With the release of CHAT GPT and other versions of Artificial Intelligence ("AI") there has been talk amongst the legal profession about how the use of Artificial Intelligence can be used to enhance legal services to our clients, but also relevantly, the concerns associated with it, including ethical and confidentiality concerns.

Advantages of AI

It goes without saying for anyone that has insight into ChatGPT that it has the ability to advance the provision of legal services to clients, including (but not limited to) the following advantages:

  • Increasing efficiency and reducing time lawyers spend on a matter by assisting with:
    • Drafting court documents, including pleadings and affidavits;
    • Administrative tasks, such as pleading matrixes; and
    • Drafting correspondence and other documents;
    • Research and access to a broader range of resources, pending ChatGPT being granted access to further legal sources including articles, cases and legislation.
  • Reducing costs to clients

Potential disadvantages of AI

However, from just a brief review of the use of ChatGPT, there appears to be the following primary risks of using AI for client matters:

  • risk of breaching legal professional privilege;
  • confidentiality and privacy concerns;
  • errors and incorrect information, including AI providing case examples that do not exist; and
  • copyright concerns.

In light of the above, lawyers need to use caution when using ChatGPT, and ensure that all measures are taken to protect their clients, including (but not limited to) the client's private information, right to legal professional privilege, and ensure they obtain a client's express consent to use AI in their matters, as well as informing the client of the associated risks of doing so.