Several years ago, at the behest of Gary Lowen, some local family lawyers began having informal "You Piss Me Off" dinners. The thought was that if we could get together, establish some real basis for getting to know each other on a personal level, and could vent at one another (in the presence of a few other listening ears) for perceived wrongs committed, that we could improve the collegiality and professionalism. The only problem is the dinners became too much fun and too many people wanted to come. We now have large gatherings for drinks and appetizers a couple of times a year, "hosted" by about ten attorneys at $100 each with a cash bar and still call them "You Piss Me Off" parties. They are good and most of the Family Court judges come, but we aren't really dealing with the problem behavior of some lawyers.
So, last year I invited a few attorneys I like very much and a few more who are perpetual problems for a small "You Piss Me Off" dinner at my home.That was more effective than what we are doing in large groups, but I should have invited someone who could be a great facilitator.
We have Rules of Professionalism, but unfortunately they are aspirational. We have the Supreme Court ethics rules, but no lawyer wants to initiate bar complaints against other attorneys.
We can’t take bad behavior personally, but we have to keep working to raise the bar.