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Letter from Daniel Meador to Ronald Sokol, Monday, August 1, 1994

August 1, 1994

Mr. Ronald P. Sokol
Sokol Law Offices
Avenue de la Rostolane
13540 Puyricard

Dear Ron:

Your letter of this past March was much appreciated. As usual I have procrastinated in
responding, with the usual array of excuses. Now that I am nearing the end of our six-week
stretch with the judges here, I find a bit more time.

In May I crossed that never-imagined line of “retirement.” In April there began what I
came to think of as “the long goodbye.” The President of the University gave a formal dinner for
all retirees at Carr’s Hill, my children gave a party for me, and the entire law faculty assembled
for a luncheon to mark the occasion in May. I do not know whether I am unusual in this respect,
but I find that my mind has difficulty comprehending the passage of time. I cannot quite
assimilate the fact that next month it will have been 37 years since I walked into a law school
classroom in Clark Hall to begin trying to teach Civil Procedure. But the calendar does not lie,
and the clock is surely moving.

Although I am officially retired, I have not yet noticed the difference and will not notice
it much for quite a while. I am continuing as Director of the Graduate Program for Judges through next May, to get the current class graduated, and I will teach my course on Appellate Courts in the next spring semester. We now have something we did not have until recently, namely, an option by the Dean and faculty to invite a retired faculty member to teach from time to time.  Being retired here now is something like a federal judge’s taking senior status, in that he can continue to sit as it may please the court and himself. The one major difference, of course, is that I do not continue on the same salary that I was drawing. So for the next year the major difference in being retired is that I will not be teaching during the fall semester, and I do not attend official faculty meetings or serve on any faculty committees. I do, however, have one university committee assignment.

It is just as well that I am not teaching during the fall because the publisher of my novel
is planning a rather ambitious booksigning tour. Yes, the long suffering novel is about to hit the
streets, beginning with a booksigning event this coming Saturday in New Orleans during the annual meeting of the American Bar Association. That will be followed up immediately by signings in Mobile, Montgomery, and Birmingham. Then I will return to Charlottesville where the opening blast here will be a booksigning event at the new Barnes and Noble bookstore in the Barracks Road Shopping Center, with another in Richmond immediately thereafter. Then in about mid September I will launch on a

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Mr. Ronald P. Sokol
August 1, 1994
Page 2

three to four-week road trip down through the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky,
and Indiana, ending up in Chicago. After that there may be other booksignings in different parts
of the country. How all of these will work out and what they will produce remains to be seen.
I am told by those experienced in this business that booksignings are very uncertain. To say the
least, it will be a novel experience (excuse the pun) for me. I am finding that I am learning a great deal about the book publishing and book marketing business. To me the great satisfaction in all of this was the writing of the book and in seeing it published. Although I am not interested in making money out of it, I do hope that the publisher does not lose money on the venture.

Recently I delivered the completed manuscript on an Appellate Courts casebook to Michie.
It will be published in December and thus I will have a book for the first time next spring semester instead of photocopied material. I hope that the existence of this book may induce law schools across the country to introduce the subject into the curriculum. There is now a complete void in nearly all American law schools. My manuscript on the Dillard Papers has hit a snag with the University Press here. There is a new director, a woman from John Hopkins Press, who knows nothing about the University of Virginia or Hardy Dillard. She has her own rather rigid notions about what the press should publish, and this does not seem to fit into it. Although she is balking at the moment, I have by no means taken no for an answer, and I am pursuing the matter
diligently. I may lose but it will not be without a serious struggle. It would be rather
embarrassing to have to go elsewhere to get the Dillard Papers published. In any event, the
manuscript is now finished and ready for publication.

I was quite interested to get all of the news of you and your family. You have an
impressive quartet of sons. I am especially glad to see that my namesake is so promising a lad.
As you may recall, when Jan and I lived in Southhampton we were just a short way south of
Winchester. Numerous times we visited there and strolled through Winchester College. In fact,
in my dining room today there hangs a large brass rubbing done by Jan in the Winchester College Chapel. I hope that the school has turned out to be a good experience for your son; it certainly carries a strong academic reputation in England.

The securing of a “pad” in London is something to be envied. I have some friends here
who have a similar arrangement there, and they seem to pop over a couple of times a year. When
I was in London in 1985 for the ABA meeting I looked up Lynn Mostyn in the telephone book
but found no entry. I concluded then that he must have retired and moved away. I am pleased
to learn of his whereabouts, although I regret to hear of his physical condition. The apartment and the Savile Club arrangement should make it quite easy and pleasant for you to rotate back and forth between London and the South of France.

[end of page 2]

Mr. Ronald P. Sokol
August 1, 1994
Page 3

It is good to hear that you are at last a fully qualified advocate in the French legal system.
I can imagine that it must have been a bit frustrating not to be able to do all of the things that one
thinks a fully qualified lawyer should be able to do. I will look up your case in the 7th Circuit,
although I have not yet gotten to it. I had hoped to have more time this summer to catch up on
miscellaneous matters, but I find that much of my time has been soaked up not only with judges
but with preparing a paper on the inherent authority of trial courts to manage civil litigation. It
is a paper to be presented at a National Conference on Mass Torts in November.

Aside from booksignings and three conferences in the fall, teaching the course on Appellate
Courts in the spring, and in getting the judges graduated next May, I am launching into my next
novel. This one will be set in the Korean War, a 20th century episode that I think is much
neglected and one that has far more significance than has yet been realized. Recent events in
North Korea underscore my point, but there is much more to it than that.

All is well with us here as well as with my three children. Our son Dan graduated from
the Law School in 1992 and is practicing here with the Charlottesville office of the Richmond law firm of McGuire, Woods, Battle & Boothe. Our daughter Barrie is married to a lawyer in Atlanta and she herself is the manager for a medium-size law firm. Our daughter Anna is married and lives in Dallas with her husband who is in the computer business; she is the recruiting coordinator for a law firm. Each of the three children has a child, the oldest being only 2 years and two months old.

For years Jan and I have said that we would like to visit you in Aix-en-Provence. Now
that I am retired, perhaps the time will come when that can be arranged, if it should be agreeable
from your end. However, I do not see any prospect of such for a good many months to come,
given all of my other commitments.

Thank you again for your letter. Do write again and keep me posted.


Daniel J. Meador

P.S. I do hope that you will follow up on your urgings to do some writing. I am confident that
you have much of value to say on a variety of matters.

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