Artificial Intelligence in the Law: Recent Developments and Future Potential
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The Rise of AI in the Legal Field
In May 2023, I had the privilege of being part of a panel at the London Market Association’s Property Insurance Claims Group’s Annual Conference where we discussed the increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the law and insurance adjusting. Over the past few months, several noteworthy developments have taken place in the intersection of AI and the legal field. Here are some highlights:
ChatGPT Assists Judge in Colombia
In Cartagena, Colombia, a judge used ChatGPT to research and draft a decision in a case involving an autistic child’s insurance coverage. While the judge emphasized that he exercised his own legal judgment, he acknowledged that ChatGPT greatly expedited his research and drafting process. This technology has proven to be valuable in addressing the case backlog in Colombia, but concerns have been raised about over-reliance on AI in the decision-making process.
Sanctions for Misuse of AI in New York
In New York, a lawyer was sanctioned by a federal court for submitting a court filing created by ChatGPT. The filing contained fake quotes and citations to non-existent case law. The court clarified that while lawyers are allowed to utilize technology and AI in their preparation of court documents, they are ultimately responsible for ensuring the accuracy and truthfulness of the filings.
Certification Requirement in Texas
A federal judge in Texas issued an order that mandates lawyers to include a certification on their court filings, stating whether AI was used or not. If AI was used, the lawyer must certify that they have independently verified the accuracy of the AI-generated content. The judge recognized the potential benefits of AI in creating legal forms and assisting with word processing, but emphasized that it should not substitute proper legal briefing.
Perspective of Chief Judge Klingensmith
The Honorable Mark W. Klingensmith, Chief Judge of Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal, shared his views on AI, particularly ChatGPT, and its impact on judges and lawyers in an article published in The Florida Bar Journal. Judge Klingensmith echoes the sentiments expressed by other judges mentioned in this article, stating that AI offers new tools to assist legal professionals, but it is not yet ready to replace judges or lawyers.
The Potential Role of AI in Decision-Making
While the consensus is that AI is not prepared to replace judges and lawyers entirely, Sir Geoffrey Vos, the Master of the Rolls and head of the civil justice system in England and Wales, sees a potential role for AI in certain types of cases. Sir Geoffrey suggests that AI could act as a decision-maker in minor disputes that do not involve highly personal matters. However, for this to occur, the parties involved would need to agree to AI decision-making, and the decision would still be subject to human review and appeal. This approach could be particularly attractive to litigants in the commercial sector who prioritize quick decisions over other considerations, viewing AI as an efficient tool with a human safety net.
The Future of AI in the Legal Industry
While AI has made significant strides in the legal field, it is not yet ready to take over the roles of judges and lawyers. However, it does offer valuable assistance and efficiency in various aspects of legal work, such as research and document preparation. As AI continues to evolve and improve, it is likely to become an increasingly important tool for legal professionals in the future.
The information provided in this article should be seen as a general guide and not as legal advice. For specific circumstances, it is advisable to seek specialist advice.
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