Al Salamu 'Alaykum.
Mawlana 'Ali Miyan Nadwi in his seminal work, "Saviours of Islamic Spirit" vol 1, pg 73 writes about Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal's lectures (with minor corrections in spelling):
"The poor were given preference over the rich in his lectures.
Al-Dhahabi quotes Marwazi, a contemporary of Ahmad ibn Hanbal as follows:
"I have not seen the poor and lowly being shown more deference anywhere than in the lectures of Ahmad, who used to be attentive to the poor and indifferent to the affluent. He was a man of towering dignity, of simple habits yet grave and never hasty; his countenance signified a weightiness and sublimity. He used to arrive for his lectures after 'Asr prayers, but remained quiet till he was requested to speak."
Tarjumatul Imam, p.35 & Hilyatul `Awliya, vol IX, p.165.