Spike Maynard

Spike Maynard
Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia
In office
January 1, 1997  December 31, 2008
Preceded by Arthur M. Recht
Succeeded by Menis Ketchum
Judge of 30th Circuit Court of West Virginia
In office
Appointed by Jay Rockefeller
Personal details
Born (1942-12-08)December 8, 1942
Williamson, West Virginia, U.S.
Died May 1, 2014(2014-05-01) (aged 71)
Charleston, West Virginia, U.S.
Alma mater Florida Southern College
West Virginia University College of Law

Elliot E. "Spike" Maynard (December 8, 1942 – May 1, 2014) was an American lawyer and former judge from West Virginia. In 1996 he was elected as a Democrat to the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia. A judge of West Virginia's 30th Judicial Circuit for over 16 years, he was elected as a Democrat to a 12-year term on the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia in 1996.[1]

In 2010, Maynard switched parties and won the Republican nomination to challenge longtime Democratic U.S. Representative Nick Rahall in West Virginia's 3rd congressional district. On November 2, 2010, Maynard was defeated in his election bid in the second-closest election in Rahall's political history.[2]

Maynard served in the United States Air Force Reconnaissance Group from 1961 to 1966. He received his Bachelor of Science from Florida Southern College in 1967 He served as the managing director of the Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce from 1968 to 1970. Maynard attended the West Virginia University College of Law and received his J.D. in 1974.

Maynard was an attorney in private practice from 1974 and 1981, and also served as the prosecuting attorney for Mingo County from 1976 to 1981.

Judicial career

Maynard was appointed a judge of the 30th Judicial Circuit in 1981. He was elected in 1981 and subsequently reelected. He served on the court until 1997.

In 1996, he was elected to a 12-year term as a justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia. Maynard served as an associate justice until 2000, when he became the Chief Justice.

Massey Energy controversy

In November 2007, Maynard voted with the majority in a 3–2 decision to reverse a $76 million judgment against Massey Energy. The judgment ($55 million plus interest) had been awarded by a Boone County jury to Harman Mining, a West Virginia coal company owned by Hugh M. Caperton.

After the Supreme Court reversed the judgment, Caperton's attorneys learned that Maynard had vacationed in the French Riviera with Don Blankenship, the CEO, chairman, and president of Massey Energy, and photos of the trip emerged.[3][4] Bruce Stanley, a Pittsburgh lawyer representing Caperton, said "It is beyond the realm of human comprehension that any judge could claim any semblance of impartiality when, before casting the deciding vote in a $76 million case, he accompanies the CEO of the litigant on a luxurious trip to the French Riviera."

On January 19, 2008, following intense public scrutiny, Maynard disqualified himself from the Massey appeal. The acting chief justice appointed Circuit Judge Don Cookman to sit on the court for Caperton's rehearing petition. On January 23, 2008, the Court voted 5-0 to rehear Caperton's appeal.[5]

Political campaigns

2008 judicial campaign

Maynard's 12-year term expired in 2009. Maynard ran for re-election and was initially the strong favorite. However, in the May 13, 2008 primary election for two seats on the court, Maynard was defeated, coming in third behind former Supreme Court Justice Margaret Workman and Huntington trial lawyer Menis E. Ketchum. Maynard barely edged out a political novice and West Virginia University law professor Bob Bastress.

2010 U.S. Congressional campaign

After switching his party affiliation to Republican, Maynard officially filed candidacy papers on February 1, 2010 to run for the U.S. House in the 3rd District of West Virginia. He won the party primary with 30.1% of the vote against three other candidates. Maynard has said that his campaign "is about protecting the coal industry, including all the jobs associated with it."[4] Rahall defeated Maynard in the November general election.


Maynard died at a hospital in Charleston, West Virginia on May 1, 2014.[6]

Electoral history

2008 West Virginia Democratic primary election for Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Margaret Lee Workman 180,599 30.68
Democratic Menis E. Ketchum 135,563 23.03
Democratic Elliot E. Maynard 97,409 16.55
Democratic Robert M. Bastress 88,490 15.03
2010 Republican primary election for West Virginia's 3rd congressional district
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Elliott E. Maynard 5,056 30.1
Republican Marty Gearheart 4,623 27.5
Republican Conrad Gale Lucas II 4,238 25.2
Republican Lee Allen Bias 2,906 17.2


  1. Workman, Jim (2010-11-03). "Rahall is elected to 18th straight term in Congress". The Register-Herald. Beckley, WV. Retrieved 2010-11-04.
  2. Liptak, Adam (January 15, 2008). "Motion Ties W. Virginia Justice to Coal Executive". The New York Times.
  3. 1 2 Roth, Zachary (April 9, 2010). "Judge Who Vacationed With Massey CEO Now Running For Congress". TPM Muckraker.
  4. "Court votes unanimously to rehear Massey case - News - The Charleston Gazette - West Virginia News and Sports". Wvgazette.com. 2008-01-24. Retrieved 2010-08-29.
  5. 'Former Justice, Elliott Maynard dies,' Huntington Herald-Dispatch (West Virginia), May 2, 2014
Legal offices
Preceded by
Arthur M. Recht
Justice for the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia
Succeeded by
Menis Ketchum
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