W.Va. SC denies motion to intervene in campaign finance case

Jessica M. Karmasek Aug. 15, 2012, 3:40pm



CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Legal Newsline) - The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals has denied Charleston attorney Michael Callaghan's motion to intervene in a lawsuit over the state's Public Campaign Financing Pilot Program.

The Court filed its two-page decision Wednesday.

"Upon careful consideration, Mr. Callaghan's motion to intervene as a party is denied," it wrote.

"However, Mr. Callaghan may file a response to the petition as amicus curiae, but may not participate in oral argument."

Callaghan, the plaintiff in a federal case filed last month over the pilot program, filed his motion with the state's high court last week.

In it, he noted that no party in the state case will stand in defense of his constitutional rights.

"Accordingly, the representation of Callaghan's interests by existing parties is not only inadequate, it is non-existent," wrote his attorney, Anthony Majestro of Charleston firm Powell and Majestro PLLC. Majestro also serves as state Supreme Court candidate Tish Chafin's campaign attorney.

Callaghan's motion came nearly a week after Supreme Court candidate Allen Loughry filed his own motion to intervene in the federal lawsuit over the pilot program, which was established in 2010 for candidates seeking a seat on the state's high court.

Loughry, a Republican, is the only candidate in this year's Court race to opt into the program, which state lawmakers passed in an attempt to reduce the influence of special interest money.

In a statement Wednesday, Loughry said the Court's decision will allow his lawsuit to proceed "without interference" and will allow the Court to "more expeditiously decide" the merits of the case.

To read the rest of this story, visit the West Virginia Record.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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