Litigators…we are safe from ChatGPT…for now.

Date: March 2023

I was doing some research the other day and thought I’d ask ChatGPT for some assistance…

The ask:

What court case in Ontario discusses the purpose of providing notice to the other party of the enforcement of a court order?

The response:

“One Ontario court case that discusses the purpose of providing notice to the other party of the enforcement of a court order is Shoppers Drug Mart Inc. v. 6470360 Canada Inc., 2014 ONSC 5916.

In this case, the court emphasized the importance of providing notice of enforcement to the other party, stating that “notice is critical to the integrity of the enforcement process, as it ensures that the parties are aware of the existence and nature of the enforcement action and can take appropriate steps to comply with the order.”

The court also noted that providing notice of enforcement can help to avoid unnecessary disputes and further litigation, as it gives the other party an opportunity to raise any concerns or objections to the enforcement before it proceeds.

Overall, the Shoppers Drug Mart case highlights the significance of providing notice of enforcement to the other party, both as a matter of due process and to promote the effective and fair enforcement of court orders.”

Amazing right? Well…

After not being able to find the case on WestLaw, I then asked for a couple of links to the case. ChatGPT gave me a link to Canlii followed by Lexology. Both links did not work and so I asked it for a third time.
ChatGPT sent me to the website of a firm who allegedly represented one of the parties in the case. Surprise, surprise, the link did not work.I then emailed a couple of associates at that firm to see if they had ever heard of the case. They had not. Turns out that although the response generated by ChatGPT seems to make a lot of sense…the authority cited is fictional (unless I am wrong and it just is not available anywhere online).

Moral of the story. While ChatGPT is definitely a useful tool for litigators, and will continue to become more useful over time, it is not entirely reliable…yet.

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