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Category Archives: Courts

Lawyer cites fake cases invented by ChatGPT, judge is not amused

Simon Willison’s Weblog: “Legal Twitter is having tremendous fun right now reviewing the latest documents from the case Mata v. Avianca, Inc. (1:22-cv-01461). Here’s a neat summary: So, wait. They file a brief that cites cases fabricated by ChatGPT. The court asks them to file copies of the opinions. And then they go back to ChatGPT and ask it to write the opinions, and then they file them? Beth Wilensky, May 26 2023

Here’s a New York Times story about what happened. I’m very much not a lawyer, but I’m going to dig in and try to piece together the full story anyway. The TLDR version: A lawyer asked ChatGPT for examples of cases that supported an argument they were trying to make.

ChatGPT, as it often does, hallucinated wildly—it invented several supporting cases out of thin air. When the lawyer was asked to provide copies of the cases in question, they turned to ChatGPT for help again—and it invented full details of those cases, which they duly screenshotted and copied into their legal filings. At some point, they asked ChatGPT to confirm that the cases were real… and ChatGPT said that they were. They included screenshots of this in another filing. The judge is furious. Many of the parties involved are about to have a very bad time. A detailed timeline: I pieced together the following from the documents on…” [Very detailed and well cited evaluation of this matter. The insights are most welcome after the brouhaha to date.]

Rule-Of-Law Judge? That’s Code for Ideologically Conservative Judging

Kimble, Joseph, Rule-Of-Law Judge? That’s Code for Ideologically Conservative Judging (February 15, 2023). Michigan Lawyers Weekly, February 15 2023, Available at SSRN: “Judges often proclaim—typically during a political campaign—that they are a “rule-of-law judge.” This commentary calls that description “a clichéd truism.” Beyond that, though, what’s wrong with the description? First, it’s hopelessly simplistic.… Continue Reading

Sound Recordings of Supreme Court of the United States Now Fully Digitized

NARA: “The Moving Image and Sound Branch is pleased to announce that the sound recordings of RG 267: Records of the Supreme Court of the United States have been fully digitized and are available for listening and download through the National Archives Catalog. The audio recordings in Record Group 267 are organized into three series, … Continue Reading

Stop the Presses? Newspapers in the Digital Age

CRS Report – Stop the Presses? Newspapers in the, Digital Age, Updated May 24, 2023: “During the past 20 years, more than 200 local daily newspapers have either reduced thei rpublication frequency or ceased publishing altogether. Among those that survived, many employa fraction of the journalists that they did at the turn of the 21st… Continue Reading

Generative Artificial Intelligence and Copyright Law

CRS Legal Sidebar, Generative Artificial Intelligence and Copyright Law, Updated May 11, 2023: “Recent innovations in artificial intelligence (AI) are raising new questions about how copyright law principles such as authorship, infringement, and fair use will apply to content created or used by AI. So-called “generative AI” computer programs—such as Open AI’s DALL-E 2 and… Continue Reading

A Judge’s Perspective on the Science and Rhetoric of the Written Word

Dysart, Tessa, “I Can [Read] Clearly Now” Legal Writing: A Judge’s Perspective on the Science and Rhetoric of the Written Word (December 31, 2022). 22 J. App. Prac. & Proc. 157 (2022) , Available at SSRN: “Audience. Comprehension. Recall. Those three words sum up Judge Robert E. Bacharach’s recent book, Legal Writing: A Judge’s… Continue Reading

The Supreme Court Is Hiding Important Decisions From You

Politico: “As the Supreme Court begins to release its written opinions from its most recent term, much of the public’s attention is focused on high-profile cases on affirmative action, election law and environmental regulation. But according to Stephen Vladeck, a professor at the University of Texas Law School, this narrow focus on the most headline-grabbing… Continue Reading

The Prediction Society: Algorithms and the Problems of Forecasting the Future

MATSUMI, Hideyuki and Solove, Daniel J., The Prediction Society: Algorithms and the Problems of Forecasting the Future (May 19, 2023). Available at SSRN: “Predictions about the future have been made since the earliest days of humankind, but today, we are living in a brave new world of prediction. Today’s predictions are produced by machine… Continue Reading

Wyden Responds to Harlan Crow, Re Gifts to Clarence Thomas

Follow up to previous posting – Wyden Statement on Harlan Crow Stonewalling Committee Inquiry, May 17, 2023 – Wyden Responds to Harlan Crow, Restates Questions on Gifts to Clarence Thomas. “New Letter to Crow’s Attorney Outlines Committee Jurisdiction and Extensive Legislative and Investigative History on Gift and Estate Taxes and Billionaire Tax Compliance Senate Finance… Continue Reading

PEN America Files Lawsuit Against Florida School District Over Unconstitutional Book Bans

“Free expression organization PEN America, alongside publisher Penguin Random House, authors, and parents of children affected by the unconstitutional book bans carried out by Florida’s Escambia County School District and School Board, filed suit today in federal court asking for books to be returned to school library shelves where they belong. Ensuring that students have access to… Continue Reading

Climate Policy Radar and Grantham Research Institute launch revamped research and policy resource

“We’re delighted to launch our upgraded version of the Climate Change Laws of the World database, offering new tools and features to make it easier to understand and analyse the global climate law and policy landscape. Climate Policy Radar and the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at LSE have partnered to… Continue Reading