Perry Dampf

EARLY NEUTRAL EVALUATION
A neutral is selected by the parties to a dispute. Thereafter, a brief telephone conference is scheduled to decide upon the parameters and nature of the evaluation process desired by the parties. During this conference, presided over by the assigned neutral, counsel for the parties discuss the types and form of evidence to be submitted to the neutral and reasonable deadlines for submission are set. The parties further decide whether the neutral's findings will be binding or non-binding. The parties also decide whether a "live" joint meeting involving the neutral, the parties and counsel will be desirable, and if so, whether evidence will be presented at this meeting or only oral argument. Thereafter, the neutral renders an evaluation as soon as practicable, sometimes even on the date of the joint meeting. If it is non-binding, each party may communicate in confidentiality to the neutral whether it would accept the evaluation if the other parties also accept. If so, the evaluation becomes binding if there is confidential unanimity of acceptance.