Courtney Duncil: Why ChatGPT Won’t Put Discovery Counsel Out of a Job

Extract from Courtney Duncil’s article “Why ChatGPT Won’t Put Discovery Counsel Out of a Job”

AI has revolutionized e-discovery, but Moore & Van Allen’s Courtney Duncil says discovery attorneys are more relevant to the process than ever, particularly when it comes to protecting client data confidentiality.

Artificial intelligence has revolutionized the e-discovery process by drastically reducing the volume of documents attorneys must review and the cost to clients for them to do so. AI can tell us which documents are likely to be relevant, hot, and privileged through innovations in technology assisted review. If AI can accurately review documents, do we still need discovery counsel?

Even if our confidence increases in a computer’s ability to decide what is relevant and privileged, document review is only a fraction of the work performed by discovery counsel.

Prior to document review, discovery counsel oversees the collection of data. Defensible document collection cannot be automated by AI without significant risks of spoilation. New full-service office programs claim to be so easy to use that the unsophisticated user can preserve, collect, and export their data without hiring an expert to oversee the process. Is it realistic to believe that one program can automate the entire e-discovery process?

These programs have made electronic document collection much easier for e-discovery teams. However, relying on a one-size-fits-all program for defensible document collection is not realistic. Exporting data is not intuitive for all users. It is not as simple as “pushing a button.”

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