A federal appeals court judge said he’s concerned by overly combative language from others on the bench as of late that risks undermining the public’s confidence in the judiciary.

Judge D. Brooks Smith, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, emphasized the importance of collegiality among judges even when they disagree and said using sharp words in opinions can send the wrong message to the public, during a talk hosted by the Supreme Court Historical Society about judicial independence.