Florida Considers Requiring Lawyers to Obtain Client Consent Before Using AI in Legal Matters

Furthermore, they are exploring the idea of reducing lawyer fees when AI is employed in legal matters.

Florida lawyers may soon be required to seek their clients’ consent before utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) in their legal proceedings.

The Florida Bar is currently in the process of formulating a new advisory opinion focused on AI’s application in the legal field and has solicited input from lawyers practicing in Florida.

To accomplish this task, the Florida Bar has entrusted the Florida Board Review Committee on Professional Ethics with the responsibility of establishing guidelines regarding the use of generative AI systems, including those offered by OpenAI, Google (Bard), and Microsoft (Bing).

Among the key considerations being examined by the committee is the mandatory requirement for lawyers to obtain explicit consent from their clients before incorporating AI into their legal work.

Additionally, the committee is pondering whether AI should be subjected to the same supervision requirements as non-lawyer assistants.

Furthermore, they are exploring the idea of reducing lawyer fees when AI is employed in legal matters.

The question of whether law firms should be permitted to promote their generative AI as superior or distinctive is also under scrutiny, as well as whether lawyers should be allowed to encourage their clients to rely on due diligence reports generated by AI.

Notably, some federal judges have already imposed obligations on lawyers to disclose their use of AI in cases appearing on their dockets.

These requirements stemmed from a case where two New York lawyers submitted a legal brief that included six fabricated case citations generated by ChatGPT.

In response, lawyers at Levidow, Levidow & Oberman were ordered to pay a $5,000 fine, claiming they were unaware that the technology could generate fictitious cases.

Florida appears to be at the forefront of jurisdictions contemplating the implementation of a consent rule for lawyers utilizing AI in their legal practice.

The legal tech industry has witnessed a wave of AI product launches in recent months, ranging from AI-driven legal research tools to the creation of legal documents.

Florida bar members have until December 1 to submit their comments on the new AI advisory opinion.

The committee responsible for drafting the opinion is scheduled to convene on November 30 to further deliberate on these crucial matters.