Academic journal article Journal of Appellate Practice and Process

Judge, Scholar, and Friend. (Foreword)

Academic journal article Journal of Appellate Practice and Process

Judge, Scholar, and Friend. (Foreword)

Article excerpt

The work of an appellate judge is subject to a scrutiny perhaps more careful and thoughtful than is the work of any other professional. In an adversarial system, no judgment, no decision, no written explanation is ever beyond reevaluation. The work of appellate judges is always subject to critique, and it will long survive them. But the opinions of some appellate judges, like those of Senior Judge Richard Sheppard Arnold of the Eighth Circuit, will likely wear particularly well over time.

In late June of this year, the Eighth Circuit met en banc at the federal courthouse in Little Rock to accept two portraits of Judge Arnold, one destined for the Thomas F. Eagleton Courthouse in St. Louis, the other to remain in Little Rock. The occasion was at the same time solemn and joyful.

In the courtroom on that day were Judge Arnold's colleagues on the federal and state courts, a large group of his former law clerks, outstanding lawyers from Little Rock and the state of Arkansas, political and public figures, and devoted friends. In truth, the entire courtroom was filled with the Judge's friends, and the depth of genuine emotion--the kind in which respect and love are intertwined--filled the hour with a deep honor for the man and his work.

The speakers were themselves accomplished in the law: Chief Judge David R. Hansen praised Judge Arnold's work on the Court of Appeals; District Judge George Howard, Jr., noted Judge Arnold's lifelong commitment to civil rights; former United States Senator Dale Bumpers recounted his long relationship with the Judge, pointing out that he had nominated many of the federal judges present and voted to confirm all of them; Philip S. Anderson, a former president of the American Bar Association, spoke about his long personal and professional friendship with Judge Arnold; and Price Marshall spoke eloquently of the Judge's warm and mentoring relationship with his clerks. In his response, Judge Arnold, clearly touched by the outpouring of praise, maintained the quiet dignity that has ensured his place as an esteemed jurist trusted and revered by the lawyers who appear before him. …

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