Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen accidentally cited fake court cases generated by AI

Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen accidentally cited fake court cases generated by AI

technology By Dec 29, 2023 No Comments

Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen cited fake court cases generated by AI

Michael Cohen, the former lawyer for Donald Trump, has found himself in hot water after admitting to using fake, AI-generated court cases in a legal document that was presented to a federal judge.

The Unfortunate Mix-up

In a surprising turn of events, Cohen mistakenly utilized Google’s Bard, an AI chatbot, believing it to be a powerful search engine. This error led to the inclusion of non-existent cases in a motion seeking to reduce Cohen’s three-year probation following his recent legal troubles.

Fallout in the Courtroom

When US District Judge Jesse Furman scrutinized the document, it was quickly discovered that the referenced cases were entirely fabricated. This prompted a demand for clarification from Cohen’s attorney, David Schwartz, regarding the phantom citations and Cohen’s involvement in their inclusion.

Confronted with these allegations, Cohen denied any intention to deceive the court. He explained that his use of Google Bard for legal research unknowingly resulted in dubious findings, which were then forwarded to his attorney. Cohen expressed surprise that Schwartz would not verify the existence of the citations before incorporating them into the motion.

Lack of Knowledge Regarding Legal technology

Attempting to defend his actions, Cohen confessed to a lack of awareness about the latest advancements and potential risks in legal technology. He asserted that he mistakenly viewed Google Bard as an advanced search engine, successfully retrieving accurate information in other contexts previously.

Rising Trend of AI in Legal Proceedings

Regrettably, this incident is not an isolated one. In recent months, other cases have emerged where AI-generated citations were inadvertently presented in court, resulting in penalties for the attorneys involved.

Embracing AI in Legal Practice

Despite the pitfalls witnessed, some legal professionals are actively utilizing AI tools to construct arguments and support their cases. This trend has even extended to instances where AI-generated evidence was presented in high-stakes legal battles.

Impact on Legal Proceedings

In light of these developments, the incorporation of AI-generated content in legal matters raises significant concerns. The potential consequences, both ethical and legal, of relying on technology without comprehensive understanding and verification cannot be overlooked.


The case of Michael Cohen and the emergence of AI-generated citations in legal documents serve as a potent reminder of the evolving landscape of legal technology. It is imperative for legal practitioners to remain vigilant and well-informed, ensuring that the tools they employ uphold the integrity of the legal system.

Source: theverge

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