The Buffalo Creek Disaster



The Buffalo Creek Disaster

This Book was an outstanding depiction of how our court systems in the United
States work. Gerald Stern, from the time he had accepted the case, in my
opinion, was out for establishing justice. The Buffalo Creek Disaster left
hundreds of people to suffer without homes, belongings, jobs, family, and
friends. By the fault of the mining company, these people’s rights were
violated. The rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness were stripped
away from them in a few hours by the flood.

I think the courts, Congress and attorneys all have roles and are obligated
to establishing justice. The courts are obligated to be there to listen to and
make sure that people are getting a fair chance for their case to be presented.
The courts are there to make sure no corruption or slander is taking place. It
is the court’s job to filter out any unnecessary baggage that may be brought
into the picture. The courts are there to make sure everything goes by the rules
and guidelines set up by our constitution and laws. For instance, when Judge
Hall had made Pittston give the plaintiffs some documents that had to do with
the case, he was making sure everything was being done lawfully.

Congress has quite a different position I think. Congress has the job of
making sure the right laws are being made and passed in order for our society to
be centered on justice. If we have corrupted laws to work with, then our courts
can’t uphold justice at all. It is Congress’s duty to make sure laws will be
passed that reflects the will of our people as well. This way when we do decide
to use our court systems, we will feel like it is a fair system.

The attorneys have the hardest role of all three. I think the attorneys are
like the student in a college class doing a research paper. They have to present
there (plaintiffs) in a manner that is conclusive to the guidelines of the
professor (court), which were shaped by the administrators (Congress). For them
it is all about the legalities more so, than what they actually care about or
think is necessary. People always wonder why attorneys do things that seem
unethical or devious. It is because they are forced to work under the strict
guidelines of formality. Sometimes the only way to get things done properly is
find ways around or ways to use these laws and such to their advantage.

I believe both sides of attorneys did an excellent job on their client’s
behalf. The attorneys for the mining company stuck within the guidelines of the
law in order to do a successful job on their client’s behalf, by biding time
and trying to discredit a plaintiff that was in the right. The plaintiff’s
attorneys did an excellent job at staying within the laws trying to disclose
legally well hidden information. What each side did just goes back to the
lawmakers, Congress, and brings attention to why they should be very careful in
making laws. That is what kept the attorneys for the Buffalo Creek Disaster
victims from obtaining justice for a while. It was the legalities of the court
system, put into effect by our Congress. They had to just wait all the
systematic issues out and then present the truth. They also had to face
discrimination in many different facets. Those of just dumb mine workers to
those of out of state lawyers. The obstacles were not easy.

I think that even though they made it through all of the obstacles and
adversity, the victims of the Buffalo Creek Disaster were not compensated enough
for all they went through. Like how one of the victims mentioned that the money
still couldn’t get rid of the memory and nightmares. To be honest, I don’t
think that there could have been any amount of monetary reward that could repay
the victims for what they lost and what they gained. I personally think that
justice was not achieved for that matter. Then again, if I were to comment on
justice being achieved in the legalistic sense, then yes. All of the proceedings
were handled according to the law, and one side prevailed over the other fairly.
This to me would be justice in the Constitutional sense.

I think the book was put together very well in the sense that it was written
by a lawyer. The way the Chapters were separated and titled as to give