Continuing profiles of judges and judicial candidates who came to our last Midtown Republican Club meeting, here are a few more.
Judge Larry Potter serves in General Sessions Court Division 14 known as the environmental court. It was established 32 years ago, Judge Potter said. “I didn’t have gray hairs then,” he continued. “We are not known for what we do by most people which is to preserve the integrity of buildings and to stop the blight that is growing in Memphis. We have an excellent percentage of solving problems – 90%,” he said.
The recent problems concerning the 19th Century Club on Union has landed in his court. Judge Potter hopes he can preserve it, but it will take help and prayers, he said. “It was appealed to Chancery Court and now to the Court of Appeals. We’re waiting for their decision. We’re trying to save it, but nobody has any money. It will take millions.”
Judge Potter spoke of urban renewal projects that had important buildings destroyed for it. He fears it may be too late for the Tennessee Brewing building and Ashlar Hall.
The Shelby GOP has endorsed Potter in this race.
Kyle Wiggins dropped by to discuss his bid for Circuit Court Division 1.
“I have the most diverse support of all the candidates for this job,” said Wiggins. He reeled off many names including Lewis Donelson and George Chism. “I’ve gotten support across the spectrum.
“I attended the University of Memphis and during law school was a policeman,” Wiggins continued. “I’ve practiced my whole career in Circuit Court. I’ve done litigation, car wrecks where money and lives are affected. So I know how important it is,” he said.
Two candidates of the four who are vying for Circuit Court Division 8 came by as well.
One, the incumbent Bob Weiss, has visited before. “I’ve lived in Central Gardens for the past 14 years,” he said. “In court I handle personal injury cases, contracts, medical malpractice and I’ve done more than 40 jury trials. I am proud that my docket moves along. I have the lowest case loads of Circuit Court judges because of it. “Attorneys want to be in my court room. They know I’m listening and I care.”
In addition, Judge Weiss has married more than 600 couples. “I love doing it because everybody walks out happy.” He joked that he has job security because some of them end up divorcing and he can handle that, too.
Weiss has been endorsed by the Shelby GOP.
One of his opponents, Charles McDonald, said he’s a colleague of Bob Weiss. He’s also “lived here 55 years and taught in Memphis City Schools. “I’ve also been an assistant professor at U of M and a law officer.”
“As a judge I will move cases along and expedite them. I’ve been a client as well as a lawyer so I know what it’s like.”