Other Dispute Resolution Services
Early Neutral Evaluation (ENE)
ENE was developed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California. A neutral hears summaries of the disputants’ legal arguments, then renders a brief evaluation of the case. The neutral should be familiar with the technical concepts, the relevant law, and potential damages.
Before delivering the evaluation, the neutral usually asks the parties if they wish to discuss settlement. The parties may choose to discuss settlement separately, or they may ask the neutral to take on the role of a mediator and facilitate the discussion. It therefore is helpful to have a neutral who is a skilled mediator, not just an evaluator. TMS provides these services.
A law suit involving intellectual property or complex technology taxes scarce judicial resources, because it takes so much time for the judge to become educated about the subject matter. Judges sometimes appoint special masters to review discovery matters, and even to issue recommendations on motions for summary judgment. A neutral familiar with intellectual property or the technology might keep the suit moving, offering valuable assistance to the court and litigants. Contact TMS about a special master in particular circumstances.