Shook, Hardy & Bacon Partner Patrick Oot discusses the growing importance of using artificial intelligence (AI) in discovery and litigation preparation in a June 16 Legaltech News article, “Ready or Not, Lawyers are Increasingly Bound to AI by Ethical, Legal Standards.” Oot spoke on this topic recently at the Legaltech West Coast conference.
While AI may be intimidating and complicated to some, Oot explains that because AI can help attorneys conduct more effective litigation preparation, and because it is already being used by regulatory authorities, it cannot be ignored. Oot states, “Your goal is not to find everything and do what you’re supposed to do; your job is to stay ahead of the government.… Walking into a case where your adversary knows more about the subject matter is a huge challenge.”
To further emphasize AI’s usefulness, Oot refers to the 2008 ruling in Mancia v. Mayflower Textile Servs., which required attorneys to make a “reasonable inquiry” in all discovery. Oot expresses, “It’s really difficult to put a figure on what is reasonable,” and adds, “It’s a community standard, not a perfect standard.” Oot notes that attorneys don’t necessarily need to be tech-savvy to use AI as it should be used.
“Smart lawyers bring in somebody who understands the technology,” says Oot. “Essentially, you’re ensuring that that component is covered so long as you have somebody on your team that really knows what you’re doing.”