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Letter from Daniel Meador to Ronald Sokol, Thursday, March 18, 1999

Commission on Structural Alternatives for the
Federal Courts of Appeals

Thurgood Marshall Federal Judiciary Building
One Columbus Circle, N. E.
Washington, D.C. 20544

Justice Byron R. White (Retired)
Supreme Court of the United States

Daniel J. Meador Executive Director

N. Lee Cooper, Esquire 202-208-5055 [telephone icon]
Vice Chair 202-208-5102 (fax)

Gilbert S. Merritt, Judge
U.S. Court of Appeals

Pamela Ann Rymer, Judge
U.S. Court of Appeals

William D. Browning, Judge
U.S. District Court
March 18, 1999
Mr. Ronald P. Sokol
Sokol Law Offices
14, rue Principale
13540 Puyricard

Dear Ron:

Thank you for your most interesting January letter. I am here in Washington for the last
time, as the Commission terminates tomorrow by force of statute. We submitted the Final Report
to Congress and the President in December. My intention was that a copy be sent to you. If you
have not received one and would like one, please let me know.

Unforgotten became available in bookstores in mid-February, and I have so far undertaken
a dozen book signings. Another half dozen are scheduled within the coming month. The publisher delayed in getting copies to me, but I dispatched one to you about a week ago. I am especially grateful for your reference to Kipling. This is the first use of the word “unforgotten” that I have ever encountered. A friend of mine in Charlottesville has located the word in the OED but without definition.

Armando del Greco reported that when he and his group were in Aix in October he
telephoned you a couple of times but got no answer. I am sorry the two of you missed.

I have seen Paul Michel fairly frequently over the years, as he sits on the Federal Circuit,
the creation of that court being one of the significant contributions that the Justice Department
made to the system in my time. I guess you know something of the unusual story of his marriage
to Elizabeth Morgan. Incidentally, I have not been regularly in Washington in connection with my Commission work and would not have been here when you were here. I have been commuting sporadically for two or three days at a time.

Your mention of a possible interest in getting into law teaching leaves me wondering how
serious such an interest is and whether you would really like to explore the possibilities. If you

[End of page 1]

are seriously interested, I would like to be helpful. However, I must say that I am a bit removed
from the scene these days. Since my retirement I have not attended the AALS meetings and lack
a feel for the faculty needs in various law schools. If there is some way in which you think I might be helpful in this connection, please let me know. In any case, I would be interested in knowing more about your inclinations in that direction.

As to the Golden Mean, it is, as we have previously discussed, an endless project without
much forward movement and no prospect of completion. At the moment, Mary Lee Stapp is in
London and says she will be talking to Neville. Neville is supposed to have been working on a
script, but I doubt that there is anything there.

As to Cambodia, I vaguely recall getting a report last fall on the project, but I regret to say
that I did not pay close attention to its details and do not know where it is now. I imagine you
could obtain a copy of any recent report by writing the project office in Washington. I have had
no dealings with the project since the time you were involved in it. At present I do not know of
any other project of the sort in which your talents could be engaged.

With the Commission work behind me and Unforgotten having been published, I am now
concentrating on finishing a combination history/memoir on the first state capital of Alabama,
which was the home of my mother’s family and is where I spent considerable time in my
childhood. The University of Alabama press has agreed to consider the manuscript for
publication. After this project is finished, I am not sure where I will go. Another novel is a

I appreciate the report on the progress of your sons. They seem to be doing very well
indeed. Also, thanks for the book references.

I hope that the next time you are in the States you will plan to visit Charlottesville. You
need to see the new law school building. It is a radical change and improvement from what you
saw the last time you were there. Jan and I would be happy to have you stay with us, so please
keep that in mind.


Daniel J. Meador

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