In Canada, Artificial Intelligence is coming… for your legal research fees?

Some information vendors have been touting the value and benefit – specifically the apparent efficiency in legal research – of AI for a few years now, and it seems that the Honourable Mr. Justice A.C.R. Whitten of the Ontario Supreme Court of Justice is a believer.

In a recent decision [Cass v. 1410088 Ontario Inc., 2018 ONSC 6959], the Justice denies a $900.00 “legal research” disbursement for a number of reasons, and mentions – albeit in what would likely be considered dicta – that “[i]f artificial intelligence sources were employed, no doubt counsel’s preparation time would have been significantly reduced.” [¶ 34]

Also interesting, however, was that the Justice declined to adopt the simple suggestion of the plaintiff to strike the disbursement based on the query – “why is there a legal research fee for case precedents which are available for free through CanLII or publically accessible websites?”

h/t – Law Librarian Blog

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