Thanks to the invaluable UCLA Law Library, I received a copy of the affidavit in which the attorney apologizes and explains why he used ChatGPT to draft a motion:
I have been involved in civil litigation for less than three (3) months and the MSA was the first motion I ever researched, drafted and filed myself….
As of today, May 5, 2023, I have spent 6.5 hours researching this case, conferring with paralegals and senior attorneys about our client’s options, and drafting the MSA. As for drafting the MSA specifically, I spent about 4 hours researching, drafting, and reviewing that motion. I detail this in hopes of demonstrating to the Court my dutiful time spent drafting a motion that I hoped would relieve my client of an outstanding judgment against him.
I will now explain the matter of citing the fictitious case to allay the Court’s concern of malice. The issue concerns the emerging technological advancement and the use of Artificial Intelligence, commonly referred to as “AI”. AI for the legal industry is emerging and coincidentally on 5/5 I received an email from Lexis Nexis featuring an AI-powered search engine for their platform Meet Lexis+ AI, the most powerful generative AI solution for legal professionals—YouTube (see Attachment 1 Email from Lexicon + IA). In this case a search engine/software from OpenAI was used, commonly known as “ChatGPT”. This software was brought to my attention as a potentially useful research tool for our company on April 26, 2023, just three (3) days before the MSA was finalized and filed. Overwhelmingly impressed by the technology, I eagerly used it to find case law that supported my client’s position, or so I thought.
As a new attorney practicing in the civil litigation field that I was not familiar with, ChatGPT was very impressive and excited me for several reasons. As a prosecutor, I rarely conducted legal research and writing, and to the extent I did, I used models from other prosecutors with built-in case law and statutory authority. Ergo, the main reason I explored ChatGPT and definitely used it for the MSA was I felt my lack of experience in legal research and writing, and as a result, my efficiency in this regard could be increased significantly. exponentially to the benefit of my clients by speeding up the time-consuming research part of the newsroom.
There have been several requests/advice given to ChatGPT that have proven to be accurate based on my current knowledge of the law and what I have confirmed through research, so much so that I have recklessly taken the leap assuming the tool would be generally accurate. (See Attachment 2 ChatGPT Export Dialog_1) As you can see from the Dialog, the AI model generated a set of responses, for all intents and purposes, that appear very complete and accurate. (See Attachment 3 ChatGPT Export Dialog_2) Unfortunately, when I actually started using ChatGPT for MSA case law research, I was already convinced of its apparent reliability. As you can see from Dialog_2, ChatGPT mentions a number of cases as requested, but if you search for them, they don’t exist. Based on the accuracy of the previous validated answers and the apparent accuracy of the case law citations, it never even occurred to me that this technology could be deceptive. In short, the early confirmatory searches boosted my faith in the technology, and I imprudently accepted the case law research that followed without inquiring into the accuracy of each case citation.
It wasn’t until the morning of the 5/5 show hearing that I, in an attempt to prepare to discuss the case law cited, dug deeper to realize the inaccuracies of the citations. (See Attachment 4 Screenshot of Teams message with Paralegal) As you can see, I was unaware of what to do in that situation and was unaware of my ability and obligation to withdraw the motion due to the inaccuracies. In retrospect, the first thing I should have done when Your Honor took the bench was to withdraw the motion and ask permission to retable it after correcting the inaccuracies. Rule 3.3 of the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct requires a state of mind of “knowingly” denoting actual knowledge. Prior to filing the MSA, I had no actual knowledge of the inaccuracies, demonstrated by Schedule 4, otherwise I would never have filed it.
This has been a tremendously humbling, but growing experience for me as a budding civil litigation attorney. I learned the importance and the absolute necessity of thoroughly examining every defense document before signing it and depositing it with the Court. I sincerely and wholeheartedly regret wasting the Court’s time in this case and humbly request Your Honor’s pardon to move forward. I have never intentionally misled a court, or anyone else, as I hold myself to a higher standard than even the Colorado Bar Association and the Colorado Model Rules of Professional Conduct.
I respectfully request that the Court excuse the inaccuracies found in the MSA, allow Defendant to file an amended MSA, and accept Exhibits 1, 2, 3 and 4 as evidence of good faith and not willful misconduct….
I don’t know if the judge was satisfied; the June 13 KRDO article (Quinn Ritzdorf) reports,
The judge overseeing the hearing… [had] he threatened to file charges against the lawyer. The Office of Attorney Regulations could not confirm whether a complaint had been filed against Crabill.
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