Lawyers argue to the judge in court every day—essentially competing for the judge’s approval of their arguments. As with all competition, sometimes things get heated. When the court hearing is over, the lawyers can hopefully walk out of the courtroom together in a civil manner, politely discuss upcoming events in the case, and maybe even exchange some pleasantries. On certain occasions, it’s far less friendly.

At a recent court proceeding in San Diego, after adjournment of the hearing, the losing lawyer—who is male—remarked to the two victorious lawyers—both females—“See you next Tuesday.” The court responded, “How kind.”

But was it? A few days later, the two female lawyers informed the court that the expression “See you next Tuesday” actually has a covert, sinister meaning. Specifically, it is a sexist reference to the female anatomy. (See here, if you want the details). In light of the alleged true meaning of the male attorney’s remark, the court alerted the State Bar of the incident, and stated it will be filing a discipline referral.

Now, I have no idea whether the male attorney truly meant the remark as a slur. But in the event he did, it’s good to see the court not letting it go. As the court stated in its order, “[a]n attorney is an officer of the court who, by virtue of his or her professional position, undertakes certain special duties to avoid conduct that undermines the integrity of the adjudicative process.” In a world where standards of human interaction seem to reach new lows every day, it’s always welcome to see a court put its foot down and insist on civility and decorum in the courtroom. If nasty, vindictive remarks become tolerated in court, God help us.