A client claimed that his lawyer used AI on his case, then provided a quote for a promotional article for the AI company, with which he may be affiliated.
According to Engadget (Fugees rapper Pras accuses his lawyer of using AI in closing arguments, written by Will Shanklin and available here), Rapper “Pras” Michel, one-third of the legendary hip-hop group The Fugees, accused his lawyer from a recent federal criminal case of using AI in his closing arguments.
Ars Technica reports that the “Ghetto Supastar” artist claims his one-time attorney, David Kenner, used an AI program with which the lawyer potentially had a financial interest. Pras, whose legal name is Prakazrel Samuel Michel, was found guilty in April of 10 counts of conspiring and acting as an unregistered foreign government agent and faces up to 20 years in prison. The rapper is seeking a new trial.
Pras’ 59-page motion for a new trial says Kenner “used an experimental artificial intelligence (AI) program to draft the closing argument, ignoring the best arguments and conflating the charged schemes, and he then publicly boasted” this:
“This is an absolute game changer for complex litigation,” said Michel’s lead attorney David Kenner. “The system turned hours or days of legal work into seconds. This is a look into the future of how cases will be conducted.”
That quote was pulled from a promotional article for EyeLevel.AI, “litigation assistance technology” that lists an entity called CaseFile Connect as a launch partner. The motion says CaseFile Connect’s principal address is the same as Kenner’s law firm.
Well, I checked and the CaseFile Connect address here and the address for Kenner listed here on the Lawyers of Distinction site are indeed the same: 16633 Ventura Blvd, Los Angeles (or Encino), CA 91436, USA
“It is now apparent that Kenner and his co-counsel appear to have had an undisclosed financial stake in the AI program, and they experimented with it during Michel’s trial so they could issue a press release afterward promoting the program—a clear conflict of interest,” Pras’ motion alleges.
In addition to the AI accusations that use of the AI tool led him to make embarrassing musical misattributions in his closing arguments, the motion alleges that Kenner was “ineffective” and that his actions “severely prejudiced the defense.” It says the attorney “failed to familiarize himself with the charged statutes, causing him to overlook critical weaknesses in the Government’s case.” In addition, it accuses Kenner of failing to understand the facts or allegations while outsourcing trial prep and strategy to contract attorneys at a friend’s eDiscovery company (among other allegations).
Regardless of the case and the situation, the use of an AI program with which the lawyer seems to be affiliated on a case and promotion of that same program is highly sketchy. The wild west of AI seems to only be getting wilder. Hat tip to Nick Wittenberg for the heads up on this story!
So, what do you think? Are you surprised that a client claimed that his lawyer used AI on his case, then promoted it? Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.
Image created using Microsoft Bing’s Image Creator Powered by DALL-E, using the term “lawyer slipping on a banana peel”.
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