Early neutral evaluation (ENE), as its name implies, usually happens early in the pre-trial life of a case. As a neutral, I will assess the strengths and weaknesses of each side, the best and worst case outcomes, and give an evaluation of how the case is likely to be viewed by a decision maker if tried. This evaluation can be in written form if requested by the parties.
ENE allows all parties in a joint confidential session to outline the evidence that supports its claims or defenses. As an evaluator I will consider documentary evidence. The presentations are informal and not bound by the rules of evidence.
While the expected outcome is not necessarily an immediate settlement, my goal in an ENE is to give the parties and attorneys information that will provide:
- An early reality check
- A better understanding of the important issues in dispute, and
- Enable them to plan for discovery and/or evaluations needed to get to the point of settlement or to move the case more efficiently to trial
If the parties want to attempt to reach a settlement I can act as a mediator at the end of the ENE session or when the parties have all the information they need to do so.
For more information on ENE or to schedule an evaluation, give me a call at (510) 333-7118 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.