Early Neutral Evaluation. (ENE)
A process in which attorneys present the core of the dispute to a neutral evaluator in the presence of the parties. This occurs after the case is filed but before Discovery (the formal process of gathering information pertinent to the pending litigation, which may include written interrogatories, document production and depositions) is conducted. The neutral then gives a candid assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the case. If settlement does not result, the neutral helps narrow the dispute and suggests guidelines for managing discovery.
A process in which a dispute, frequently one involving complex or technical issues, is investigated and analyzed by an agreed-upon neutral who issues findings and a non-binding report or recommendation.