Attorney: ChatGPT fabricated half a dozen judgments for motion

Lawsuit against airline
New York lawyer: ChatGPT made up half a dozen judgments including case numbers

A lawyer relied on ChatGPT to prepare a lawsuit – which turned out to be a mistake

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A lawyer used ChatGTP to research a case. The artificial intelligence spat out some case numbers and judgments, but they were all made up.

A New York attorney’s attempt to use the chatbot ChatGPT while researching a case went horribly wrong. A motion he submitted contained references to cases such as “Petersen v. Iran Air” or “Martinez v. Delta Airlines,” which were fictitious. According to the lawyer, the alleged judgments and case numbers were issued by ChatGPT. The judge in charge of the case scheduled a hearing for early June.

In the case, a passenger filed a lawsuit against the airline Avianca because he was injured in the knee by a trolley. The airline moved to have the lawsuit dismissed. In the counter-motion in March, the plaintiff’s law firm referenced various previous decisions. However, the Avianca lawyers could not find any evidence of their existence for six of them.

ChatGPT invented cases and judgments

The plaintiff’s attorney has now stated in a statement under oath that he did not want to deceive the court, but only relied on assurances from ChatGPT that the cases were authentic. The chatbot also issued texts of alleged judgments that his law firm submitted to the court in April. These documents, in turn, also contained references to cases that turned out to be fictitious. In the USA there are databases with judgments that could have been used to check the information provided by ChatGPT.

In recent months, chatbots like ChatGPT have created new hype about applications based on artificial intelligence. Such software is trained on massive amounts of data and builds sentences by guessing word by word how to proceed. Experts warn that this way the technology can also output fictitious information that may look real to the user.

At the same time, the lawyer is often cited as one of the professions that could be particularly changed by such AI technology because it can quickly evaluate information and formulate texts that could come from a human being.


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