Artificial Intelligence (AI) has undoubtedly brought numerous advantages, but we must also acknowledge its drawbacks. As lawyers strive to streamline their processes and enhance efficiency, the question arises: should lawyers utilize AI for drafting briefs?
By exploring the advantages, potential challenges, and scenarios where AI has been used, we can comprehensively understand whether AI should play a role in creating legal briefs.
The Use of ChatGPT in Briefs Recently Got Lawyers Sanctioned
In June 2023, two lawyers in New York faced backlash after their ChatGPT legal brief cited non-existent cases.
When the opposing counsel questioned the validity of the cited cases, the judge asked the lawyers to provide copies of those cases. It became evident that the cases they referred to were not real. As a result, the judge decided to impose a $5,000 fine on the lawyers for their misleading statements and acting in bad faith.
Briefs Purely Generated by AI Can be Prohibited in Some Courts
To ensure the reliability of AI, some courts have directed lawyers to conduct thorough human reviews and verifications of the generated content. For instance, a Texas judge recently implemented a directive mandating lawyers to certify the accuracy of any AI-generated content in their filings.
How to Use AI to Write Briefs Responsibly
- Do Your Research
Lawyers should take the initiative to verify facts and claims through their searches. While AI can assist in surfacing relevant laws, cases, and arguments that might have been overlooked, it is imperative to double-check the information it provides.
- Review and Edit AI Writing
AI cannot replace human judgment and nuance. Attorneys should edit and revise AI content to strengthen arguments, clarify points, and use an appropriate tone and style for their audience.
- Supervise AI and Take Responsibility
You are responsible for anything submitted to the court under your name. Closely supervise any AI system you use and double-check its work. Be extremely wary of over-depending on AI or using a system you need help understanding. The court will hold you accountable for any errors.
- Disclose the Use of AI
Consider disclosing to the court if AI played a significant role in a brief or other filing. Although transparency fosters trust in the legal system, only disclose if AI has had a meaningful impact on the work. Mentioning AI casually for minor tasks could be perceived as insincere.
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