Why lawyers NEED secretaries

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Joseph DeMartino, Mar 5, 2006.

  1. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    A lawyer who was trying to proof-read a motion on his computer found out the hard way what the command "replace all" does. When his spell-check halted on the Latin legal term "sua sponte" ("on its own motion") and offered alternatives, he didn't hit "IGNORE all" to leave it unchanged throughout the document, but "REPLACE all" - which replaced every instance of the term with the first item in the list of suggested corrections. [​IMG]

    This left the justices of the 1st District Court of Appeal in San Francisco trying to figure out why the words "sea sponge" kept turning up in the motion. [​IMG]

    http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1141207513219
     
  2. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    Hmmm, I've never heard of the term "sua sponte". Guess we don't use as much Latin as you lot still seem to do. (Errr, yes, I am a lawyer. Sigh...)
     
  3. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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    You're a lawyer, and you've never heard of "sua sponte"?

    (For the record, it's the situation where a judge decides to do something significant with a case without being asked by any of the parties involved, right? If so, then it is what I think it is.)

    Yeah, "sea sponge" would have been my first replacement choice if I were a spell checker.
     
  4. Kirk Gunn

    Kirk Gunn Screenwriter

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    Hmmm... "Sea Sponge" and Catfish... gotta be a good lawyer joke in there somewhere [​IMG]
     
  5. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    Would the inappropriate justiposition be more appropriate if the case was about Spongebob Squarepants?

    Jay
     
  6. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    Uh huh. And a litigation lawyer to boot. But based on your definition, not surprising, the judges here don't usually go off tangent by themselves, and even when they do, attention isn't usually drawn to it, whether by themselves or by the parties. Also, in any case I've noticed that in the US you seem to use a lot more Latin phrases than even the Brits do, and this was even before the Brits recently (in the past few years) went on their "plain-English" movement.
     
  7. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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    Another excellent point. Perhaps it is telling that we use a "dead language" to such a great extent to grease the wheels of justice in the US. [​IMG] As for my embarrassing failure to recognize that you weren't a Yankee lawyer, I do beg your pardon.

    Mea culpa. [​IMG]
     
  8. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    Heh, no harm, no foul. [​IMG]

    Given the adversarial system, it is indeed unusual for the Court to interfere in a significant way. More often they'd hint very strongly to either party, and wait for that party to make the appropriate application before rulilng. Indeed, it happened to me in my very first trial... [​IMG]
     
  9. Paul McElligott

    Paul McElligott Cinematographer

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    I nominate Judge Leif Clark for the Supreme Court! [​IMG]
     
  10. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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  11. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    Hilarious. I have to agree with His Honour, just consider the "title" of the motion: "Defendant's Motion to Discharge Response to Plaintiff's Response to Defendant's Response Opposing Objection to Discharge". Sheesh.
     
  12. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    Margaret Mitchell, who wrote Gone with the Wind was the daughter of an Atlanta lawyer who was a literary man in his own way. He was famous for the clarity and economy of his legal writing and he was fond of telling junior associates at his office, "You take care of the grammar and the law will take care of itself." [​IMG]

    Would that more of today's attorney's got such advice.

    Regards,

    Joe

    (Who did IT network support for a law firm for the longest year of his life. [​IMG])
     

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