Texas Judge Orders Lawyers To Attest They Haven't Used ChatGPT For Case Briefs

Texas Judge Orders Lawyers To Attest They Haven't Used ChatGPT For Case Briefs
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Leon Neal

The rapid advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) has brought forth numerous innovations, transforming various industries. However, its integration into the legal profession has raised concerns about the potential risks and limitations associated with AI-generated content.

Recently, US District Judge Brantley Starr of the Northern District of Texas issued a groundbreaking order requiring attorneys to attest that they will not use generative AI technology, such as ChatGPT, to draft legal briefs.

Image Source: Getty Images | Pool
Image Source: Getty Images | Pool


Judge's Order and Reasoning

Judge Starr's order was prompted by a case in which a lawyer employed ChatGPT to prepare a legal brief. Upon examination, the brief was found to contain errors and even fabricated court cases. The judge acknowledged the usefulness of AI in certain legal aspects, such as generating standard documents or suggesting errors in existing content.

However, he emphasized that legal briefing should not be entrusted solely to generative AI due to its propensity to hallucinate or invent facts. In his ban, Judge Starr cited the inherent limitations and risks associated with current generative AI platforms, such as hallucinations, bias, and unreliable outputs.

"These platforms in their current states are prone to hallucinations and bias. On hallucinations, they make stuff up — even quotes and citations," Judget Starr wrote in his order.

Image Source: Getty Images | Chris McGrath  Staff
Image Source: Getty Images | Chris McGrath Staff


AI's Role in the Legal Profession

Although the judge imposed limitations on the use of generative AI in legal briefs, he recognized its potential benefits in other areas of the legal profession. AI tools can streamline processes by assisting in tasks like form divorces, discovery requests, and identifying potential questions for oral arguments. By automating these routine tasks, attorneys can allocate more time to strategic thinking, case analysis, and client interaction. Moreover, AI-powered tools can enhance legal research by providing access to vast databases of legal precedents and statutes, expediting the process of finding relevant information.

Potential Risks and Limitations of Generative AI

Image Source: Getty Image | Andrea Verdelli  Stringer
Image Source: Getty Image | Andrea Verdelli Stringer


Generative AI, while impressive, is still an evolving technology and comes with limitations and risks. One major concern is the possibility of incorrect answers or information generated by AI models like ChatGPT. Due to the evolving nature of these models, they can make factual, grammatical, and reasoning errors. Users must exercise caution and independently verify the accuracy of AI-generated content.

Additionally, biases can be introduced through AI models, as they are trained on data that may exhibit inherent biases. This raises concerns about perpetuating cultural, racial, and gender stigmas.

The Case of the Lawyer and the AI-Generated Brief

The incident involving the lawyer and the AI-generated brief illustrates the potential pitfalls of relying solely on generative AI for legal content creation. Fabricated court cases and inaccuracies undermine the integrity of the legal system and can adversely affect the outcome of a case. This serves as a reminder that human oversight and critical analysis remain essential in the legal profession, ensuring accuracy, integrity, and ethical representation.

Image Source: Getty Image | Pool Pool
Image Source: Getty Image | Pool Pool


Sworn Attestation Requirement

Judge Starr's requirement for attorneys to file a sworn attestation regarding the use of generative AI in their filings serves as a safeguard against the potential misuse or misrepresentation of AI-generated content. By ensuring that either no portion of the document was generated by AI or that a human has verified the AI-generated text, the judge aims to uphold the principles of truth, accountability, and professionalism within the legal profession.


A Lot of Companies in the US Have Embraced AI Chatbots

According to a survey by ResumeBuilder.com, it was found that 49% of companies in the United States are currently using ChatGPT, with an additional 30% planning to adopt the technology in the near future. The survey highlights the growing popularity of ChatGPT among businesses, with a significant number of companies already reaping its benefits. The data indicates a positive trend, as 93% of current users express their intention to expand their use of ChatGPT. This suggests that AI chatbots are increasingly becoming a valuable tool for various industries in the US.

Image Source: Getty Images | Lintao Zhang  Staff
Image Source: Getty Images | Lintao Zhang Staff

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