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Harnessing AI for Legal Decision Making: The Future of litigation and ADR

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By Anurag Abhishek,  Partner & Prateek Dhir, Principal Associate at S&A Law Offices.

The phrase ‘Artificial Intelligence’ was coined by John McCarthy who is considered one of the founders of this discipline. The Oxford Dictionary defines Artificial Intelligence as, “The capacity of computers or other machines to exhibit or simulate intelligent behavior; the field of study concerned with this.” Artificial intelligence is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computer systems which work by consuming large amounts of labeled training data, analysing the data for correlations and patterns, and using these patterns to make decisions.

The Indian Legal profession has evolved drastically over time. The need to adapt to modern
technologies by the legal industry are the need of the hour and more so has been realised during the Pandemic, Covid-19. The Hon’ble Chief Justice of India, Mr. Justice D.Y. Chandrachud recently emphasised the role of technology in the legal sphere and stated that “technology is relevant insofar as it fosters efficiency, transparency, and objectivity in public government. Artificial Intelligence is present to provide a facilitative tool to judges in order to recheck or evaluate the work, the process, and the judgments.”

The Hon’ble Judiciary is working to develop clear legal frameworks for the use of AI in legal
proceedings, and to ensure that AI is used in a way that does not compromise the rights of individuals. The Hon’ble High Court of Delhi in the matter of Tata Sky Limited. Vs National Internet Exchange of India (Nixi) and Others 1 , acknowledged the need for application of AI into the legal fields and opined that, “Artificial Intelligence’ can be suitably employed to, within the parameters defined by law and/or the Courts, prevent such repeated infringement and violations, eliminating the need for the grievants to repeatedly approach the Court and/or the dispute redressal mechanism and which may tire the grievants, opening the field for violators/infringers.” Subsequently, the Hon’ble Supreme
Court in the matter of N.N. Global Mercantile Private Limited Vs. Indo Unique Flame Ltd. and Others 2, observed that “Richard Susskind in his book, “The End of Lawyers? Rethinking the Nature of Legal Services”, suggests that new technologies and processes, such as artificial intelligence and blockchain, may be able to simplify and streamline the arbitration process in the future.

We now have the phenomenon of smart contracts and metaverse in the sphere of commercial transactions where technology and artificial intelligence are integrated. The developments in the legal framework must attune to such developing trends in technology and be conscious of their implications today and for the future.”

1 2019 SCC OnLine Del 7931
2 2023 SCC OnLine SC 495

Artificial intelligence (AI) has made significant advancements in the field of legal decision-making. It has the potential to assist legal professionals by automating routine tasks, analysing vast amounts of legal data, and providing insights to support decision-making processes. AI-powered platforms can assist the Hon’ble Judges in the following manner:
(a) It can analyse and categorise large volumes of legal documents, including case law, statutes, regulations, and legal opinions. AI models can analyse historical legal data and identify patterns and trends to predict case outcomes, assess risks, and guide decision-making. By analysing vast databases of past cases and their associated attributes, AI systems can provide material insights in particular legal matters, helping judges make more informed decisions
(b) AI can assist in document review and due diligence processes and can automate this process by using machine learning algorithms to identify and extract relevant information from contracts, agreements, and other legal documents, saving time and reducing the risk of missing critical details.
(c) AI platforms can analyse legal data and generate analytics and visualisations that provide valuable insights. These insights can include statistics on past ruling, case outcomes and trends in legal matters.
(d) AI powered e-discovery platforms can automate the process of identifying and organising relevant electronic information for litigation purposes.
(e) AI systems can analyse emails, documents, and other digital files to find relevant evidence, reducing the time and effort required for manual review.
(f) AI tools can analyse contracts and extract key clauses, terms, and obligations, helping in
review and compare contracts more efficiently.
(g) AI can assist in monitoring and ensuring compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.
AI systems can analyse vast amounts of data, such as financial transactions or
communications, to detect potential compliance violations.
(h) Online Dispute Resolution (“ODR”) is a process of resolving disputes using digital
technologies, such as video conferencing, messaging, and online platforms. ODR provides an alternative to traditional methods of dispute resolution, such as litigation or arbitration and can be used in a variety of contexts, including commercial disputes, consumer complaints, and family law matters etc. The ODR and AI are linked closely as AI technologies can be used to support and enhance the ODR process. These platforms can help parties to resolve disputes without the need for in-person hearings or trials. The ODR platforms provide various benefits like easy accessibility, convenience, flexibility, and transparency, etc.

Thus, AI’s integration in the legal spectrum can rapidly revolutionise the functioning of the legal industry. AI has the potential to offer a range of innovative solutions that can streamline legal processes, increase efficiency, and improve accuracy. However, it is important to note that AI is not a substitute for human expertise, emotions, sentiments and judgment, and should be used, only as a tool to assist legal professionals in their work. The ethical considerations surrounding the entire eco- system of AI is still an open issue of debate and discussions. Yet, with all the concerns it can still be said that AI has the potential to transform the legal industry by improving efficiency, accuracy, ease of accessibility to justice in a cost and time-effective manner.

Judges are increasingly recognising the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in legal proceedings and are working to develop a better understanding of the technology and its implications.

One important area where AI is being used in the legal system is in the prediction of legal outcomes. AI algorithms can analyse large amounts of data and provide predictions about the likelihood of success or failure in a legal case. Judges are starting to use these tools to assist in decision-making, but they are also aware of the potential biases and limitations of these algorithms.

Another area where judges are recognising the role of AI is in the use of AI-generated evidence in court. Judges are becoming more familiar with the technology behind AI-generated evidence and are working to develop standards for evaluating the reliability and admissibility of such evidence.

In addition, judges are recognising the need to regulate the use of AI in the legal system to ensure fairness and transparency. They are working to develop clear legal frameworks for the use of AI in legal proceedings, and to ensure that AI is used in a way that does not compromise the rights of individuals.

Overall, judges are increasingly recognising the role of AI in the legal system and are working to develop a better understanding of the technology and its implications. This will be essential as AI continues to play a larger role in legal proceedings in the future.

AI is a rapidly developing field that is having an increasing impact on society, including the legal system. As AI becomes more ubiquitous, it is becoming increasingly important for the judiciary to understand the technology and its implications.

In recent years, there have been a number of cases where AI has played a role in legal proceedings. For example, AI algorithms have been used in the criminal justice system to predict the likelihood of recidivism or to identify potential suspects. In such cases, judges and other legal professionals have had to grapple with the question of how to assess the reliability and accuracy of AI-generated evidence.

The judiciary has also been called upon to adjudicate disputes related to AI technology, such as cases involving intellectual property rights or liability for accidents involving autonomous vehicles. These cases require judges to have a deep understanding of the technology involved in order to make informed decisions.

Overall, the judiciary’s acknowledgment of AI is growing, as more and more cases involve AI technology. This has led to a growing interest among judges and legal professionals in understanding the technology and its implications, as well as the need for clear legal frameworks to govern the use of AI in various contexts.

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