A German court suspects an AI system is behind a surge in lawsuits.

The Regional Court of Frankfurt is growing suspicious that law firms are employing AI to attract large numbers of plaintiffs for small cases, describing this as a “legal tech proceedings” business model. Wilhelm Wolf, the court president, suggests a systematic effort to generate substantial revenue with minimal exertion. The court is facing a rising number of these cases, typically originating in district courts.

He suspects that law firms have automated their strategies for acquiring new clients. Typically, these mass cases involve similar issues affecting numerous clients, such as flight delays, gambling winnings, or bank fees.

There is optimism that the legal system could also leverage this technology to sift through and potentially automate such proceedings.

Instances of large language model-powered cases have already surfaced in the United States. Two New York lawyers were fined for submitting ChatGPT-generated briefs containing fictitious case citations. Although they admitted to using ChatGPT for research in a case against the Colombian airline Avianca, they persisted in defending the fabricated opinions even after the court and the airline raised doubts about their authenticity.

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