The ADR Process - Neutral Case Evaluation

ADR Process

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Neutral Case Evaluation

Discovery Referees

 


Sometimes known as Early Neutral Evaluation or ENE, a Neutral Case Evaluation is a process in which a neutral examines all the evidence and gives his opinion of how the case will turn out.  Cases can easily become trapped in protracted litigation when a party or their representative mis-evaluates the case. 

 

In the typical litigation process, the party will only get a “reality check” during judicial arbitration or a court mandated settlement conference.  At this point, it’s probably too late to reach an amicable settlement and the decision will likely rest with the court.  On the flip side, parties involved in a very young case will be reluctant to submit to mediation or arbitration, but perhaps the opinion of a neutral will help shape their expectations.  The Neutral Case Evaluation provides this opportunity in a relatively quick and relaxed proceeding.

 

Neutral Case Evaluations have the potential to benefit a wide variety of cases, and because they are non-binding and confidential, they are harmless to all sides.  Unlike other ADR proceedings, there’s no pressure to settle, and the informality of the proceeding allows the parties to reason out the dispute without trying to posture their position for negotiation.  However, like all our ADR services, the Neutral Case Evaluation is entirely private and limits the participant’s exposure to the publicity of continued litigation.  Essentially, a neutral case evaluation maintains most of the benefits of an ADR process like mediation or arbitration, but as one of the most non-committal and informal of the ADR processes, Neutral Case Evaluations can be beneficial for both parties, especially when a case is not yet ripe for settlement.

 

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