Letter To The Editor – NY Times: He Has A Point About AI & The Law

It is good to see some have words of warning about AI and the Law as we plough headlong into the future without a pause for thought

To the Editor:

I read “Of Lawyers and Robots” (letter, nytimes.com, April 4) with great interest (and a chuckle).

Shall we have a robot show up at the night arraignment when Junior is locked up for crashing his car and injuring others while texting? Shall the robot counsel Junior in his jail cell and plead with the judge for bail?

Want a robot holding your hand through a bitter divorce proceeding? How about a robot when the siblings are in a vicious dispute over Mom’s estate?

And when the business partners are fighting over money (what else?), jeopardizing the jobs of their hundred employees, shall we send in one robot or two?

Paralegals sorting documents into piles is another matter. Computers can help sort. But reading potential documentary evidence and assessing its significance is a lawyer’s personal responsibility and cannot be delegated to a machine (unless the client wants to lose the case).

Lawyers hold this society together when serious problems between and among people arise. This is the last profession where artificial intelligence belongs, unless of course, we want artificial justice. We call that dictatorship, and we raise armies against it.


The writer has been a lawyer for 41 years so far.