AI Case Names Not Existing: Lawyer relied a lot on ChatGPT

AI case names not found
Lawyer relied a lot on ChatGPT

After 30 years in the profession, a New York attorney uses state-of-the-art technology for his work. To justify the indictment, he consults the artificial intelligence tool ChatGPT. This also provides answers, but they are only evidence for the court.

A New York lawyer is facing himself in court after his company used ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence tool. The case involved suing an airline where a passenger was hit by a trolley. The relevant law firm must represent the plaintiff.

In order to establish the admissibility of a claim for employee negligence, several old procedures have been cited, which are said to have dealt with similar facts. At least six of the case law the lawyer submitted as research “appear to be fraudulent court decisions with bogus citations and false internal citations,” Judge Kevin Castle of the Southern District of New York said in an order issued in early May.

The alleged cases include: Varghese v. China South Airlines, Martinez v. Delta Airlines, Shaboon v. EgyptAir, Petersen v. Iran Air, Miller v. United Airlines, and Estate of Durden v. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. The airline’s attorneys, after doing their own research, told the judge that they could not find many of the cases mentioned in the memo.

ChatGPT knows no doubt

When asked, it turned out that the supervising lawsuit attorney had used ChatGPT to search for similar cases. The attorney with over 30 years of experience said in his affidavit that he had never used ChatGPT as a legal research resource prior to this case. So he wasn’t aware of the possibility of “the content being wrong”. He took responsibility for not confirming the chatbot’s sources.

According to US media, the screenshots attached to the file should show communication between the lawyer and ChatGPT. One of the letters read “Is Varghese a real case”, referring to Varghese v. China Southern Airlines Ltd., one that no other attorney has been able to find. ChatGPT responds with “Yes it is” and prompts an “S” asking “What’s your source?” After a “double check”, ChatGPT replies that the case is real and can be found in legal reference databases such as LexisNexis and Westlaw. The lawyer now faces punishment “for using false and forged testimony.

ChatGPT generates original scripts on demand, but comes with warnings that it may “provide inaccurate information”. Millions of people have used ChatGPT since it was launched in November 2022. As a database, it uses the internet as it was in 2021.


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