The Volokh Conspiracy

Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent

AI in Court

"This Case Pits Real Lawyers Against a Robot Lawyer"

"Spoiler: the robot wins for lack of Article III standing."


Prof. Rebecca Tushnet's 43(B)log has the details, about MillerKing, LLC v. DoNotPay, Inc. (S.D. Ill. 2023). An excerpt:

DoNotPay is an online subscription service that touts its ability to allow consumers to "[f]ight corporations, beat bureaucracy and sue anyone at the press of a button" and bills itself as "The World's First Robot Lawyer," offering legal services "related to marriage annulment, speeding ticket appeals, canceling timeshares, breaking leases, breach of contract disputes, defamation demand letters, copyright protection, child support payments, restraining orders, revocable living trusts, and standardized legal documents." But DNP isn't actually licensed to practice law.

MillerKing, a small Chicago law firm that claims to be a direct competitor of DNP, sued DNP for false association and false advertising under the Lanham Act and Illinois state law. Along with state consumer protection claims, MK alleged that DNP was engaged in the unlawful practice of law under Illinois law. (The false association claim was based on the theory that consumers are misled to believe that DNP is affiliated with licensed attorneys and that State bar authorities approve of or sponsor DNP's services.) …