Star attorney David Kenner – known for representing hip-hop artists Snoop Dogg and Suge Knight – is accused of making several major errors in sentencing his newest major client.
In a motion for a new trial filed Monday evening, Fugees rapper Pras Michel’s new lawyers called Kenner unprepared and unscrupulous. Among their most startling claims is that Kenner used an “experimental” artificial intelligence program to formulate his closing argument in the trial. They said the program didn’t even do its job well.
Later, the new defense team said, they became aware that Kenner had “a financial interest in the AI program.” He even offered a press release promoting the new technology. saying“This is an absolute game-changer for complex litigation…The system has turned hours or days of legal work into seconds. “This is a glimpse into the future of how cases are handled.”
Michel was sentenced in the spring on 10 counts, including “orchestrating an unregistered back-channel campaign” to persuade the Trump administration to drop the investigation into a Malaysian businessman, Jho Low, who was accused of perpetrating a massive fraud scheme. Michel was also accused of collaborating with Low in making improper political donations and of lying to the Federal Election Commission about them.
His lawyers now claim that Kenner “never had a chance” because of his alleged poor representation.
In addition to the AI debacle, they claim that Kenner was unfamiliar with key elements of the law. “Two weeks before the trial,” they wrote in Monday’s filing, “a member of Kenner’s trial team was so concerned about the state of Kenner’s preparations and his understanding of the case that he contacted a fellow law school student, a trial attorney in Miami, asked if…”he would fly to Los Angeles to help.” The lawyer was apparently taken aback when Kenner “asked him to explain money laundering law.”
The new lawyers – who have an interest in making Michel’s former lawyer appear unfit – also claim they asked for access to Discovery materials, but Kenner told them to contact an e-mail directly about some of these articles. Contact discovery providers. The company declined, the motion said, “as its invoices for work performed at Mr. Kenner’s request remain unpaid.”
Contacted by The Daily Beast by phone, Kenner declined to comment.
The outlet later published a series of articles about Michel’s case; In fact, a photo in one of the stories was accompanied by a “grand jury exhibit sticker that matches the copy provided to the defense in the discovery process.”
Furious, prosecutors argued that Kenner—who had been “reminded” of the protective order “sixteen times”—tried to influence the jury by specifically disclosing favorable information.