Skip to main content

Professors have ties to new film about mountaintop removal

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA – Two West Virginia University College of Law professors have connections to “Moving Mountains,” a new independent film about the impact of mountaintop removal coal mining. 

The film is based on the true story of Patricia Bragg, who struggled in the 1990s to save her small town of Pie, West Virginia, from the ecological impacts of mountaintop removal, including the filling of valleys and streams with earth and broken rock. 

Patrick McGinley, the Charles H. Haden II Professor of Law, and Suzanne Weise, visiting associate professor of law, were both counsel for the plaintiffs in the groundbreaking legal case that stemmed from Bragg’s efforts, Bragg v. Roberston. It was the first successful lawsuit to temporarily stop mountaintop removal mining. McGinley plays himself in “Moving Mountains.” 

Filmed with assistance from the West Virginia Film Industry Investment Act, “Moving Mountains” recently premiered at the Capitol Center Theater in Charleston, West Virginia. It stars Theresa Russell, who has appeared in nearly 50 films, and West Virginia actors Michael Meredith, Greg Harpold, and Scott Carpenter. 

The film was directed by Jeanie M. Clark and written by investigative reporter Penny Loeb, author of “Moving Mountains: How One Woman and Her Community Won Justice from Big Coal” (University of Kentucky Press, 2007).

For more information on “Moving Mountains,” visit

moving mountains



WVU LAW Facebook WVU LAW Twitter WVU LAW Instagram WVU LAW LinkedIn WVU LAW Youtube Channel