In the course of my work as a legal affairs journalist, I got to know many judges. But none came close to matching Alfred Delucchi in compassion, integrity, fairness, intelligence or humor. Delucchi rose from humble roots as the son of an Oakland, California garbage collector, and perhaps it was his working-class roots that made him so common-sensical and down to earth. He has been described as "a judge from the old guard," whose winning personality permeated the courtroom. Delucchi's biggest moment of fame came after his retirement, when he was appointed to preside over the circus-like Scott Peterson trial, but he will be remembered by many people who had the good fortune to encounter him in lesser-known cases as well. As one reporter who met him while covering the Peterson trial put it, "He was one of those people in life that you run into and you just never forget."
The full obituary is here. Here is an older profile of the remarkable jurist, again from the S.F. Chronicle. And here is an interview entitled "Lawyers who lead" from Santa Clara Law.