Listen to this article Lawyer Utilizes ChatGPT For Legal Filing, Prompting Citation Of Invented Nonexistent Cases
Lawyer’s Reputation at Stake
With a legal career spanning three decades, Lawyer Steven Schwartz of Levidow, Levidow & Oberman now faces a potential career-ending setback. A single case has the power to completely derail his hard-earned reputation and standing in the legal community.
ChatGPT’s Role in Legal Filings
In a surprising turn of events, Schwartz relied on ChatGPT, an AI chatbot, for assistance in his legal filings. However, the chatbot ended up generating fictitious cases that Schwartz referenced as precedents, leading to a serious debacle.
The Case in Question:
Mata v. Avianca The controversy centers around the Mata v. Avianca case, which gained attention through coverage by the New York Times. Roberto Mata, a disgruntled Avianca customer, filed a lawsuit against the airline after sustaining a knee injury caused by a serving cart during a flight. Avianca sought a dismissal, prompting Mata’s legal team to object and submit a brief citing numerous supposedly relevant court decisions.
ChatGPT’s Fabricated Precedents
Seeking to bolster his research, Schwartz turned to ChatGPT, an immensely popular chatbot developed by OpenAI. Unfortunately, the AI chatbot provided Schwartz with a list of purportedly similar cases, including Varghese v. China Southern Airlines, Shaboon v. Egyptair, Petersen v. Iran Air, Martinez v. Delta Airlines, Estate of Durden v. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, and Miller v. United Airlines. However, these cases exist only within the realm of artificial intelligence—they are entirely fabricated.
Uncovering the Fiction
Avianca’s legal team and the presiding judge in the case soon realized that none of the cited court decisions could be found. This revelation led to Schwartz providing an affidavit on Thursday, explaining the unfortunate reliance on ChatGPT for assistance in his legal filings.
Implications for Schwartz’s Career
The consequences of this debacle loom large for Schwartz. His professional standing and reputation as a lawyer now face severe scrutiny, as the reliance on an AI chatbot resulted in the submission of fictional precedents, undermining the integrity of his legal filings.