Lawsuit filed against ‘robot lawyer’ DoNotPay in San Francisco
According to the lawsuit, DoNotPay engaged in the unregistered practice of law.

DoNotPay Inc, which uses artificial intelligence to assist consumers and tags itself as “the world’s first robot lawyer”, is facing a lawsuit from a prominent law firm that alleges that the firm is practising law without authorization.

The Chicago-based law firm Edelson stated in a class action that DoNotPay “is not actually a robot, a lawyer, nor a law firm” in a San Francisco court on 3 March. It was even posted on Thursday to the court’s public website.

Jonathan Faridian, a citizen of California, alleged he employed San Francisco-based DoNotPay to prepare demand letters, a court of small claims petition, and LLC operating documents and received “substandard and poorly done” results. Edelson initiated the lawsuit on his behalf.

Semiconductor chips are seen on a circuit board of a computer in this illustration picture taken February 25, 2022. REUTERS/Florence Lo/Illustration

The charges have “no merit,” based on DoNotPay CEO Joshua Browder, who responded on Twitter on Thursday. Faridian has “had dozens of successful consumer rights cases with DoNotPay,” he said.

Jay Edelson, the founder of Edelson, “motivated me to start DoNotPay,” according to Browder, who further claimed that Edelson and other lawyers like him benefited from class actions at the cost of consumers.

Edelson responded in an email that Browder and DoNotPay are trying to “distract from their misconduct in any way possible” and that “the problem for them is that DoNotPay has scammed so many people.”

As stated in the lawsuit, Browder launched DoNotPay in 2015 with a specialization on chores like challenging parking tickets. Since then, the firm has expanded to offer limited legal services.

With the growth of OpenAI’s ChatGPT and other AI “chatbots” in recent months, the potential of generative artificial intelligence tools for uses like legal work has gained momentum. When Browder posted on Twitter earlier this year that DoNotPay planned to utilise an AI chatbot to help a defendant in traffic court, the declaration caused a stir.

Furthermore, Browder claimed that his firm would give $1 million to anyone prepared to use headphones and utilize its robot lawyer during a Supreme Court of the United States of America argument.

Following criticism, he later said on Twitter that he had received “threats from State Bar prosecutors” and DoNotPay would postpone its traffic court case.

He also said in the January tweet that DoNotPay would immediately remove “non-consumer legal rights products.” According to the lawsuit, those products are still available on its website.

According to the lawsuit, DoNotPay engaged in the unregistered practice of law, which was forbidden under California’s unfair competition legislation. In addition to unspecified damages, it asks the court to issue an order ruling the company’s actions unconstitutional.

Faridian v. DoNotPay Inc., Superior Court of California for the County of San Francisco, Case No. CGC-23-604987 is the name of the lawsuit.