Morgantown attorney honored for over four decades of legal service

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A longtime Morgantown attorney is being recognized for his long term contributions to West Virginia law and civil service.

Allan N. Karlin, was recognized in front of the Monongalia County Courthouse Tuesday with The West Virginia Association for Justice’s Fred H. Caplan award, for his work as an attorney with a diverse clientele. Karlin, expressed gratitude from not only his peers who nominated him, but his clients whom he has spent his career serving.

“I did the things I’ve done because that’s the way I was brought up to live my life,” said Karlin about his decades long career. “And to be awarded for it, it’s not something I was looking for in my life, I was looking for doing what I did, and the award just came with it, and it’s very humbling,” he said.

Karlin, has been a member of the West Virginia legal community since 1975. Originally starting with the North Central Legal Aid Society, he eventually served as their director from 1976 to 1981. From there, he opened his private practice based in Morgantown and since, has served clients from all around the state whether it was related to civil rights cases or employment law litigation. Despite several awards, recognition, notable legal briefs as well as serving as a lecturer at the West Virginia University College of Law, Karlin emphasized his work with less fortunate clients are what he’ll remember the fondest.

“Two Iranians who were lawfully in the United States, who were fired from positions in the federal government, based upon on innuendo and lack of fact, was able to get them fully reinstated and compensated,” he mentioned as one of his memorable cases. “And basically got an apology from the United States Government for wrongfully firing them, that was really special,” he said.

There were several litigations and cases that Karlin worked on over the years that were mentioned during the award presentation. This included work in several civil rights cases involving wrongful termination, but also representing workers compensation cases revolving around the Sago mine explosion and claims involved in the Clarksburg cellular tower collapse. Karlin, speaking about the invaluable experience, feels the impact felt by clients, has only put a sweetener on an already distinguished career.

“Being able to help people navigate through what they were going through in a way that ‘Nothing ever comes out quite right when you lost a loved one’, but believe it made a difference in how people came out of it, both financially and emotionally,” he said.

Karlin was also recognized by Monongalia County Delegate Barbara Fleischauer, who was in attendance during the ceremony. Mentioning their working relationship, which included Karlin serving as Fleischauer’s treasurer for just over 20 years, she spoke fondly of a man “more than worthy of recognition.” These words were backed up by other colleagues in attendance to celebrate a man with close to 50 years of legal contributions in West Virginia.

“I really do believe that he’s the most brilliant lawyer in the state,” said Fleischauer after the ceremony. “And it’s wonderful that he’s being recognized for his contributions to the legal profession and advocacy for those who really need it,” she said.