Even in the small world of West Virginia politics, this year's Supreme Court race has a remarkably connected cast of characters.
Two sitting justices and two candidates for the court have been in and out of each other's crossfire for nearly two decades now.
Much of their sometimes-contentious acquaintance can be traced to the early-1990s divorce of Sen. Truman Chafin and his wife, former Department of Health and Human Resources Secretary Gretchen Lewis.
The senator's relationship with a woman helped prompt the divorce. That woman was Tish Chafin, whom the senator, D-Mingo, has since married. She is now one of two Democrats running this year for one of two 12-year terms on the court.
The other Democrat in this year's race is incumbent Justice Robin Davis. She was Lewis' attorney for part of the long and convoluted divorce proceedings.
But it isn't just Davis and the Chafins who were mixed up in the legal wrangling, nor is the divorce itself the only case they fought about.
Republican Supreme Court candidate John Yoder, now a circuit judge in Berkeley County judge, represented Truman Chafin during a divorce-related case.
In 2001, Justice Margaret Workman, a Democrat who was re-elected to the court in 2008, filed a complaint against Yoder with the state's lawyer disciplinary board. Workman said she was a victim of "judicial stalking" by Yoder and both Chafins - Tish and Truman - during the 1990s when the senator wanted her removed from hearing divorce-related matters.
Supreme Courts in recent memory were known for their infighting. That's apparently ended and the court has calmed. But there have been a few expressions, some in private, about how the court could change depending on who is elected next month.
Asked to comment on how the past could affect the five-member court's future, Tish Chafin said the past's events are "history rather than news."
"At times we have vigorously represented our positions against each other but, once these matters were resolved, we hold the highest regard for one another's passion for the practice of law and the judiciary," Chafin said in a statement.
Davis said she has always conducted herself as a justice in a "professional manner."
"No matter who is here, that is how I will continue to conduct myself as a justice on the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals," Davis said in a telephone interview.
The divorce episode lasted about a decade. Elements of the case bounced to the state Supreme Court.
"The parties have been in court substantially longer than they cohabited as husband and wife," the high court remarked in 1998 when one part of the Chafin-Lewis proceedings reached it. The case would not end for several more years and took a number of twists.
In December 1995, jurors deliberated for seven hours before acquitting Truman Chafin of charges he conspired to wiretap Lewis' telephone.
Starting in early 1994, the senator tried to get Workman off the case because her then-secretary was friends with Lewis. Workman denied that had any bearing on her thinking about the case and refused to recuse herself.
But in 1999, Workman said Chafin had finally created the conflict of interest he had long said existed. Workman stepped away from the case in order to challenge his criticisms of her. Workman said the senator had tried to "stalk, harass and defame" her.