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Letter from Daniel Meador to Ronald Sokol, Tuesday, July 29, 1975

University of Virginia (804)
Charlottesville-Virginia-22901 924-3853
School of Law: Tel. 924-0311:
Meador: 296-9909 July 29, 1975
(617) 487-9500

Mr.Ronald P. Sokol
13540 Puyrichard
Aix-en-Provence
France

Dear Ron:

Justice After Darwin [underline] is indeed a pleasant surprise. I
recall that you had been brooding about these matters for some
years. Yet I did not know that you were near the point of
casting your thoughts into print. Congratulations. There was
obviously a huge amount of hard thought embodied in these pages.
I must say I am flattered by your reference to me in your acknow-
ledgments. It is nice to have one’s name traveling in such
cosmopolitan company.

I have “read” about three-quarters of the book. I say
“read” because in fact the book thus far has been read to me
by my 15 year-old daughter. At the very end of April I was
unexpectedly plunged into the hospital here for an operation on
a tear in the retina of my left eye. I was in the hospital for
16 days and then spent 5 or 6 weeks at home recuperating.
Regrettably, I did not get back to the Law School for the
remainder of the academic year. Then just as I was about back
to normal, the retina in the left eye completely detached,
depriving me of any useful frontal vision. After trips to
Baltimore and Boston for further examinations, it was finally
decided that another operation would not be useful. Thus,
finally, the case was closed. Functioning on one eye is a
nuisance, but not a serious handicap. In any event, I am back
in business fully now, and I intend to finish your book on my
own. The point in giving you all this medical history is to
let you know why I have not written earlier. I do appreciate
your thoughtfulness in sending me a copy.

On the book itself, I have especially enjoyed thus far
your analysis of Antigone’s problem. It is one of the most
interesting discussions of that that I can recall encountering.

Mr. Ronald P. Sokol
Page Two
July 29, 1975

R E Ç U l e
2 AOUT 1975
R é p : ……………………

I hope to complete my reading in the near future and will try
to pass on further observations.

Much to my regret, I’m way behind in communicating with
you. A great deal has gone on in these last two or three years.
I have been heavily involved in projects concerning appellate
courts. These culminated in a National Conference of Appellate
Justice last January. At the moment I am working with
Professors Maurice Rosenberg and Paul Carrington on a book
that is supposed to pull together all of the contemporary ideas
(and perhaps some new ones) for the reform of appellate courts
in this country.

A leaflet on my Black book is enclosed. You may have
seen notice of this somewhere. I wanted very much to be able
to send a copy to you, but the University Press provided me
with a bare handful of copies, pleading extraordinary economic
stringencies. The book has had several favorable reviews.

For the second semester of this coming academic year I
will be on leave of absence. My thoughts are turning in the
direction of attempting to analyze the kinds of minds and
personalities that we need and desire in an American judge.
This may be where I concentrate my attention during my leave.
I am thinking also of weaving in some comparative material, to
show the similarities and dissimilarities of English judges and
Continental judges as compared to American judges. I find
surprisingly little literature in depth on this whole matter.
Most of the writing about judges in this country concerns the
mechanics of selection; I am not particularly interested in
that, except insofar as it bears on the kinds of intellects and
personalities we can bring on the bench.

I hope all is generally going well with you. When you
have a convenient moment drop me a line. Many thanks again for
your delightful book.

Sincerely,

Dan [signed]

Daniel J. Meador
Professor of Law

DJM:gk

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