NPI believes that an integrated, multi-disciplinary approach with a spirit of innovation and an attitude of determination is the only hope that we have of making forward progress as a community. Effective efforts to build a quality environment in your community will require coalition building. Our team knows how to find and use all the ingredients you need to build a successful strategy to address blighted and neglected property. Contact us to learn more about coalition building for healthy neighborhoods.
We can guide a committed team in your community on the path to successful collaboration and coalition building for healthy neighborhoods.
Judge Potter was born in Nashville and lived in Humphreys County. When he was 8 years old his family moved to Milan, Tennessee where he attended grade school and graduated from high school in 1965. He continued his education at the University of Tennessee-Martin, graduating in 1969 with a Bachelors of Arts in Education/History. At the age of 22 he began his career as a teacher at East Elementary School in Lyles, Tennessee, and was promoted to Principal within a year. He returned to college in 1972 at Austin Peay University receiving his Master’s Degree in Education Administration.
In 1975 Judge Potter entered the University of Memphis Law School. He received his Juris Doctorate degree in 1977, and began practicing law. He has served as an Assistant City Public Defender, Chief Public Defender, Assistant City Prosecutor, and Assistant City Attorney. In 1982 he was appointed by Mayor Wyeth Chandler to the City Court Bench Division 2. During this first year Judge Potter worked administratively to create the Memphis Environmental Court.
In 1991 Judge Potter helped write a law that created a county-wide Environmental Court with injunctive authority, allowing him to more effectively deal with the increasingly difficult environmental problems encountered in court. This effort was a dramatic success and later that year the Tennessee State Legislature established the Shelby County Environmental Court.
During the 40 years he has lived in Memphis, Judge Larry E. Potter has proven to be a leader, judicial innovator, and a man of great wisdom and compassion for the citizens he serves. On March 1, 2018 he retired from office and now serves as a Senior Policy Advisor with Neighborhood Preservation, Inc.
Upon exiting the political arena, Wharton established The A C Wharton Group (January 2016).
Drawing on Wharton’s vast experience in the areas of municipal government affairs, higher education, early childhood development, municipal finance and budgeting, healthcare and criminal justice, the firm provides a broad array of strategic counseling to businesses, governments, not-for profits, and philanthropic organizations. Located in Memphis, Tennessee, The A C Wharton Group provides a wide array of highly professional, strategic counseling and advice to businesses, nationally.
Wharton also serves as Executive Director of Development with American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities (ALSAC), the fundraising arm of St. Jude Children’s Hospital. His primary task is to assist the organization in sustaining and building stronger relationships with current and prospective supporters. Wharton is also a consultant to the Memphis and Shelby County ACE Awareness Foundation (ACE). He assists the ACE Foundation in developing systems to identify and ensure appropriate treatment of children who have suffered chronic exposure to traumatic incidents and violence.
A few of his numerous awards and recognitions include: University of Memphis Humphrey School of Law Pillars of Excellence Awards, Young Lawyers Award, NAACP President’s Award, and most recently the AutoZone 2018 Spirit of 1776 Award and University of Mississippi Law Alumni Hall of Fame Award.
Wharton is a native of Lebanon, Tennessee. He is a graduate of Tennessee State University and the University of Mississippi School of Law, where he taught law as an Adjunct Professor for 25 years.
He is married to Attorney Ruby R. Wharton and has six sons.
Professor Schaffzin’s scholarship has focused on strategies for addressing distressed properties and on clinical pedagogy. In May 2018, Professor Schaffzin received the University of Memphis School of Law’s Farris Bobango Faculty Scholarship Award for his article, (B)light at the End of the Tunnel? How a City’s Need to Fight Vacant and Abandoned Properties Gave Rise to a Law School Clinic Like No Other, 52 Wash. U. J. L. & Pol’y 115 (2016. He also co-authored, Ten Years of Fighting Blighted Properties in Memphis: How Innovative Litigation Inspired Systems Change and a Local Culture of Collaboration to Resolve Vacant and Abandoned Properties, 25 J. Affordable Housing & Commun. Dev. L. 347 (2017) (with S. Barlow and B. Williams).
Professor Schaffzin earned his Bachelor of Arts degree (magna cum laude) from Temple University (magna cum laude) and his law degree (cum laude) from Temple University School of Law. Following law school, Professor Schaffzin worked for five years as an associate at Pepper Hamilton LLP in Philadelphia, practicing in the firm's Health Effects Litigation Practice Group. At Pepper, Professor Schaffzin also maintained an active pro bono practice, including work on a successful death penalty appeal under the Pennsylvania Post-Conviction Relief Act. He received the Pennsylvania Bar Association Pro Bono Award in 2005.
In 2005, Professor Schaffzin joined GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) as Counsel in the pharmaceutical company's U.S. Legal Operations group. At GSK, Professor Schaffzin served on the Sales, Marketing, and Managed Care Legal Team, providing guidance to the company's diabetes franchise and pediatric vaccines product teams, as well as to several sales regions, concerning product promotion, fraud and abuse, and general regulatory compliance issues. Prior to joining the Memphis Law faculty, Professor Schaffzin was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Law at the University of North Dakota School of Law, instructing the school's Housing and Employment Litigation Clinic.