Lawrence's Reviews > The Buffalo Creek Disaster: How the survivors of one of the worst disasters in coal-mining history brought suit against the coal company--and won

The Buffalo Creek Disaster by Gerald M. Stern
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's review
Sep 08, 07

Read in September, 2007

Guess I'm just too cynical to enjoy the lawyer-as-hero genre. Statements like "sometimes you do well by doing good" just contribute to my growing sense of cynicism. I'd stick to fiction - To Kill a Mockingbird, for example - for the inspiring lawyer genre. That said, the book is a good example of the process of preparing for a mass tort suit, interjecting a sense of the politics, personalities, and mundane reality into what's largely a tedious, often frustrating, and did I say tedious? process, if not perhaps presented a little too dramatically from time to time in Stern's narrative. On the other hand, the larger questions of whether and to what, if any, lasting effect, the tool that is the law can be - if it was - helpful to the people was given too superficial a treatment here. But, of course, that makes for a less dramatic narrative.

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