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Letter from Daniel Meador to Ronald Sokol, Wednesday, June 6, 2007

June 6, 2007

Dear Ron,

Recently I attended a program in Staunton and encountered Doug Woodworth.
Naturally, we chatted about you, and that has prompted me finally to implement a longstanding
intention to write. It has been so long since we have been in commutation [sic] that I
do not know where we left off and do not know where to begin. Rather than attempting
to be comprehensive, I will give you a few highlights of my recent activities and my
current situation.

My routine is to come to my office in the Law School four days every week. I
occupy myself with correspondence, reading articles in various newsletters and
periodicals, and writing in a variety of ways. I am completing another novel. Pelican,
which published my first two, announced that it no longer publishes fiction. This has put
me back to square one in the frustrating effort to find a publisher. I have written several
articles for bar publications, but nothing heavily footnoted.

An interesting program took place this past April 2nd when the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the Federal Circuit held a special en banc session to mark the 25th
anniversary of its creation. I was invited to make some remarks, and I enclose a copy.
Another interesting experience I had a year ago was to deliver the remarks at the annual
ceremony in the Monticello Cemetery on the occasion of Jefferson’s birthday. A copy is
enclosed. Also enclosed is a piece I have just done on the unseemly mess concerning the
Attorney General. This has not been delivered or published anywhere.

Last fall LexusNexis [sic] brought out a second edition of the casebook I co-edited
entitled Appellate Courts: Structures, Functions, Processes, and Personnel, along with a
huge teacher’s manual. In the fall of 2005, I helped plan and participated in a National
Conference on Appellate Justice, marking the 30th anniversary of the first such
conference on appellate justice, in which I also participated. Of the 33 members of the
group producing that conference, eight survive and six were at this conference.

Doug tells me that you are continuing to do some writing of various sorts. If you
have anything that you think might be of special interest to me, I would be happy to have
a copy. I have long thought that you should write a piece for the Law School alumni
magazine on your experiences over the years with law practice in France. I think this
would be of considerable interest to our alumni. If you would like, I can pave the way for
such an article by talking with Cullen Couch, the editor.

I do not recall now weather [sic] I have told you that in 2000 Jan and I moved from our
house of 30 years to a cottage at Westminster- Canterbury, a so called retirement
community on the east side of Charlottesville, on Pantops Mountain. Many years ago she
had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, but it began to progress only after we
moved. Unfortunately, she is one [of] about 30% of Parkinson’s patients who develop a
variety of dementia. Four years ago, it became evident that I could no longer care for her
in our cottage, so she moved up to an assisted living unit a couple of hundred yards away.
So I have been living alone for quite a while. She can still walk with difficulty if
supported on each side, but she no longer talks and cannot feed herself. I visit her daily
and eat one meal with her.

As for Law School news, Graham Lilly and Dick Merrill are retiring. They were
lionized at the recent Law Alumni Weekend and at the end-of-year faculty dinner. Al
Turnbull and Walter Wadlington retired a year ago. The clock is moving, and there will
soon come a time when there will be no one on the faculty with whom I served.

I hope things are going well with you. When you can find time, I would like very
much to be brought up on your activities. You should plan to come back for your next
class reunion.


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