The Price of Justice: A True Story of Two Lawyers' Epic Battle against Corruption and Greed in Coal Country

Times Books. May 2013. 448p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780805094718. $28. LAW
Leamer (Madness Under the Royal Palms: Love and Death Behind the Gates of Palm Beach) tells the true story of the legal clashes between coal baron Donald Blankenship, the head of Massey Energy, and attorneys Dave Fawcett and Bruce Stanley. In a drama that went all the way to the United States Supreme Court, Fawcett and Stanley sought reparations for a mine owner who was intentionally forced into bankruptcy by Blankenship. He tells the complex legal story well, making sense of the procedural machinations and crafting a compelling narrative that rivals good courtroom fiction. The author skillfully profiles his principles, documenting Blankenship's propensity for personal vendetta and his disregard for environmental considerations, an impartial judiciary, and mine safety. Fawcett and Stanley make a fascinating duo with marked personality differences but a single, determined goal of seeing justice served. There are extensive notes, a good bibliography, and a helpful list identifying the people who appear in the book.
VERDICT This archetypal tale of might versus right is all the more riveting for being true. Readers in the legal profession and admirers of courtroom stories, whether fiction or nonfiction, will appreciate this book.
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