A legal professional’s decision to employ ChatGPT for legal research backfired when he cited several non-existent cases in a court filing.
The lawyer, representing Roberto Mata in his lawsuit against Avianca Airlines, submitted a 10-page brief containing references to fictional court decisions and fabricated quotations. Among the purported cases were Martinez v. Delta Air Lines, Zicherman v. Korean Air Lines, and Varghese v. China Southern Airlines, which delved into discussions on federal law and the “tolling effect of the automatic stay on a statute of limitations.”
Assured by ChatGPT that these cases were legitimate, the lawyer proceeded with the submission, unaware that the AI had conjured up entirely fictional content.
Unsurprisingly, neither the airline’s attorneys nor the judge could locate any trace of the cited decisions or the quotations referenced in the brief.
Consequently, the airline’s legal team notified the judge of their inability to…