Case Evaluation

Parties who believe their cases are “solely about the money” may want an independent assessment of the monetary value of their case from a panel of randomly assigned lawyers. MCR 2.403 provides for a three-member panel to provide an evaluation to which sanctions for non-acceptance may apply.

As discussed in the Guide, the efficacy of case evaluation, particularly if it precedes mediation, has been seriously questioned in an independent study conducted by SCAO.

Indications for consideration:

  • Typically conducted after discovery and motion practice has been completed
  • Many attorneys believe the process is not helpful because panelists do not necessarily practice in the area of law of their case. Consider either a specialized panel, or asking whether one of the other “expert” forms of evaluation would be more helpful at an earlier stage of the litigation

  • If conducted at all, consider ordering only after mediation. If scheduled before mediation, it can significantly lengthen case age and litigation costs

Timing

Typically conducted after all discovery and motion practice has been completed. If this is the sole ADR process utilized, all opportunities for an earlier resolution and effective case management may not be realized.