Case evaluation is another form of ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) where a neutral person attempts to assist the parties with settlement. Case evaluation provides a reality check to those involved, and may be most helpful earlier in the process although it can be initiated at any point during a dispute.
Case evaluation, also known as NCE (Neutral Case Evaluation), is especially helpful when each side has vastly different positions on one or more important issues. Case evaluations are used in Massachusetts for a wide variety of matters, ranging from divorce to civil matters including personal injury, business and commercial cases, and employment matters.
At the end of the case evaluation process, the disputants are free to accept, modify, or reject the evaluator’s recommendation. The process is confidential, and case evaluators are normally experienced attorneys with ADR experience in mediation and arbitration. The involved parties and their attorneys work with the neutral to determine the details of the process, such as whether a single neutral or even a panel of neutrals involved. In complex commercial cases, the use of a panel is common.
The case evaluator(s) will review evidence, memoranda, other legal pleadings, and may meet with the opposing attorneys and hear from each side. When the process concludes, the case evaluator will provide his or her assessment of the merits of the case and an opinion on how the case should be resolved. Again, it is up to the litigants to accept, modify, or reject the evaluator’s opinion.
Do you need help with your case?
Are you involved in a legal dispute where negotiations have stalled, but you are interested in settlement and saving litigation fees and avoid the lengthy and expensive delays that impact the litigation process? Do you and the other side have wide disparities in your positions? If yes, then case evaluation is worth exploring.
At Next Phase Legal, our experienced Massachusetts attorneys and Case Evaluators are available to serve as neutral case. Contact us to discuss your needs, or ask your lawyer about the option of case evaluation if you are already involved in a legal matter.