Defence lawyer using AI 'botches' criminal trial closing argument

Occurred: October 2023

A 'botched' closing argument used by the lead defense lawyer during the criminal trial of Fugees star Prakazrel 'Pras' Michel had been drafted with the help of a generative AI system, according to a brief demanding a retrial for Michel.

The brief alleges Michael's lawyer David Kenner's 'closing argument made frivolous arguments, misapprehended the required elements, conflated the schemes and ignored critical weaknesses in the government’s case.' It went to argue that, by using an experimental AI system to generate his closing argument, Kenner botched 'the single most important portion' of Michel’s jury trial. 

Kenner used a legal system by EyeLevel.AI, which had issued a press release trumpeting its use in Michel's May 2023 trial. The released quoted Kenner saying that the AI system 'turned hours or days of legal work into seconds,' and called his use of the programme 'a look into the future of how cases will be conducted.'

The incident raised questions about the capabilities of the system, the judgement of the lawyer, and the use of AI-generated content in the courtroom.

Operator: David Kenner
Developer: EyeLevel.AI; CaseFile Connect
Country: USA
Sector: Business/professional services
Purpose: Conduct legal research
Technology: Chatbot; NLP/text analysis; Neural network; Deep learning; Machine learning; Reinforcement learning
Issue: Accuracy/reliability
Transparency: Governance

Legal, regulatory 👩🏼‍⚖️