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German court suspects that AI is behind avalanche of lawsuits


The Regional Court of Frankfurt, increasingly confronted with “mass proceedings,” suspects law firms of using AI to attract large numbers of plaintiffs for filing small cases, reports German media.

The regional court president Wilhelm Wolf called the new business model “legal tech proceedings.” He told the dpa news agency that the cases typically arise in the district courts. However, the regional court has also seen an influx, golem.de reported.

“We suspect that there is a systematic attempt to achieve a lot of sales with little effort,” said Wolf.

He believes that law firms have automated their efforts to seek new customers. Typically, mass cases are very similar, affecting many customers and involving issues such as flight delays, gambling winnings, or bank fees.

There are hopes that courts could also benefit from the new technology to filter out or automate such proceedings.

Large language model-powered cases already become known in the US. At least two New York lawyers were fined over ChatGPT-generated briefs, which included fictitious case citations. The lawyers admitted to using ChatGPT to help them research a specific case against the Colombian airline Avianca. Despite that, they “continued to stand by the fake opinions” even after the court and the airline questioned whether they existed.


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