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Bring valuable insight to advise on risk and conflict management and achieving early resolution.

Avoiding a Broken Litigation Discovery Process

Experienced and practical litigators begin evaluating the end game for their disputes at the outset of an engagement. Because litigation is disruptive and expensive, clients expect their lawyers to handle their litigation efficiently and wrap up cases as soon as possible. But very few litigated cases resolve before the completion of discovery.

Reaching a settlement requires the parties and their attorneys to have a solid foundation of the facts and the law before they understand what a reasonable settlement looks like. The usual course for developing this foundation is discovery, but it is conducted with the parties guarding secrets and strategies in order to preserve competitive advantages for trial. 

As a Neutral, I Can Help You Reach an Early Settlement

A third-party neutral is uniquely positioned to help the parties, both because the neutral does not have an outcome to achieve (other than early resolution) and because the neutral maintains confidential communications with every party. Confidentiality allows the parties to quickly disclose to the neutral the critical facts and claims on which they are relying, without fear of giving away a strategic advantage. The neutral can then use that information to assist the parties in narrowing discovery and reducing the costs of case evaluation.

The neutral is also able to identify the factual and legal issues that divide the parties and recommend creative ways to bridge the divide, such as the retention of neutral experts, single-issue arbitrators, scheduling meet and confers between experts, and a host of other alternatives. While there is no cookie cutter settlement, involving a neutral early can allow the parties to navigate more quickly to understand the dispute, identify the barriers to settlement and establish processes for working around those barriers. 

I consult with parties on how to expedite discovery, narrow issues, diagnose impediments to settlement, and design an alternative dispute resolution process to achieve early closure.

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