For more than 30 years, Chick Arnold has been a forceful advocate for the rights of the elderly and mentally ill. His 1981 class action lawsuit on behalf of Maricopa County's seriously mentally ill population alleged that the State of Arizona failed to fund a comprehensive mental health system as required by state law. In 1989, the Arizona Supreme Court affirmed, in Arnold v. Sarn, that the State had indeed violated its statutory duty. Ongoing compliance with the lawsuit has resulted in additional annual State funding in the hundreds of millions of dollars for the benefit of seriously mentally ill Arizonans.
A Certified Specialist in Estate and Trust Law (Arizona Board of Legal Specialization), Chick chairs the Maricopa County Superior Courts' Task Force on Mental Health Services and is a past chair of the State Bar of Arizona's Elder Law and Mental Health Section. He authored the State Bar's "Arizona Resource Guide for Families of Persons With Serious Mental Illness" (2001) and co-authored the "Arizona Probate Code Manual" (1999). He is a long-time board member of the Mental Health Association of Maricopa County, PLAN of Arizona, Inc., and Mentally Ill Kids in Distress.
In 2013, Chick received the American Jewish Committee's Community Service Award in recognition of his "sustained contributions to the advancement of equality and democratic principles."