I took Judge Richard S. Arnold's death rather badly, even though I
never met the man; and indeed, I didn't even know him by proxy. The
death of someone like him makes me bitter. With so many scoundrels
living, why does someone like him have to die?
I miss him because his opinions, even if reaching a disagreeable outcome, were works of legal art. When reading his opinions, one always saw a judge truly trying to reason from premises to conclusion, rather than the modern method - find a conclusion and make your analysis match that conclusion just well enough that that you won't get reversed. Reading one of his opinions is like looking at the Statue of David: "Is there anyone alive who could create this?"
At the 2004 Annual Meeting of Scribes: The American Society of Writers on Legal Subjects, Judge Arnold's brother, Morris S. Arnold, had this to say:
First, his opinions are frequently conversational because they are consciously free of jargon and legal affectation. Much of what he writes is meant to be read out loud; my brother speaks directly to the reader, especially to the losing party, to explain his thinking.
I think this trait owes much to his classical training. It is reason, not authority, that matters to him. And this is why his opinions typically have so few citations and so few footnotes. Multiple citations are not just useless, but raise a suspicion that the writer really doesn’t know what he or she is talking about. Even when writing about technical cases, good writers like my brother will not allow details or dreary acronyms to overwhelm an explanation or to discourage the reader.
You can read the rest of the moving remarks here.