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Letter from Daniel Meador to Ronald Sokol, Friday, October 17, 2008

October 17, 2008

Dear Ron,

Thank you for your letter. Jan had a long and debilitating
ordeal. For the past couple of years she had been unable to talk or
walk, and it is doubtful that she recognized anyone. So, under those
circumstances I think her passing has to be considered a blessing
for her. Still, after 52 years it is not easy to say good-bye.

I have found that an event like this causes one to reflect over
years of associations and experiences. One of my happy memories
connected with Jan is the overnight visit we had with you and Junko
on the eve of our departure on our trip up the Rhone with the
Monticello group. That was one of our best trips, and our time with
you kicked it off in good style.

At present I am not yet underway on another novel. When and
whether I will get back to such writing is not clear. Several other
projects have been occupying my time. One involves the Cornell
Law Review. It is soon to publish an article by Paul Carrington and
Roger Cramton proposing that Congress create a “certiorari
division” in the Supreme Court, consisting of 13 U. S. Circuit
Judges. That division would review all certiorari petitions, grant
about 120 annually, and deny all others. Those 120 cases would
constitute the Supreme Court’s mandatory docket. It would require
too much space here to explain their reasons for this proposal.
Suffice it to say, the Law Review has asked me and others to write
a response. I have now completed that assignment. When it is
published I will send you a copy. On November 6 we all gather in
Ithaca for a round-table discussion of the idea.

The University of Alabama Press is considering reprinting the
first volume of Alabama Reports, as part of a project to reprint two
other books that were the first law books treating Alabama law just
after statehood. I have accepted an invitation to write an
introduction. I have been into this for several weeks. It involves an
interesting excursion back into the process of creating a new state
government, including the designing of a judicial system, and the
launching of a new court of last resort.

My other endeavor involves the creation of a new non-profit
foundation whose purpose is to secure private financial support for
the historical park at the site of Alabama’s first state capital. The
place is now deserted. It is more than a ghost town; there is no
town at all. My great grandfather and grand father took it over after
the Civil War and made it the base for a substantial agricultural
empire. All that went down the drain in the Great Depression. But I
spent much time there in my childhood, so I have a personal interest
in the project, in seeing the place preserved and developed as an
historical site, especially with archeological explorations, which
hold rich possibilities. This is taking a good deal of my time, but it is
fascinating for me.

For some time I have been an Honorary Fellow of the
American Academy of Appellate Lawyers and have worked with the
organization in a variety of ways. Much to my surprise, I was
recently made the first recipient of a new award which it has just
established. Last month I went out to its meeting in Portland,
Oregon, to receive it. Enclosed is information about the award and
the piece published about me in its newsletter. Also enclosed are
my remarks in response.

This pretty much brings me up to date on myself. I am
wondering what you are mainly up to these days. I gather you are
still going strong in the law practice and that you are in good health.
I am blessed with excellent health. The medical folks have not been
able so far to find anything wrong with me. Do keep in touch.

Sincerely,

[handwritten signature]

RECU 15 FEV. 2011

580 Massie Road

Charlottesville, Virginia 22903-1789

434-924-3947

djm6f@virginia.edu

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