Lawyers Try To Use ChatGPT For Estimating Costs, Get Blasted By Judge

In a recent legal debacle, a New York-based law firm, Cuddy Law, found itself in hot water for attempting to justify a hefty bill using the OpenAI chatbot, ChatGPT. The firm had sought feedback from the AI tool on how much to charge, citing the losing side’s expected payment as justification for the sum. However, their plan backfired when NYC federal district judge Paul Englemayer deemed their use of ChatGPT as “utterly and unusually unpersuasive.”

This incident is not an isolated one, as other lawyers have also been caught utilizing ChatGPT for legal purposes. Earlier this year, a Colorado-based lawyer was fired for drafting a legal document using the tool, while another lawyer fabricated court cases in court to defend a client, receiving only a mild reprimand.

Englemayer criticized Cuddy Law’s attempt to use ChatGPT to determine legal fees, calling it “misbegotten at the jump.” Despite the law firm’s claim that the AI tool did not directly impact legal proceedings and that its rates were within a typical range, Englemayer warned against setting a precedent.

He advised Cuddy Law to refrain from referencing ChatGPT in future fee applications, unless there is a significant improvement in the tool’s reliability. Ultimately, the firm was only awarded half of the amount they had originally billed, highlighting the potential consequences of relying on AI in legal matters.

Legal professionals should take note from this case, which highlights the need of conducting legal proceedings and setting fees in an ethical and trustworthy manner. Professionals must use AI with caution and ethics as it continues to play a role in a variety of areas, including law.

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