Predictive Coding: Adopting and Adapting Artificial Intelligence (AI) In Civil Litigation

40 Pages Posted: 3 Mar 2020

Date Written: February 1, 2020


This paper examines how predictive coding, an artificial intelligence (AI) technology, can effectively and efficiently complement the work of lawyers in the area of electronic discovery document review in civil litigation. It begins with a general overview of AI, and how machine learning can be used to automate the document review process in civil litigation. It then proceeds to a comprehensive overview of predictive coding technology and a discussion of legal issues related to the use of predictive coding technology in civil litigation. The legal issues are whether the use of artificial intelligence technology (as opposed to human intelligence) in document review complies with the rules of the court relating to documentary disclosure; and whether litigation privilege applies to seed sets (or training sets) used in training the predictive coding algorithm. Adopting a comparative law methodology, the paper seeks to address these issues. The paper concludes with a brief consideration of legal professionalism issues arising from the adoption of predictive coding technology in civil litigation in the context of Rule 3.1 of the Model Code of Professional Conduct dealing with competency. The paper argues that successful adoption of AI technology in civil litigation will extend the lawyer’s duty of competence to include knowledge of the relevant legal technology.

Keywords: AI, algorithm, artificial intelligence, civil litigation, competency, disclosure, e-discovery, legal technology, litigation privilege, machine learning, predictive coding, professional conduct, seed set.

Suggested Citation

Christian, Gideon, Predictive Coding: Adopting and Adapting Artificial Intelligence (AI) In Civil Litigation (February 1, 2020). Available at SSRN: or

Gideon Christian (Contact Author)

University of Calgary Faculty of Law ( email )

Murray Fraser Hall
2500 University Dr. N.W.
Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4
+1403.220.4155 (Phone)


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