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United States Circuit Judge Richard Sheppard Arnold of Little Rock, Ark., was honored as the 2004 recipient of the Morton A. Brody Distinguished Judicial Service Award on Tuesday, March 30, at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. Judge Sheppard is a U.S. Circuit Judge for the Eighth District.
“As Morton A. Brody was, you are a man of extraordinary integrity, compassion and humanity,” said Colby President William D. Adams at the convocation. “The esteem of your colleagues also is evident in their electing you to the executive committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States and to the chair of its budget committee. And those who have clerked for you consider you mentor, friend and exemplar.”
The Morton A. Brody Distinguished Judicial Service Award was established to recognize a federal or state judge who demonstrates the qualities of integrity, compassion, humanity and judicial excellence—all qualities exhibited by the Honorable Morton Brody, a U.S. District Court judge in Maine who passed away in March 2000. Brody, a long-time Waterville resident, had taught courses at Colby on the judicial system and was a friend of the college for many years.
Arnold was born in Texarkana, Texas, in 1936 and was raised in Arkansas. He attended undergraduate school at Yale and law school at Harvard, graduating first in his class from both schools. After law school, he clerked for Associate Justice William J. Brennan Jr. of the Supreme Court of the United States. Arnold practiced law for several years in Washington, D.C., and Texarkana and worked for Dale Bumpers when Bumpers was governor and a U.S. senator.
In 1978 President Jimmy Carter nominated Arnold to fill a vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas. In late 1979 President Carter nominated Arnold to fill a newly-created seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. The U.S. Senate confirmed Arnold in February 1980. From 1992 through 1998, he served as the Eighth Circuit’s Chief Judge. He took senior status in April 2001. Arnold also was the 1999 recipient of the prestigious Edward J. Devitt Distinguished Service to Justice Award.
The Brody Award selection committee is chaired by Brock Hornby, chief judge of the Federal District Court in Maine, and includes distinguished active and retired judges, lawyers, legal educators, representatives of the college and a member of the Brody family. A Web site for the award is located at www.colby.edu/brody.