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Letter from Daniel Meador to Ronald Sokol, Tuesday, November 27, 1990

November 27, 1990

Mr. Ronald P. Sokol
Avocat Américain Conseil Juridique

Dear Ron:

In catching up on my back reading, I have just now had a chance to read your piece on
the law-making process in France. I have read it with much interest and pleasure. I gather that
what you have there is delegation of the legislative authority that makes the American-style
delegation pale by contrast. It was an illuminating account for me, as I had no idea about this
aspect of the process.

I was disappointed to have had no word from you while you were—I assume—at Lake Lure
this summer. One of these summers you should plan to include a side run to Charlottesville.

For a long while I have had an idea for a small book describing American courts,
primarily for foreigners but also perhaps for beginning American law students. I have now about
completed a manuscript to that end, and West Publishing Company has agreed to publish it.
I am anticipating winding up the manuscript in January, and the book should appear in print two
to four months thereafter. For your information, I am enclosing a copy of the table of contents.
I anticipate a work of something under 100 pages, published with soft cover so as to be easily
portable. When the book is off the press, I will send you a copy.

One of the major projects on which I am engaged at present is to design a new course
to be offered here in the spring of 1992, entitled “Appellate Courts.” The material I am putting
together for that course will, I hope, also provide the basis for a casebook that can be published
after I have taught the course once or twice. Maurice Rosenberg of Columbia and
Paul Carrington of Duke are collaborating with me in the venture, although I seem to be
carrying the laboring oar, at least for the present. The course will certainly fill a void that has
developed increasingly in American legal education. Much of the material to be covered has
never been covered in any course. What little has been done about appellate courts and
appellate jurisdiction and process in courses such as Civil Procedure and Federal Courts has now
dropped by the way under the pressures of time.

[end of page 1]

Mr. Ronald P. Sokol
November 27, 1990
Page Two

Another project on which I am now at work is the collecting and editing of the papers—
published and unpublished—of Hardy Dillard. The objective is to assemble a one-volume work
that we hope will be published by the University Press of Virginia. Much of the screening of the
material has been completed, and I hope that all of this can be brought to fruition sometime
in 1991.

You may recall meeting Louisa Dixon at your office there. She tells me that she also
talked with you on the telephone this past summer. She is now working in this office full-time,
having assumed the position that is known as the “administrative assistant/secretary” for the
Graduate Program for Judges. It was indeed a happy circumstance that she returned to this
country from France just as I was looking for a person to fill this position.

I hope that all is going well with you and your family. Keep me posted from time to time.
With best wishes,


Daniel J. Meador

[end of page 2]

Draft November 1990

Table of Contents


1. Introductory Overview

2. The State Courts
Trial Courts
Intermediate Appellate Courts
Courts of Last Resort
The Business of the State Courts

3. The Federal Courts
District Courts
Courts of Appeals
Supreme Court
Other Federal Courts
The Business of the Federal Courts
Federal and State Courts Compared

4. Complicating Circumstances
Multiple Jurisdictions: State-Federal and Multi-State
Coexisting State and Federal Trial Courts
Complex Litigation

5. Dramatis Personae
Law Clerks and Central Staff Attorneys
Other Judicial Adjuncts
Administrative and Clerical Staffs

6. Trends and Directions

A. Illustrative State Judicial Structures
B. Courts of the Fifty States
C. The Federal Courts
D. Suggested Readings and Sources

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