ArtificiaI Intelligence Is Great, But People Still Rule


Hooray for technology. Artificial Intelligence (AI) will soon take over our chores. You can set the task and go to the beach, movies, golf, .... Some developers are even designing sites that do the case research for you. Yep, you submit the complaint or the brief, and you get back all of the relevant cases pertinent to the issues. That includes those in your favor as well as the potential cases that favor your adversary.

It may work for preparing the case, but the most important element is still the lawyer - in the flesh. Your style and presentation at court, your demeanor at a meeting or conference, even your tone on the telephone with your adversary will often affect the outcome. Data may get the job done, but people still make the difference.

Words and language are the trade of the lawyer. Even if you lack a literary style in your brief, you can still make your points sing to the cadence of your oral argument. That's why I suggest requesting oral argument at court. It is the moment when the lawyer rules. It is when, what you say, and how you say it, can tip you over the top in the judge's determination.

The problem is that too many lawyers do not recognize the power of their position. They have derogated themselves to the art of collecting cases and formatting files. They rely on data programs, hoping for a favorable outcome, the way a gambler relies on the bouncing ball at the roulette table.

Technology, after all, is monotone. It cannot (at least, not yet) replace the inflection of a voice, the wave of an arm, or the emphatic imprint of a facial expression in presenting the pros and cons of a case. Granted, some lawyers are more expressive in their writing than in their speaking. Frankly, my experience of reading briefs has shown the opposite to be true. But, assuming, arguendo, the brief is gold, the lasting impression at court is always the spoken word.

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