Daniel Meador, who was the driving force in creating the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, died on February 9, at 86.

Meador was an assistant attorney general from 1977 to 1979 during the Carter administration. During his tenure, he ran the new Office for Improvements in the Administration of Justice, which developed the bill to create the Federal Circuit. The court has nationwide jurisdiction over international trade, government contracts, patents, trademarks, federal personnel, veterans’ benefits and a few other areas.

Meador was Professor of Law Emeritus at the University to Virginia School of Law. He was also the founding director of the school’s graduate program for judges, which he ran from 1980 to 1995.

Earlier in his career, he was dean of the University of Alabama Law School from 1966 to 1970.

Meador attended the Citadel and received a bachelor’s degree from Auburn University, a J.D. from the University of Alabama and a LL.M. from Harvard University.

During the Korean War, he was an officer in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps of the Army. In 1954 and 1955 he was law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black.

The Federal Circuit will forever remember Meador, said Chief Judge Randall Rader in an emailed statement: "As an Assistant Attorney General, his great insight and ability was indispensable to the process that created the Federal Circuit. He recognized that traditional appeal processes had led to disarray in intellectual property, trade, and other areas of federal law. His vision brought uniformity in these distressed areas of law."

Hal Wegner, a Foley & Lardner partner and Federal Circuit observer, said, "He really was the father of the Federal Circuit. [The bill to create it] didn’t pass while Carter was in office, but [Meador] laid the groundwork for that."

In an emailed statement, University of Virginia School of Law Dean Paul Mahoney said that Meador lived an extraordinarily full life: "He inspired generations of students and even in retirement his intellectual energy and commitment to improving the administration of justice did not fade."

Sheri Qualters can be contacted at squalters@alm.com.