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In a court filing, Donald Trump’s ex-attorney and fixer claimed he utilized Google Bard to aid his attorney in drafting a motion.

Google’s Bard Linked with Fake Legal Citations

In a new court filing, Michael Cohen, an ex-attorney and fixer for ex-president Donald Trump, claimed that he mistakenly gave his lawyer bogus case citations. He admitted utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) to make them as part of ending his tax evasion probation as well as charges concerning campaign finance contravention.

The filing was opened on Friday and revealed that Cohen utilized Google Bard, an artificial intelligence chatbot, to create case citations that his attorney could employ to reduce his supervised release. 

In 2018, he pleaded guilty to the wrongdoings and had served time behind bars. Cohen claimed he provided the citations to David M. Schwartz, one of his lawyers, who later utilized them in a motion filed with a United States federal judge on behalf of Cohen.

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US Judge Discovers Fictitious Legal Citations

Cohen’s acknowledgment occurred after Jesse Furman, a United States District Judge of the Southern District of New York, revealed in a December 12 order that he failed to locate the three cited cases. He requested an ‘in-depth clarification’ concerning the inclusion of these cases and ‘Cohen’s role in the motion prior to its filing.’

According to the filing, Cohen revealed he failed to keep up with ‘upcoming trends and associated risks in legal technology. He also failed to notice that Google Bard was a generative text service such as ChatGPT that could indicate descriptions and citations that seemed actual but were not.’ According to him, the chatbot appeared to be a ‘supercharged search engine.’

Cohen noted that Schwartz or his legal assistant never ‘raised problems regarding the excerpts’ he had recommended. He also said it failed to occur to him that Mr. Scwartz would drop the cases without verifying their existence. ‘

Despite a request for comment, Schwartz did not respond.

Cohen Case Portrays Inherent Challenge of Hallucinations

This episode happens as Cohen is anticipated to be critical in a Manhattan lawsuit against Donald Trump. Besides, it shows the extent to which artificial intelligence is turning into legal casework as new artificial intelligence tools penetrate the legal industry. 

Cohen’s filing indicates that E. Danya Perry, an ex-federal prosecutor, identified the error. Currently, he is representing Cohen as he tries to shorten his probation. Cohen claimed that Schwartz’s mistake was ‘honest,’ and Perry has given actual case citations that show the need to end the probation.

This is somewhat the second situation in 2023 in which a Manhattan federal judge has challenged attorneys over the utilization of fake artificial intelligence-created citations. In June, two attorneys were fined $5000 for generating fake case citations using ChatGPT.

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Michael Scott

By Michael Scott

Michael Scott is a skilled and seasoned news writer with a talent for crafting compelling stories. He is known for his attention to detail, clarity of expression, and ability to engage his readers with his writing.

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