The development of artificial intelligence in terms of generating text for specific queries raises many questions and real-world concerns that cut across a myriad of areas. One such question is the issue related to a legal opinion generated by a chatbot, based on a specific factual situation. These concerns relate to aspects such as, in the first instance, the correctness of the legal opinion given, the responsibility for such opinion of the entity that finally transmits it to the client, the issue of the professional ethics of the lawyer and, last but not least, moral and image issues.
Legal opinion generated by artificial intelligence.
In the context of increasingly artificial intelligence-created texts, which are marketed by their 'authors' as authoritative texts, the circumstance of a client receiving an opinion from a lawyer that has been drafted by a chatbot does not seem impossible. Until a few months ago, yes - this might have sounded rather abstract, but not any more today. Technically speaking, it should be pointed out that the generation of such a legal opinion is possible. Some of the chatbots operating on the market warn in their content about the need to consult such an opinion with a professional attorney, however, this warning is not the rule. If it is technically possible for an AI to produce such an opinion, questions related to the risks for this type of activity should be answered.
Responsibility for the content of an AI-drafted legal opinion provided to a client.
In such a situation, the entity from which the client received such a legal opinion is liable. The risks associated with the legal consequences of taking action on the basis of such a legal opinion can be downright catastrophic. The lack of a thorough analysis by a professional attorney of such an opinion, may pose a real threat to the legal interests of the client. For the sake of clarification, it should be pointed out that even the absence of a signature under such an opinion or an AI-generated pleading does not automatically absolve the attorney from responsibility for its content. This is because pursuant to § 14 of the Code of Bar Ethics and Dignity of the Profession (the Code of Bar Ethics) - an attorney is responsible for the form and content of pleadings drafted by him, even if they have not been signed by him. The key phrase in this case is "drafted by him". It must be agreed that the transfer (copying) of text originating from a chatbot, directly into the file in which a legal opinion is created, e.g. on the law firm's letterhead, proofreading of text, etc., already constitutes in itself an editing that triggers the professional liability of a professional attorney.
Professional ethics rules and the use of a chatbot to generate a legal opinion.
It should be unequivocally pointed out that such actions are unethical, immoral and detrimental to the good name of an advocate or legal adviser (professional representative). The image issues of a given law firm which would be tempted to operate in such a manner may be seriously damaged, and the credibility of the law firm itself may definitely lose its value. It should be recalled at this point that it is a violation of the dignity of the legal profession to behave in such a way as to bring the lawyer into disrepute in public opinion or to undermine confidence in the profession. Such conduct is undoubtedly the use of only the functionality of solutions provided by chatbots (AI) when providing legal assistance.
It should be made clear that such behaviour may also be assessed highly negatively with respect to legal advisers. Pursuant to Article 6 of the Code of Ethics for Legal Advisers - a legal adviser, taking into account the content of the oath's rote specified in the Act on Legal Advisers, is obliged to perform professional activities reliably and honestly, in accordance with the law, principles of professional ethics and good practice. Drawing up legal opinions on the basis of AI solutions should not be regarded as a good practice.
Legal basis: The Rulebook on Bar Ethics and Dignity of the Profession (Code of Bar Ethics) and the Code of Ethics for Legal Advisers.