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Artificial Family Law Intelligence, or Lack Thereof

The developments in the use of Artificial Intelligence have been all over the headlines, particularly the Chat GPT app. The abilities and uses of this technology seem almost impossible to fathom at this point. There are countless impacts to our society on the horizon that can’t even be guessed at yet. Just in the past few weeks I’ve heard of actual uses ranging from creating bedtime stories for children to developing complex Excel spreadsheets, all in a manner of minutes and a few typed commands. Oh, and the drafting of legal documents and the writing of legal blog posts to attract readers like yourself to web sites like ours.*

Artificial Intelligence is no doubt going to increasingly become a part of the practice of law. There are currently attorneys using AI in lieu of paying a paralegal to draft pleadings. For several years, there has been talk of courts utilizing AI to determine the outcome of cases – simply plug the facts into a computer algorithm and, voila, a determination has been made. And we know that AI is already in widespread use in internet marketing, including for lawyers.

If you view the resolution of a lawsuit as a formulaic equation, then AI works and it’s not much different than paying a lawyer doing it for the wrong reasons to handle your case. You can hire a lawyer whose only objective is their personal greed and you’ll be able to sit next to them and whisper to them in the middle of your hearing your kids’ names and what questions to ask the witness and whether they have confused the facts in your case with the facts in another case. That’s already happening, and so why not have a computer that can do all of that PLUS ask clear, coherent, and concise questions to boot!? In fact, the computer is far less likely to get the basic data wrong.

Family law in particular should not be practiced by computers or by hacks out of briefcases. Your children and your life’s work are far too valuable, There is a need for finesse, a call for diplomacy, and a mandate for strategic thinking that no computer or bumbling idiot, regardless of how expensive, can employ. That starts from the first draft of the documents by a real paralegal filled with real empathy all the way to the deployment of trial strategy by a real lawyer filled with real concern.

Because one more month without telling your child a bedtime story, regardless of who or what wrote it, is too long.

David Purvis

*This blog was written by a live human being.