AI ‘Robot Lawyer’ Not Licensed to Practice Law in Illinois, Class Action Claims
MillerKing, LLC v. DoNotPay, Inc.
Filed: March 15, 2023 ◆§ 3:23-cv-00863
An Illinois law firm alleges in a class action that AI-powered “world’s first robot lawyer” DoNotPay is unlawfully advertised and practices law in the state without proper licensure.
An Illinois law firm alleges in a proposed class action that artificial intelligence-powered “world’s first robot lawyer” DoNotPay is unlawfully advertised and practices law in the state without proper licensure.
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The 40-page lawsuit alleges that DoNotPay touts the subscription service—which purportedly uses AI to perform a variety of legal services personalized to consumers’ needs and state laws—as an “artificially intelligent robot attorney” and has continued to illegally practice law despite warnings from state bar associations. In addition, the case says DoNotPay has continued to operate as usual after removing certain services from its site and promising to focus solely on consumer rights “products.”
“Dispensing legal advice without possessing the requisite expertise, competence, and licensure requirements causes, and predictably will continue to cause, irreparable harm to many citizens in need of legal services,” the suit claims, also acknowledging the damage done to competing law firms which are properly licensed.
Per the case, DoNotPay’s website offers to subscribers a slew of legal services, such as assistance in contesting parking tickets, drawing up documents and agreements, registering trademarks, initiating and filing lawsuits and providing statements to read in court.
The homepage advertises that DoNotPay can make drafting personalized contracts and agreements “stress-free” by “[generating] over 30 types of legal documents automatically,” the complaint says. By clicking “Standardized Legal Documents” on the homepage, a consumer can see a list of templates DoNotPay provides, including non-compete agreements, prenuptial agreements, residential lease agreements, non-disclosure agreements and more, the filing shares.
The website also offers personalized property tax guides and advice on appealing traffic tickets, for which it provides “arguments that work for most parking ticket disputes,” the lawsuit relays. Further, DoNotPay purports to offer assistance “with all your legal needs” when suing in small claims court, such as drafting “perfectly composed” demand letters, filling out required forms and issuing scripts to read in court, the suit states.
Although DoNotPay’s website touts high success rates—including a claim that it had disputed 250,000 parking tickets and reversed $4 million in fines by 2016—the case contends that these statistics are “questionable” and may be skewed by founder and CEO Joshua Browder’s methods of tallying “wins.”
Numerous DoNotPay subscribers have lodged their complaints online, including one consumer who was attempting to dispute a parking ticket and ended up paying a fine after the service generated a document that admitted fault, the filing says. Other complaints describe “demand letters that go undelivered and which do not actually contain demands” or documents with basic information misprinted, the suit shares.
DoNotPay’s errors can have serious legal consequences for the consumers who rely on its services, the complaint contends.
The lawsuit looks to represent any law firms in the United States in existence within the statute of limitations period.
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