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Lawyer Loses Job For Using ChatGPT To Tackle Work Deadlines

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New Delhi: Confronted with workplace stress and looming deadlines, a young lawyer turned to ChatGPT for support. However, the AI tool generated inaccurate scenarios, leading to the attorney’s removal from the law firm.

According to Business Insider, Zachariah Crabill, a 29-year-old lawyer who used ChatGPT during work hours, was axed from his position at Baker Law Group this summer. Crabill confirmed this information with Insider.

Feeling overwhelmed by tight deadlines and office tensions, Crabill’s superiors assigned additional tasks in May. Seeking a solution, he relied on ChatGPT, a tool he had previously used for reliable research. His intention was to enhance a legal motion with specifics from Colorado case law.

Believing ChatGPT would be a time-saving lifeline in a challenging situation, Crabill acknowledged that many lawyers encounter similar pressures early in their careers. After the AI tool drafted the motion, Crabill submitted it to his boss and filed it with the Colorado court.

However, he overlooked a crucial step: verifying the accuracy of ChatGPT’s work. His initial joy turned into horror upon realizing that the AI had fabricated references to lawsuits in the document.

Disturbed and unable to find these alleged cases in legal databases, Crabill discovered that ChatGPT had produced seemingly convincing yet entirely false information, leading to the errors.

Crabill admitted to the judge that he used the AI chatbot to enhance the document, leading to the judge reporting him to higher authorities. He was terminated, as initially reported by The Washington Post. Despite Crabill denying that ChatGPT was the cause of his dismissal, he chose not to provide further clarification.

Even after losing his job, Crabill remains optimistic about AI’s ability to improve lawyers’ effectiveness. He has gone on to create his own company incorporating AI into legal services, likening his utilization of ChatGPT to how many people use Google in their work.

Baker Law Group did not respond to Insider’s request for comments prior to this report.

Crabill’s case is not the first incident where lawyers employing AI led to complications. In June, a New York law firm faced a $5,000 fine because one of its lawyers used ChatGPT to draft a court brief that cited non-existent cases and opinions.

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