Another New York attorney confronts sanctions after AI Chatbot creates fake precedents.

The U.S Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit referred an attorney for potential further disciplinary measures after the attorney cited a nonexistent case created by ChatGPT for research in a medical malpractice lawsuit and did not confirm that the case she cited was valid. (Park v. Kim, Case No. 22-2057 -2d Cir. Jan. 30, 2024).

The Second Circuit found that citation to a nonexistent case suggests conduct that falls below the basic obligations of counsel, and thus referred the attorney to the Court’s Grievance Panel for further investigation and consideration of a referral to the Court’s admission committee. The Court explained that any attorney appearing before it is bound to exercise professional judgment and responsibility, which impose a duty to certify that any papers filed with the court are well grounded in fact and legally tenable.

Recognizing that ChatGPT is a significant technological advancement, the Court explained that the use of such tools does not excuse an attorney from separately ensuring that submissions to the Court are accurate or legally tenable. 

The Court concluded that referral to the Grievance Panel was warranted because the brief presented a false statement of law and the attorney made no inquiry at all, let alone a reasonable inquiry into the validity of the arguments presented. The Court also ordered the attorney to provide a copy of the ruling to her client.

In conclusion, while the integration of artificial intelligence tools in the legal profession offers efficiency and innovation, it also poses significant risks. The case of fabricated citations generated by AI chatbots exemplifies the potential dangers of relying solely on automated systems without human oversight. It underscores the importance of maintaining human supervision to ensure the integrity and accuracy of legal processes. Therefore, a balanced approach that leverages AI while preserving the oversight of human professionals is essential to uphold the principles of justice and maintain trust in the legal system.


Milagros Tallarico
Semi Sr. Associate
Alfaro Abogados es un firma de abogados de Argentina orientada a la industria y fundada en 1998 para participar como actor en transacciones internacionales. Cumplimos con los criterios requeridos por el entorno empresarial actual, proporcionando un asesoramiento jurídico ágil y práctico para la resolución de problemas, así como la experiencia intercultural y jurídica necesaria para las transacciones internacionales en una economía global.
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