The court issued a third opinion in the Caperton case in November 2009.
"This corrupt court voted to overturn the Boone County decision," Leamer said. "Only one justice, Margaret Workman, dissented. She knew the decision was also hurting union miners, who lost their jobs and who lost their retirement."
The lawsuit against Massey, now owned by Alpha Natural Resources, is now before a circuit court in Buchanan County, in Southwestern Virginia, where Harman Mining was located.
The Virginia Supreme Court ordered the lower court to hold a trial in the case.
Leamer said it was another book that initially brought him to West Virginia.
"Forty years ago, I read Harry Caudill's 'Night Comes to the Cumberlands.' It made me want to come down here," Leamer said.
Published in 1964, Caudill's book focuses on poverty, economic inequality, coal mining and environmental problems in Central Appalachia, particularly in Eastern Kentucky.
"Shortly after I read the book, I came down here for several months. I worked as a coal miner in Eccles No. 6, a mine outside Beckley," Leamer said.
Leamer has now published 14 books, including three about the Kennedy family, and others about Nancy and Ronald Reagan, Johnny Carson and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
"The Price of Justice," his first book about coal mining, was published earlier this month.
"Seventeen top publishers rejected the book, saying it wouldn't sell because it was just about the coal industry and West Virginia," Leamer said. "I was lucky that Times Books was willing to give me a small advance to work on it."
Bruce Stanley, a Pittsburgh lawyer and a central figure in Leamer's book, also spoke at Taylor Books about his work on the ongoing case.
Born in Mingo County, Stanley has represented Caperton in his lawsuits against Massey.
"Don is from Mingo County, just like me," Stanley joked. "I believe that, as a society, we crave justice. But without all of us working for it, it will never happen.
"West Virginia is at a turning point today. Coal is waning. Natural gas production may be increasing," Stanley said. "It is a shame that this book ever had to be written."
Reach Paul J. Nyden at pjny...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5164.