Neutral evaluation is a hybrid process between mediation and a non-binding arbitration. The parties informally present their case to the neutral. At the conclusion of the presentation, the neutral will render an advisory opinion. This evaluation is essentially a prediction of the outcome the neutral would expect to be rendered in court based on the evidence and arguments.
The primary goal of a neutral evaluation is to get the parties to focus on the strengths and weaknesses of their case and their opponent’s case early in the litigation process. A neutral evaluation allows the parties to make informed decisions on the settlement of their case.