Slate is running a contest entitled "Billable Horrors," which, as the title suggests, is a contest where lawyers are asked to submit "the meanest thing you've ever done to an opponent on the holidays." Unfortunately, I suspect that Slate is right -- many litigators have these stories of acts committed by and against them solely in an effort to ruin, or at least damage, one's holiday, vacation, etc.
Thus is the apparent state of litigation and the practice today. Unnecessary nastiness often rules the day, and civility often takes a back seat to a skewed notion of the "zealous advocate." I may sound like a Polly Anna to some, but so be it -- it does not have to be this way. If good representation of your client is the goal, it is possible to win cases and reach favorable settlements by not being the biggest jerk on the block to your adversary. I'll be curious to see what entries come in, and what wins this dubious, and sad (if we care about the state of the profession), honor.
And to all (including litigators): Happy Holidays!