Arkansas District Court Judge William R. Wilson, Jr. has written a short and interesting article in the May/June 2008 Issue of the Bencher urging greater civility among lawyers and trial court judges. Specifically, Judge Wilson blames much of the nastiness of opposing counsel on judges that refuse (or take too long) to get involved in discovery disputes.
The best part of the article is a story about a doctor in Little Rock that the judge recalls as particularly civil to patients and staff. the doctor's father had instructed him that 'I can't make you smart but, as long as you live in my house, I can make you polite.' The doctor said that he continued to bend over backwards to be civil to others because "It's not that hard."
The judge strongly advises everyone, not only attorneys and judges, but all professionals to remember to be polite the next time there is a choice between being courteous or becoming a "snapping turtle."