Since it may be argued that a lawyer’s decision not to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) is unethical, and the improper use of AI may also be unethical, it is important that attorneys become cognizant of the application of legal ethics to AI. The first step toward AI use ethical compliance is the timely disclosure of AI use particularly related to generative AI tools. Such a step is likely to ameliorate or eliminate many AI use legal ethics difficulties.

An attorney’s failure to use AI could implicate ABA Model Rule 1.5, which requires lawyer’s fees to be reasonable, since failing to use AI may materially and unnecessarily increase costs of providing legal services. Alternatively, failure to use AI may arguably result in violating ABA Model Rule 1.3 requiring a lawyer to act “with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client.” Such would be the case if using an AI solution could have avoided delaying a deal, and violate the promptness requirement under Rule 1.3.