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AI Misadventure: A Lawyer’s Encounter with ChatGPT



The advent of advanced technology has made significant impacts across various professions, notably the legal field. In this context, a recent incident involving a New York lawyer’s misadventure with an AI chatbot, ChatGPT, serves as a cautionary tale.

The Role of AI in Legal Research

Driven by the latest technology wave, AI tools have begun to permeate legal practice. These technological advances predict and generate sentences, providing lawyers with seemingly authentic information. The language model ChatGPT, developed by OpenAI, is one such tool.

A Case of Misplaced Trust

In a striking event, a New York attorney turned to ChatGPT for case research. The chatbot provided references to non-existent precedents. These could have been verified using the American legal system’s databases of judgments.

Implications and Concerns for the Future

The attorney clarified his intentions in a sworn statement. His trust in ChatGPT’s assurance led to this incident. This event emphasizes the importance of oversight and understanding the strengths and limitations of AI in legal practice.

Reflections on AI in the Legal Field

Despite the AI hype, this mishap sends a clear message: human oversight and judgment remain paramount. This incident serves as a potent reminder that technology should complement human expertise, not replace it.


The ChatGPT misfire emphasizes the challenges that come with technological advances. Understanding AI’s capabilities and limits is vital as we navigate the intersections of science, technology, and law.

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