Category:HistoryPaper Title:The Buffalo Creek DisasterText:The Buffalo Creek DisasterThis Book was an outstanding depiction of how our court systems in the UnitedStates work.
Gerald Stern, from the time he had accepted the case, in myopinion, was out for establishing justice. The Buffalo Creek Disaster lefthundreds of people to suffer without homes, belongings, jobs, family, andfriends. By the fault of the mining company, these peoples rights wereviolated. The rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness were strippedaway from them in a few hours by the flood.I think the courts, Congress and attorneys all have roles and are obligatedto establishing justice. The courts are obligated to be there to listen to andmake 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. Itis the courts job to filter out any unnecessary baggage that may be broughtinto the picture. The courts are there to make sure everything goes by the rulesand guidelines set up by our constitution and laws. For instance, when JudgeHall had made Pittston give the plaintiffs some documents that had to do withthe case, he was making sure everything was being done lawfully.Congress has quite a different position I think. Congress has the job ofmaking sure the right laws are being made and passed in order for our society tobe centered on justice. If we have corrupted laws to work with, then our courtscant uphold justice at all.
It is Congresss duty to make sure laws will bepassed that reflects the will of our people as well. This way when we do decideto 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 arelike the student in a college class doing a research paper. They have to presentthere (plaintiffs) in a manner that is conclusive to the guidelines of theprofessor (court), which were shaped by the administrators (Congress). For themit is all about the legalities more so, than what they actually care about orthink is necessary.
People always wonder why attorneys do things that seemunethical or devious. It is because they are forced to work under the strictguidelines of formality. Sometimes the only way to get things done properly isfind 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 clientsbehalf. The attorneys for the mining company stuck within the guidelines of thelaw in order to do a successful job on their clients behalf, by biding timeand trying to discredit a plaintiff that was in the right.
The plaintiffsattorneys did an excellent job at staying within the laws trying to discloselegally well hidden information. What each side did just goes back to thelawmakers, Congress, and brings attention to why they should be very careful inmaking laws. That is what kept the attorneys for the Buffalo Creek Disastervictims from obtaining justice for a while. It was the legalities of the courtsystem, put into effect by our Congress. They had to just wait all thesystematic issues out and then present the truth. They also had to facediscrimination in many different facets. Those of just dumb mine workers tothose of out of state lawyers.
The obstacles were not easy.I think that even though they made it through all of the obstacles andadversity, the victims of the Buffalo Creek Disaster were not compensated enoughfor all they went through. Like how one of the victims mentioned that the moneystill couldnt get rid of the memory and nightmares. To be honest, I dontthink that there could have been any amount of monetary reward that could repaythe victims for what they lost and what they gained. I personally think thatjustice was not achieved for that matter.
Then again, if I were to comment onjustice being achieved in the legalistic sense, then yes. All of the proceedingswere 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 writtenby a lawyer. The way the Chapters were separated and titled as to give quickreference. Also the way the book was written in story form as to be appealing tothe reader.
Stern did an excellent job of recording the events surrounding thiscase and the information prevalent to it. The way he was very objective in hisdepictions of the moods and agendas behind the people involved, including hisown was very well done. Usually it is wise to be very skeptical towards thosewho write books involving themselves because of how they might distort the trutha little. In his book, Stern was convincing that he documented truth on theBuffalo Creek Disaster.I think like every other story, the mining company views it as somethingcompletely different. We are learning about this kind of stuff in SocialPsychology.
One such thing is Confirmation Bias, once someone has made anopinion about something they will ignore things that do not agree and look forthings that support them being right. I think this happened throughout the sideof the defendants, the mining company. I also think that this happened on theside of the plaintiffs as well, because they could have done more to ensuretheir survival. Since the victims did nothing to ensure their survival and themining company was wrong, they chose to ignore that fact.
Another thing that was impressed with was how captivating a book on a courtcase could be. I didnt think Id actually have the patience to read thewhole thing through, maybe skim it. I did however enjoy it, and plan to readmore books concerning court cases in the future for pleasure.History