Fugees founder, Pras Michel, is seeking a new trial following his conviction for money laundering, illegal lobbying, and campaign finance violations. Michel’s new legal counsel claims that his former attorney used artificial intelligence (AI) during the closing arguments of the trial, leading to a flawed outcome. The defense alleges that the attorney used an experimental AI program to draft the closing statement, ignoring crucial arguments and mixing up the charged schemes.
Michel has hired a team of attorneys from the Washington, DC-based law firm ArentFox Schiff LLP, including Peter Zeidenberg, civil rights attorney and former U.S. Senator Doug Jones, and Scott Peeler. The firm, known for its expertise in complex litigation, government investigations, and criminal defense work, will provide legal representation and advice as Michel continues to address the charges.
The new legal counsel claims that Michel’s former attorney and his co-counsel have a stake in the AI program used during the trial. They argue that the attorneys experimented with the program during the trial to later promote it in a press release, pointing to a conflict of interest. The defense also cites a declaration from Zeidenberg, a former federal prosecutor, in which he mentions a press release issued by EyeLevel’s LitAssist shortly after Michel’s conviction, touting the use of generative AI in a federal trial.
Michel, aged 50, now faces a potential prison sentence of up to 20 years after being found guilty of conspiracy to defraud the U.S., witness tampering, and acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign government. It remains to be seen when a sentencing date will be determined.
The case has garnered attention due to the alleged use of AI during closing arguments and its potential impact on the trial’s outcome. As Michel seeks a new trial, it will be interesting to see how the court considers these claims and whether the use of AI in legal proceedings becomes a subject of further scrutiny.
In conclusion, Fugees founder Pras Michel is striving for a new trial after his conviction on several charges. The alleged use of AI during the trial’s closing arguments has prompted Michel to seek new legal representation and question the fairness of the trial. As the case unfolds, the role AI plays in legal proceedings may come under closer examination.