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Letter from Ronald Sokol to Daniel Meador, Wednesday, March 13, 1996


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

Wednesday, 13 March, 1996

Dear Dan,

Yours of the 5th crossed the Confidential Report that I sent to Gay McDougall with a
copy to you. That report should give you some idea of my visit. I immensely enjoyed the
experience and am grateful to you for getting me involved. I can add a few words here
that I did not want to put into the report. As I said in the report, Gene Murret seems to be
a very nice man, and I liked him personally, but he is clearly the wrong man for the job. He
may, and probably does, have organizational skills, but he has no leadership skills, and the
position calls for someone who can give direction and leadership to the on-site team. The
Cambodian office was utterly directionless. I also got the clear impression from Gene that
he had taken the job because he was retired from his court position in the States and felt,
quite understandably, that he is too young to pass his time in a hammock. He did not seem
to have any particular interest in Cambodia. He had originally gone to Phnom Penh as
Assistant Director under Judge Pierce. He told me that he was hired after a two minute
interview. When Judge Pierce left for health reasons, he fell into the director’s job by
default. I had the impression that he knew himself that he was not the man for the job, but
human nature being what it is, he took it and inertia and lack of something better to do has
carried him on.

I met Christie Warren only briefly as she left shortly after my arrival to return to the
States, but the input from everyone I spoke to is that she is a major problem. Not only was
she not fulfilling her role as head of curriculum, but she had personality conflicts with
apparently just about everyone. The Group held monthly meetings at which Gene did not
preside but let her preside, and the meetings were apparently badly run and ended up in
shouting matches, were highly contentious, and unproductive. There were also several
grievious errors in hiring personnel who were sent to Cambodia and there appeared to be
no liaison between the hiring done in Washington and the Director in Phnom Penh.

Wednesday, 13 March, 1996

Téléphone : Mailing adress 14, rue Principale – B.P. 3 Fax :
Adresse postale 13540 Puyricard – France

[end of page 1]


As I thought about the situation it appeared to me that the real responsibility lay with Gay
McDougall who either was (a) incompetent or (b) lacked information about the real
situation in Cambodia or (c) was not interested. After speaking to those who knew her, I
eliminated (a) and (b) and concluded that the true explanation is that she is not interested
in the project. This is a counterintuitive conclusion in light of the fact that it is by far
the biggest project the Group has going. But support for this conclusion came from the
information I was given that the Cambodian project was started by her predecessor, and
that her area of interest is Africa. Further support can be gleaned from the fact that she has
not been to Cambodia since August, 1995 and that may have been the only time.

I found the project inherently a very interesting one and, I think, worthwhile. I shall be
glad to be of whatever further help I can, subject to the inevitable proviso that the
demands on my time are not too great.

I think the “Civilization” project that you have underway is a wonderful idea, and I shall be
delighted to be a part of it, if you think I can be useful. I had a very nice conversation with
Mary Lee Stapp this morning and enclose a copy of my letter to her.

I write in some haste as I am off tomorrow morning to Paris to argue a case on Friday.

Sincerely yours,

[handwritten signature]

Ronald P. Sokol

Wednesday, 13 March, 1996

Téléphone : Mailing adress 14, rue Principale – B.P. 3 Fax :
Adresse postale 13540 Puyricard – France

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