This report provides an overview of "early neutral evaluation programs" in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, and Singapore. Generally speaking, these programs require parties to a dispute to meet with a neutral evaluator early on in the court process and get feedback on the merits of their positions and the likely result of a lawsuit.
The report finds that these hearings have resulted in high satisfaction rates for the people involved. They are also helpful in promoting settlement, and thus can save litigants time, money, and emotional stress.
The report recommends that a working group be struck to explore implementing a pilot early neutral evaluation project in Alberta. It also offers recommendations on how to structure a pilot based on the research.