Law com reports on a solo practitioner (BE: sole practitioner) attorney whose spellchecker replaced sua sponte with sea sponge.
bq. Spell-checking on his computer is never going to be the same for Santa Cruz solo practitioner Arthur Dudley.
In an opening brief to San Francisco’s 1st District Court of Appeal, a search-and-replace command by Dudley inexplicably inserted the words “sea sponge” instead of the legal term “sua sponte,” which is Latin for “on its own motion.”
Apparently the slip was noticed by the client (a former Santa Clara County Superior Court judge seeking reversal of his conviction for fixing traffic tickets report of decision here).
bq. The faux pas has made Dudley the butt of some mild ribbing around Santa Cruz. Local attorneys, he said, have started calling his unique defense the “sea sponge duty to instruct.”
In this connection, sua sponte might be von Amts wegen (also ex officio in English), but my Word wants to replace sponte with sponge.
I have encountered this kind of problem in texts to be translated before now.
Many thanks to Isabella, who has an eye for the important news.