Real Lawyers Block ‘Robot’s Planned Court Appearance

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A legal tech startup that planned to put ‘a robot lawyer’ in Court has cancelled the effort after receiving prosecution and jail threats from real lawyers.

It appears Joshua Browder, CEO of DoNotPay, a startup that uses Artificial Intelligence (A.I) and machine learning technologies to help consumers fight mundane legal battles like cancelling subscriptions and parking tickets, crossed the red line when he announced his A.I powered “Robot Lawyer” would argue against a traffic case in Court on 22nd February, 2023.

This is because since then, according to him, he has received numerous letters threating legal action and possible jail time if he proceeded with the plans.

At one point, Joshua Browder, had gone ahead to even offer a $1M bounty for any lawyer who would use his technology in arguing a case in the U.S Supreme Court.

“Multiple state bar associations have threatened us. One even said a referral to the district attorney’s office and prosecution and prison time would be possible.” Joshua Browder said according to NPR.

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A defendant in the upcoming traffic case was supposed to wear glasses that would read and record the Court proceeding with earpieces ‘whispering’ an appropriate response. But not anymore.

This development highlights how determined lawyers are to fight against any technological attempts to take away their prized power of representing clients in Court.


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But also, it shows how unprepared the world order is to accommodate such attempts because present rules governing the legal profession don’t allow anything beyond automation of documents.

Indeed Joshua Browder confirms that in the current legal setup, his technology and others like the popular ChatGPT will replace lawyers who only ‘copy and paste’ documents – usually junior lawyers.

“There are lots of good lawyers doing great work, such as human rights lawyers and Supreme Court lawyers, but there are others who are on billboards charging hundreds of dollars for copying and pasting documents. And those are the ones that we want to replace.” Joshua Browder said in an interview with Fast Company.

Questions around the integrity of these technologies are also hovering around the legal industry with some lawyers reporting false answers to their queries.

It is also unclear how liability is to be determined in a situation where a person relied on the legal advice of these tools because unlike a real lawyer who is governed by “professional ethics,” these tools are governed by no known industry grade rules.

“The long-term goal is that we want to automate all of consumer rights. The average person should not have to see a lawyer for any reason, unless there’s a serious issue like they’re being accused of breaking into someone’s house. A normal person shouldn’t even have to know what a lawyer does.” Joshua Browder says, suggesting a reckoning that technology may not succeed in wiping out the legal profession but will instead provide consumer support.


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