The Supreme Court of New Jersey is taking a closer look at the implications of artificial intelligence, particularly with respect to court operations and the practice of law. In September, the court convened a Committee on Artificial Intelligence and the Courts comprised of judicial and government leaders, judges, attorneys, educators, and cybersecurity and technology experts.
“Artificial intelligence is a tool that we are still learning about, and while it holds the potential for great opportunities, it can also create significant challenges within the legal community. This committee brings together leaders with different backgrounds and perspectives who can engage in a comprehensive review of the myriad issues this new technology presents for the courts,” Chief Justice Stuart Rabner said in a press statement.
The new committee is slated to examine potential policies and practices in numerous areas, including the appropriate use (and possible limitations for use) of artificial intelligence in legal contexts, the disclosure of the use of artificial intelligence in court submissions and testimony, and proper guidance for self-represented litigants and other court users.
Glenn A. Grant, administrative director of the courts, will serve as chair of the committee. Other notable members include Judge Heidi Willis Currier, deputy presiding judge of the Appellate Division; Timothy McGoughran, president of the New Jersey State Bar Association; and Sajed Naseem, the judiciary’s chief information security officer.
The New Jersey Supreme Court is not the only legal entity concerned about the potential impact of AI. The American Bar Association (ABA) has also convened a group to assess how AI will impact the practice of law, along with the ethical implications of the new technology. Issues before the task force include risk management, generative AI, access to justice, AI governance, and AI in legal education. Notable members include former U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, former U.S. Solicitor General Seth Waxman, and former U.S. Patent and Trademark Office director Michelle Lee.
While AI has the potential to revolutionize the legal industry, courts and lawyers alike are exercising caution when experimenting with AI tools given the potential ethical and legal concerns. As courts and legal organizations begin to set guidelines, the potential of the new technology may exceed its potential pitfalls.