CHARLESTON – A Charleston attorney wants to prove that being on the state Supreme Court isn't a daunting and overwhelming task.
"It's just not rocket science," Mike Allen said this week when asked why he has decided to run for a seat on the five-member Court. "If you do what you're supposed to do as a Justice, it's not that difficult."
Allen, who has practiced law for 35 years, also said he isn't necessarily running against any Justice or saying the sitting Justices are doing a poor job.
"Am I being nasty to some of the justices? No," the 62-year-old Allen said. "That's not my purpose. All I want to do is, if elected, make sure the right thing is done based on the law."
Allen, whose wife and former law partner Barbara is Managing Deputy Attorney General in state AG Darrell McGraw's office, also stressed that he isn't running for a seat on the Court for the retirement package.
"It's time for a change for me, and it seems like something I'd really enjoy," he said. "I'm looking forward to the run."
Allen said he has experience in a broad range of legal issues including mining and industrial accidents, legal malpractice, automobile accidents and wrongful death. He also was at one time counsel to the state Consolidated Public Retirement Board.
A 1971 graduate of the West Virginia University College of Law, Allen said a former client summed up his style of work by calling him a door attorney.
"I take whatever walks through the door," he said with a chuckle.
The other people who have said they plan to run for one of two state Supreme Court seats up in the 2008 election are WVU law professor Bob Bastress and current Justice Spike Maynard. Like Allen, both are Democrats.
Allen said he expects to draw support from a variety of groups.
"Generally, the problem is that the people who spend the money in judicial elections don't want a fair judge on the Supreme Court," he said. "In Circuit Court? Yes. On the Supreme Court? No."