Early Neutral Evaluation is a consensual, confidential, and relatively informal process in which parties to a dispute use the services of an independent, neutral evaluator to provide a non-binding evaluation of the facts, evidence, and legal merits of the matters in dispute.
Early Neutral Evaluation allows an extraordinary amount of flexibility and informality that blends the advantages of a judicial settlement conference, mediation, and independent expert determination of the dispute and allows the parties to effectively choose their own 'judge'.
The process is specifically designed for disputes which are already in litigation or arbitration. Generally, all types of disputes are suitable for Early Neutral Evaluation provided that the parties and their representatives are committed to the prompt and cost effective resolution of the dispute and they are prepared and committed to participating in the process in good faith.
The evaluation issued as a result of the process is not binding on the parties (unless they agree otherwise). Rather, the evaluation provides the parties with an independent assessment or evaluation of the issue that has arisen between them.