Coleman J. Batson

When should I use Neutral Evaluation?

Contact Information

Your attorney will likely be able to suggest if your case would benefit from a Neutral Evaluation. If you are unrepresented, call our office to schedule a conference to determine if your case would benefit from this type of alternative dispute resolution.

Complicated or unusual cases

       Mixed issues of law and fact, unclear questions about damages, or difficult evidence issues.
Private, quick, expert opinion
       When the parties want to avoid making the case public, but still want a legal professional's opinion.
Cases based on expert testimony
       Such as construction defect or medical malpractice.
Pre-mediation or pre-suit
       To remove psychological barriers that often prevent later settlement agreements.

As a case management tool

       To facilitate discovery in a case or prevent wasting time on irrelevant issues.
In courts where there is a heavy docket load

       By facilitating settlement agreements or diverting low-priority cases from the court system.

What is Neutral Evaluation?

Attorney Mediator

Neutral Evaluation, also known as Early Neutral Evaluation, is a process used early in litigation. It allows both parties to present all or some of their evidence and argument to a qualified neutral party and receive the benefit of the Neutral's expertise in the field. A Neutral cannot predict an individual judge's ruling, but can give the parties an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the arguments and overall case. This can provide the parties with a starting point from which to negotiate a settlement. The Neutral does not represent either party as an attorney, and so cannot provide individualized legal advice, but can advise a party when his or her issue is legally complex enough that the expense of an attorney is warranted.