Early Neutral Evaluation (ENE) is a process that lets either one party in a conflict to present written and oral summaries of its case to a "neutral" person, called an "evaluator." In ENE, lawyers and their clients get to hear independent feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of their case. This helps the parties have a more realistic assessment of the potential outcome of their case if it goes to trial or provides them with better preparation for a trial.
Evaluation means forming and presentation of views on the dispute. ENE may respond to specific question, which could be relevant in the course of litigation or it can respond to the general question what is the party’s likelihood of success in litigation or arbitration proceeding.
Evaluation may define the range within which the party can expect the decision of the court, for example, monetary claim is expected to be successful in the amount between 25,000 and 35,000 EUR or it can be expressed in a form of percentage in which probability of success is likely in litigation or arbitration proceeding, for example, 60 % probability of success with the claim can be expected.
ENE is not limited to certain type of disputes and it can be used for resolving civil, criminal, commercial, employment or other disputes, but ENE is especially good choice when:
According to the dispute characteristics ECDR will suggest the party appropriate neutral evaluator/s from the ECDR Panelist List, but the final decision on choosing the neutral evaluator lies with the party.
The evaluator is either high-ranking former or retired judge or a lawyer or other expert with expertise in the area of law/profession your dispute involves. Detailed CVs of evaluators are available at ECDR in the process of choosing the evaluator.
In general, the neutral evaluation of disputes that have potential to be referred to court or are already being processed in court is at ECDR being performed by former Constitutional Court judges and former Supreme and Higher Court judges. Namely, the advantage of such profile of neutral evaluators is that it enables the parties to see their dispute through the eyes of a most experienced judge in the relevant field. Therefore such neutral evaluation provides the party with the most objective simulation of the court decision.
The preparation includes but is not limited to the following:
In more complicated cases it is customary to have a session with the evaluator to review the facts and documentation of the case and define the questions to which ENE should give answers to.
It can be presented orally or in writing, depending on the request of the party.
Party and neutral evaluator define the timeframe in which ENE needs to be performed.
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