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Federal judge blasts Auburn-area law firm for using ChatGPT

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  • Staff Report 

A federal judge in New York issued a rebuke to the Cuddy Law Firm, an Auburn-area practice, for employing ChatGPT to support a legal fee request.

The firm, specializing in special education law, sought over $113,000 in fees from the New York State Education Department for a case involving a child with disabilities.

However, Judge Paul Engelmayer awarded less than half of that amount, criticizing the firm’s reliance on ChatGPT as “unpersuasive” and “problematic” for determining reasonable billing rates for legal services.

Judge Engelmayer’s decision spotlighted concerns over the firm’s approach to validating its fee request using ChatGPT, a tool he suggested was unsuitable for assessing bespoke legal assignments within specialized practice areas.

The court’s dismissal of ChatGPT’s conclusions as a basis for billing rates underscores broader questions about the integration of artificial intelligence in legal processes. The judge further recommended the firm refrain from using ChatGPT for future fee requests, indicating a need for more reliable methods in the valuation of legal work.

Despite the judge’s criticism, Andrew Cuddy, founder of the Cuddy Law Firm, defended the use of ChatGPT, suggesting a misunderstanding by the court.