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AI has done its law degree. It can cite every case on restrictive covenants, prenuptial agreements, contract law and drug importation, far more accurately than we can. It wants to get admitted pronto and appear before the High Court on the most high-profile, socially worthy case imaginable. But AI needs to be able to comply with the Conduct Rules to do that.

So, working on the assumption that AI only gives back what we input into it (I’ll leave the independent life form argument to others), let’s take just one conduct rule and think about what AI needs to be fed, to enable compliance.

Rule 10 – the former client rule. Here are some of the inputs AI needs:

  1. A former client’s name comes up. What is their association with the current matter?
  2. What information do we have about the former client? Facts, figures, what their character is like.
  3. How is that material to the current client at the moment? What about as the current client’s matter progresses and twists and turns?
  4. Does the current client already know all the information?
  5. How would disclosure affect the former client?
  6. Has the former client left their objections too late and, balancing inconvenience to the current client, it is not fair on the current client to lose their solicitor?
  7. Can we put a barrier around the former client’s information to protect its confidentiality? What form would that take?
  8. Should we simply not act because it is not in the interests of the administration of justice to do so?

AI needs black and white inputting – yes or no. I doubt any of us could be black and white about all of the above. And we still have another 42 rules to go.

My bold prediction – we have a few years to go before AI is signing the Roll.

Got a question about your ethical obligations under the Uniform Law?

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