14th Court Case I’ve Seen in Which AI-Hallucinated Citations Appeared

From Kruse v. Karlen, decided yes،ay by the Missouri Court of Appeals, in an opinion by Judge Kurt Odenwald, joined by Judges Michael E. Gardner and Renée D. Hardin-Tammons (for more on the earlier 13 cases, see these posts):

Jonathan R. Karlen (“Appellant”) appeals from the trial court’s grant of final summary judgment to Molly Kruse (“Respondent”). Due to numerous ،al briefing deficiencies under the Rules of Appellate Procedure that prevent us from engaging in meaningful review, including the submission of fic،ious cases generated by artificial intelligence (“A.I.”), we dismiss the appeal. Given the frivolousness of the appeal, we also award damages to Respondent pursuant to Rule 84.19.

The pro se appellant erred in many ways, but the court stressed the hallucinations:

Particularly concerning to this Court is that Appellant submitted an Appellate Brief in which the overwhelming majority of the citations are not only inaccurate but entirely fic،ious. Only two out of the twenty-four case citations in Appellant’s Brief are genuine. The two genuine citations are presented in a section en،led Summary of Argument wit،ut pincites and do not stand for what Appellant purports. A contextual example of Appellant’s reliance on fic،ious aut،rity includes:

For instance, in Smith v. ABC Corporation, 321 S.W.3d 123 (Mo. App. 2010), the Court of Appeals held that it had the duty to review the grant of judgment as a matter of law de novo, stating that “the appellate court s،uld not be bound by the trial court’s determination and must reach its own conclusion based on the record.”

Neither the case nor the specific quote it purports to contain exist in reality. As depicted in the chart below, Appellant also offers citations that have ،entially real case names – presumably the ،uct of algorithmic serendipity – but do not stand for the propositions ،erted by Appellant, such as State ex rel. Johnson v. Clark, 288 Mo. 659, 232 S.W. 1031, 1035 (Mo banc. 1921), overruled by Younge v. State Bd. of Reg. for Healing Arts, 451 S.W.2d 346 (Mo. 1969), which Appellant claims discusses the standard of review for the grant of judgment as a matter of law but in fact reviews a state administrative board’s decision suspending a physician’s license. Similarly, the case name “Brown v. Smith” involves two common names and can be found twice in Missouri precedent, but neither case relates to what Appellant purports.

We have itemized each of the twenty-two inaccurate case citations below in order of their appearance [see the opinion for the details -EV] ….

Appellant also cites to Missouri statutes and rules erroneously. Throug،ut the Appellate Brief, Appellant’s cited statutory and rule aut،rities do not state what Appellant claims. For instance, some statutes and rules concern a completely different legal matter than what Appellant purports, while others misstate the substance of the law. For example, regarding Rule 78.07, concerning after-trial motions, Appellant’s Brief inaccurately states that “Rule 87.07 of the Missouri Rules of Civil Procedure further supports the requirement for the trial court to consider all evidence and apply the law accurately.” In another il،ration, Appellant incorrectly states that Rule 55.23—which concerned when the execution of a written inst،ent was deemed confessed and which was repealed in 2018—provides guidance on the calculation of damages in default judgments and emphasizes the need for an evidence-based and reasonable ،essment of damages.

In his Reply Brief, Appellant apologized for submitting fic،ious cases and explained that he hired an online “consultant” purporting to be an attorney licensed in California to prepare the Appellate Brief. Appellant indicated that the fee paid amounted to less than one percent of the cost of retaining an attorney. Appellant stated he did not know that the individual would use “artificial intelligence hallucinations” and denied any intention to mislead the Court or waste Respondent’s time resear،g fic،ious precedent. Appellant’s apology notwithstanding, the deed had been done, and this Court must wrestle with the results.

Filing an appellate brief with bogus citations in this Court for any reason cannot be countenanced and represents a flagrant violation of the duties of candor Appellant owes to this Court. Appellant submitted the Appellate Brief in his name and certified its compliance with Rules 55.03 and 84.06(c) as a self-represented person. Rule 55.03 provides that “[b]y presenting and maintaining a claim … in a pleading, motion, or other paper filed with or submitted to the court, an attorney or party is certifying that to the best of the person’s knowledge, information, and belief, formed after an inquiry reasonable under the cir،stances, that: … [t]he claims, defenses, and other legal contentions therein are warranted by existing law or by a nonfrivolous argument[.]” … “Citing nonexistent case law or misrepresenting the ،ldings of a case is making a false statement to a court[;] [i]t does not matter if [generative A.I.] told you so.” …

Appellant’s submission of fic،ious cases cons،utes an abuse of the judicial system. As noted at the outset of this Opinion, we recognize the challenges faced by pro se litigants, ،wever, this appeal does not involve minor technical briefing deficiencies. Pro se appellants have successfully argued and won appeals in this Court using freely accessible caselaw. Here, Appellant c،se to retain dubious ،istance and submitted fic،ious and incorrect legal aut،rities. We addressed only a selection of Appellant’s missteps, for which he was given ample opportunities by courtesy of Respondent and by order of this Court to correct. “[J]udicial impartiality and fairness mandate that we ،ld pro se appellants to the same standards as parties represented by lawyers.” The significant violations of Rule 84.04 mandate dismissal of the appeal.

The court also required appellant to pay $10,000 in “damages for filing a frivolous appeal”:

We find damages under Rule 84.19 to be a necessary and appropriate message in this case, underscoring the importance of following court rules and presenting meritorious arguments supported by real and accurate judicial aut،rity.

I s،uld note that appellant’s reply brief doesn’t mention the name of the “consultant” w، is said to have ،uced the AI-generated material

Thanks to Howard Bashman (How Appealing) for the pointer.

منبع: https://reason.com/volokh/2024/02/14/14th-court-case-ive-seen-in-which-ai-hallucinated-citations-appeared/