On Thursday, Judge Castel sanctioned two lawyers and their law firm $5,000 in connection with their widely publicized submission of fake cases generated by ChatGPT.

The relevant events began on March 1, when the plaintiff’s lawyers submitted an “affirmation” in opposition to the defendant’s motion to dismiss, which first cited the fake cases. On March 15, the defendant a reply brief questioning the existence of many of the cases cited in plaintiff’s “affirmation.”

After reading the reply and being unable to locate a number of the cases himself, Judge Castel ordered plaintiff’s lawyers to produce the cases cited in their opposition. Plaintiff’s counsel submitted an affidavit attaching the excerpts of the “cases” on April 25th. Judge Castel reviewed the “purported decisions” and described them as showing “stylistic and reasoning flaws that do not generally appear in decisions” from federal courts and containing legal analysis that was “gibberish.” On May 4, he ordered plaintiff’s lawyers to show cause why they should not be sanctioned. On May 25, one of the lawyers finally admitted that he had used ChatGPT to conduct his legal research, not understanding that it could invent fake cases. Continue Reading Judge Castel Sanctions Lawyers Who Submitted Fake Cases Generated By ChatGPT

In an opinion today, Judge Furman granted a motion for sanctions against the Department of Justice for failing to review and produce hundreds of relevant documents in the litigation over when a citizenship question could be included in the 2020 Census (see our previous coverage here).  The case centered on whether the inclusion of the citizenship question was a proper exercise of executive authority. The withheld documents provided evidence that the question was included to assist in political redistricting efforts, and that the stated justification (that the question was added to help enforce the Voting Rights Act) was pretextual.

While Judge Furman agreed that the conduct was sanctionable, he noted that the most appropriate remedy – judgment in favor of the plaintiffs – had already occurred:
Continue Reading Judge Furman Sanctions DOJ in Census Citizenship Question Case

In an opinion today, Magistrate Judge Wang denied a motion for sanctions premised on (among other things) the “sheer volume” of objections during two depositions, including, in one instance, a deposition with an objection on approximately 80% of the transcript pages.

Judge Wang concluded that the number of objections alone was not enough, given that the objections were largely appropriate:
Continue Reading Magistrate Judge Wang: “Sheer Volume” of Deposition Objections Not Enough for Sanctions

In an opinion today, Judge Woods concluded that sanctions were appropriate as against a plaintiff, referred to as ITM, that brought a claim without evidentiary support, even though the claim was eventually dropped.  ITM alleged that it incurred $350,000 in expenses advising the defendant about a certain corporate acquisition, but dropped the claim after discovery.   That didn’t solve the problem, as Judge Woods explained:
Continue Reading Judge Woods: Belatedly Withdrawing A Baseless Claim Does Not Insulate a Litigant from Sanctions

Yesterday, Judge Rakoff sanctioned an attorney for an objector to the $3 billion Petrobras securities litigation settlement (see our full coverage of the Petrobras litigation here).  Judge Rakoff had approved the settlement over the objections, after which the objectors filed an appeal.  According to the class plaintiff, the appeals were part of an “extortionist agenda” to extract a monetary settlement in exchange for dismissing their appeals.

Judge Rakoff warned against the rise of frivolous objections to class settlements:
Continue Reading Judge Rakoff Grants Sanctions for “Objector Extortion” in Proposed Class Action Settlement

In an opinion Tuesday, Judge Seibel lambasted, but ultimately did not sanction, attorneys in an insurance dispute who made evasive and false assertions in a Rule 56.1 statement submitted in opposition to summary judgment.  She found the statements lacked a “factual basis,” and were a “sham,” and added that the attorneys’ conduct “was entirely unbecoming of members of our profession.”  She nonetheless concluded “in light of the high standard for bad faith, and the caution with which courts should approach the question of bad faith,” not to award sanctions, for two reasons:
Continue Reading Judge Seibel Nearly Sanctions Attorneys for “Sham” Responses to Rule 56.1 Opposition Statement

In a brief order Thursday, Judge Marrero imposed a sanction of $1,048.09 against a party that deliberately broke his individual rule requiring briefs be double-spaced:

At the March 24, 2017 hearing regarding plaintiff CafeX Communications’s (“CafeX”) Motion for a Preliminary Injunction (“Motion,” Dkt. No. 8.) the Court found that defendant Amazon Web Services, Inc. (“Amazon”)

In an opinion yesterday, Judge Caproni warned Christopher Bandas, an attorney who serially files class action objections, about his apparent practice of attempting to use local counsel as a shield against sanctions, though she ultimately declined to sanction Mr. Bandas:

Bandas’ failure to provide any legitimate support for [the class objection] would be enough to

In an opinion Monday, resolving “the latest in a long, tedious series of discovery disputes,” Judge Hellerstein chided a patent plaintiff, Intellectual Ventures, for having disclosed infringement contentions that were “discursive, disorganized, and, at times, confusing” and for repeatedly shifting positions about what it believed was the infringing conduct of the defendant, JP Morgan:

Intellectual