The Memorandum: A True Story of Justice Forged from Fire
Robert W. Kelley
Sutton Hart Press (2019)
Reviewed by Jen Oliver-Rigsby for Reader Views (4/2021)
“The Memorandum” features the legal side of one of the legal battles General Motors (GM) faced for one of the tragic events that happened with some of their vehicles. It starts off with showing what happened to the Murphy family and ends with the conclusion of their lawsuit against General Motors. In between, it shows what lawyer Robert W. Kelley faced, both in his personal life and in the legal system. A truly tragic story ending with some justice.
“The Memorandum” isn’t all legal garble where readers would not be able to understand it all. It is told in an everyday tone where most readers are able to understand the important legal parts of the trial. Kelley shows the impact that this trial had on him and his legal team. Kelley seems to be down to earth and recognizes the importance of his legal team for uncovering some major details that GM tried to hide. I appreciate how Kelley kept the story real and showed the lengths some big corporations will go to hide the truth or try to keep the little people down. He explained it matter-of-factly, without making the reader feel like GM is a hateful company and no one should ever buy one of their cars again.
The legal battle was a long one but the book didn’t feel like it was forever like I imagine it felt for him and the Murphy family. The perseverance of Kelley and the Murphy’s to show what GM knew was more important than the actual result of the trial, even though the $90 million payout was appreciated by all, including the future recipients of the many scholarships that were and are offered.
Overall, “The Memorandum” by Robert W. Kelley is a decent look at a particular legal lawsuit by a small family against a huge corporation and what determination can look like. It is a well-written, easy to understand true story about a long legal battle.