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Neutral Analysis: A Powerful and Effective Tool

JAMS ADR Blog by Chris Poole

In a wide range of disputes, counsel and their clients have increasingly turned to neutral analysis and evaluation. When conducted by experienced neutral professionals with no preconceived view of the issues, neutral analysis is a powerful and effective tool in helping parties better understand, and even settle their dispute. Often called a second set of eyes or a clear-eyed assessment, neutral analysis is much more than a case evaluation with a predicted outcome or settlement suggestion.

Traditional case evaluation, which is required by many courts, provides the parties with an evaluation outcome and potential sanctions for rejection. While some case insights are provided in the natural course of this approach, modern neutral analysis is much broader. And, there are many creative ways neutral analysis can be designed and conducted ranging from a narrower specific approach to a much wider use.
Where the neutral is a former judge, neutral analysis offers a view from the other side of the bench with deep, detailed insights on the case issues, presentation and likely outcomes. A former judge or justice brings these unique years of experiences to neutral analysis. A non-judicial neutral with extensive trial experience or substantive subject-matter expertise can bring other experience to the analysis as well as a view from counsel’s perspective having represented clients in disputes. Let us examine this in a bit more detail.

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