor System of Texas (1903), Some Practical Problems of Prison Reform (1910), and Cases on Criminal Procedure: Selected from Decisions of English and American Courts with Special Reference to Criminal Procedure in Texas (1921 and 1925).
In 1926 Professor Potts resigned from the University to accept a position at Washington University in St. Louis. In 1927 he was appointed dean of the law school at Southern Methodist University, remaining in that position until his retirement in 1947. His accomplishments at SMU included phasing out proprietary legal education in Dallas and expanding the SMU law school faculty. In addition, under his leadership the SMU law program became a member of the Association of American Law Schools and gained professional standing from the American Bar Association.
John R. Durbin, Secretary
The General Faculty
Biographical sketch prepared by Teresa Palomo Acosta and posted on the Faculty Council web site on January 18, 2001. Additional biographical sources can be found in the Barker Texas History Center and the New Handbook of Texas, Texas State Historical Association, 1996.
The UT Law Library Archives has addtional materials at http://www.law.utexas.edu/rare/archives.htm