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.
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.