- Roughly the first week of the clerkship, he asked me to be the clerk who would drive him around Pasadena when he was sitting in Southern California. I greeted him with pink mirrored sunglasses and drove like a bat out of hell. He always got our co-clerk Bob to drive him places after that.
- He had seminars with his clerks almost every week, where we'd bring in slip opinions and dissect them with him. Once a law professor, always a law professor.
- Even though he was a Nixon appointee and I was much more liberal than he, he always impressed me as being very willing to do whatever the law actually mandated (more so than some of the more liberal judges on the court, who were known for bending the law to suit their own purposes). In that sense, I always thought of him as a true conservative.
- Judge Sneed's wife, Madelon, was a delight--a painter of some skill, she managed to make their home's dining room follow the shading of the San Francisco sun (what there was of it) with the colors that she used to decorate it.
- We did a workload study during my clerkship year to figure out where the logjams were. They most certainly weren't in his chambers. He was an efficient writer and a tireless worker. He also didn't take most federal holidays off, so we didn't, either.
- David Goodwin, another former Sneed clerk, and I had the pleasure of taking Judge Sneed's oral history for the Ninth Circuit's Historical Society. It's fair to say that Judge Sneed was Zelig-like in the ways in which he was at the center of some big issues in the 60s and 70s.
- I'm still close friends with one of the Judge's secretaries--one of the luckiest things to come out of the clerkship has been getting to know Carol Brown. I've also managed to stay in touch, intermittently, with two of his externs.
- He only spoke rarely about his daughter Carly. And she never answered my letters later on, when I was dean, asking her whether she'd speak at the law school. I would have liked to have met her, though.
- One of my theories about judges is that they are among the most silent of movers. Judge Sneed could move through the chambers almost as quietly as a sniper, which made for some fun with one of our co-clerks, who got a bit twitchy.
Judge Sneed contributed a great deal to legal education and to the law generally. I'll miss him.