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Letter from Ronald Sokol to Daniel Meador, Tuesday, January 14, 1997

Sokol Law Offices
14, rue Principale
13540 Puyricard

Professor Daniel J. Meador
James Monroe Professor of Law
University of Virginia
School of Law
Charlottesville, Virginia 22903-1789

Tuesday 14 January 1997

Dear Dan,

I have yours of December 18th which I am answering in record time.

Because my eldest son, who is an investment banker in London, has access to extensive
data bases, I asked him to run a check on Neville Clarke. All that turned up was a
confirmation of his address, a record of three county court judgments issued against him
and two articles, one dating from 1984 and one from 1982. The 1982 article mentions a
Neville Clarke who heads the European Broadcasting Union’s operating group and the
1984 article mentions a Neville Clarke from Britain’s Independent Broadcasting
Authority. He is not listed in any biographical directories nor in any media directories. The
fact that there has been nothing in the press about him since 1984 and that he is not listed
in the media directories suggests that his career may have ended. When I next get to
London in early February, I shall see if I can get any more information.

I think the Golden Mean Project is a wonderful idea and am glad that Mary Lee thinks I
am a useful addition, but I have seen nothing to make me very optimistic that this project
is actually going to happen. Its finances as well as what, if anything, is tangibly being done
are a mystery. The lunches in Piccadilly at Fortnum & Mason’s in London with Mary Lee,
Neville Clark, and a few other people are pleasant enough. From what I have seen of the
project to date, which will be one year in March, it seems terribly amorphous. There
doesn’t seem to be any hard information about it or any concrete plans, although at our
last meeting in September there seemed to be a decision to produce a short video. If that
actually happens, then my opinion will change.

Tuesday 14 January 1997

[end of page 1]

Another potential source of financing that recently occurred to me is the George Soros’
Foundation. Soros recently stated that one of his priorities is rule-of-law projects. I have
not yet mentioned this to Mary Lee so if you talk to her, please pass it on.

I finished writing an article in early December on freedom of expression in France with a
subtheme of comparative litigation. The article deals with the case of a book published
about President Mitterand a few weeks after his death written by his former physician. The
surviving family attempted to suppress publication, and the French courts thus far have
ruled in the family’s favor. I sent the article to the Virginia International Law Journal
which had expressed prior interest. I am now waiting to hear what they think of it. I think
it may be the best thing I have written in a while.

I am presently partly bored with my practice. I am not certain whether it is the practice
itself or just the fact that I have been doing it for so long. I am not bored with the law
which still fascinates me, but I would not be averse to taking on some interesting project.
As I try to conjure up what such a project might look like, I am not easily able to imagine
it. I have some constraints in that I don’t want to put Junko in a spot where she will be
unhappy and I don’t want to be too far removed from my children who are in England. I
think that probably rules out places like Cambodia but not necessarily the United States.
Incidentally, I have been getting some clandestine reports from Cambodia which seem to
confirm almost all of the predictions I made in my Confidential Report. I wrote Laura
McGrew last summer to ask her what was happening, but she did not reply.

I appreciated your sending me the obit last August. Richard’s death was certainly
unexpected. I have heard nothing about who may replace him as the guiding spirit of the

I continue to be amazed at all the activities you have underway, and I look forward to
your new novel when it sees the light of day. It is strange how neglected the Korean War
seems today and how important it was then. It is surely due for a revival. I would be
curious to know more about the Korean War conference you mention.

Our son Daniel, now 18, is a good student and was hence offered an interview at Oxford.
I thus accompanied him with great joy to Trinity College in early December and then left
him there for a few days. He had two short interviews of about a half hour each, but he
unfortunately did not get an offer. He must now await and take the remainder of his A
levels in June. He’ll have the results in mid-August, and if his results are good enough, he
may try again. If not, he’ll have to try somewhere else. Unfortunately, he was so confident
of getting into Oxford that he neglected to make a second choice of universities so that if
he does not find a place at the last moment, he will have a free year or what the British
refer to as a “gap year”.

Tuesday 14 January 1997

[end of page 2]

In that case, he may do a year in an American university, and I in fact recently wrote off to
Dartmouth as they offer a course on boxing in 20th century American literature and cinema
that I dangled in front of him as bait. He nibbled and allowed me to write off for him. He is
quite an unusual young man. I don’t know whether it’s because he’s named after you or
not, but he combines a number of interests which are not usually found juxtaposed, such
as boxing and classical music. He’s impulsive, given to enthusiasms and has a quick sense
of humor. In fact, I find myself curious as to what he is going to end up doing. I nudge
him occasionally in the direction of the law, but as he does not take too kindly to nudging,
I don’t often do it as I don’t want it to be counterproductive, but I suspect he would make
a rather witty barrister.

Junko joins me in sending you and Jan our very warmest wishes for 1997.

Sincerely yours,

[handwritten signature]

Ronald P. Sokol

Tuesday 14 January 1997

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