Alaska writer and lawyer Pamela Cravez this year published “The Biggest Damned Hat,” a colorful judicial history of the Last Frontier. She interviewed more than 50 lawyers who arrived in the state and practiced law before statehood in 1959. From stealing mining claims in Nome to deciding the fate of the Alaska Bar Association, Cravez’s research and interviews paint a vivid picture of a time when the power of personality and persuasion far out-weighed the need to know and argue the law.
Outsiders may think of the law as a staid profession, one in which the rules have been around for a long time and everyone dutifully followed them. If you enjoy the belief that Alaska is different than anyplace else in the Lower 48, tales in this book reinforce a sense of vigorous independence and considerable wile, and an abundance of talent among Alaska’s earliest lawyers and judges.
Here’s what reviewers have said:
Join us on Justice Alaska as author Pamela Cravez tells us how she assembled the history and documented it in her new book. Your questions are always welcome throughout the show, so if you have memories of some Alaska’s first legal officers and personalities, please dial in and share them.
HOST: Senior Judge Elaine Andrews and Kathleen McCoy
- Pamela Cravez, lawyer and author, “The Biggest Damned Hat”
- Listeners and callers
- Alaska’s rough-hewn pioneer judges, lawyers, ADN, 4.30.17
- Legal history of Alaska’s early trials makes a fascinating tale, Fairbanks Daily News Miner, 7.29.17
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