CHARLESTON – Bob Allen realizes it probably surprised a lot of people to find out he was leaving the law firm he helped create for Kay Casto & Chaney.
"It came somewhat as a shock to some people," he said.
But when he turned 70 this spring, the retirement policy at Allen Guthrie & Thomas kicked in. But Allen said he wasn't ready to hang it up just yet.
"We have a retirement policy over there, and I had retired at the age of 70," he said last week. "I just decided I was going to try something new ... just continue to work for a while. I happened to be talking to Craig Kay and Mike Chaney, and they said come over here. I accepted the offer, and I'm tickled to death to be here.
"I left a very good firm, and I'm now with a very good firm. They'll be fine, and we'll be fine."
Previously, Allen was a founding member and former managing member of the firm of Allen Guthrie & Thomas. From 1975 to 1977 and from 1978 to 1981, Allen served as Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia. Allen served as chief of the Coal Fraud Project prosecuting illegal coal tax shelters.
"I'm excited to be joining Kay Casto & Chaney which has a wonderful history and is one of the top firms in West Virginia," Allen said. "For me, it's a great opportunity and I look forward to working with the attorneys and staff."
"We are proud to have an attorney of Bob's skill and character join our firm," Chaney, a member of the law firm's management committee, said. "Bob is an extremely highly regarded litigator and mediator; his litigation practice includes high-profile civil matters and white-collar criminal cases.
"Bob is a wonderful asset for our entire firm and our clients."
In addition to practicing law in Charleston for more than three decades, Allen served as a naval aviator in the U.S. Navy and was on Active Duty from 1966 to 1972. He continued his service in the Naval Reserves from 1972 to 1992 and retired as a commander.
Allen doesn't plan on slowing down either.
"I'm going to be carrying a pretty full-time schedule," he said. "I'm going to continue my mediation practice. I do about 100 to 115 mediations a year, and I've been doing that more than 20 years. I will still do consulting work, and I'll be litigating cases. I tried two last year, and I still think I'm able to try a case or two."
Allen received his bachelor's degree from West Virginia University in 1963, and a master's degree in 1965. He also received his J.D. from the West Virginia University College of Law in 1974. He is admitted to practice law in West Virginia in 1974 and in the U.S. District Court for both the Southern and Northern Districts of West Virginia, as well as the United States Court Of Appeals For the Fourth Circuit.
He has been listed as one of The Best Lawyers In America since 1991. Allen is a member of the West Virginia State Bar, Committee on Criminal Law, the Kanawha County Bar Association, the Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association, the American Association for Justice, the West Virginia Association for Justice, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the West Virginia Law School Alumni Association.