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A group of prominent Illinois divorce lawyers are providing an alternative approach to resolving family law disputes in which they act as “neutral evaluators” who assess the case and indicate the likely outcome, according to a recent article in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
Jenner & Block Partner James H. Feldman, who led the program’s development said, “This program is designed for situations where there is no court case pending at the time and where a judge cannot be approached in a pending case.” He added that the program is intended mainly, but not exclusively, for “high stakes divorce cases” involving complicated matters of property division and maintenance.
Mr. Feldman, Chair of the Firm’s Family Law Practice, told the newspaper that the neutral evaluator’s fees would be negotiated by the parties and the sessions would typically be held in the neutral’s office.
Described by the participating lawyers as a risk-free hybrid of mediation and nonbinding arbitration, the innovative program is also aimed at reducing the court system’s caseload, which accumulates thousands of domestic relations disputes each year.
“We plan to start the program right away and see the degree of interest that the public and the practicing attorneys have in participating in this different approach,” Mr. Feldman concluded.
To view the profiles of the founding neutral evaluators in Best Lawyers in America, please click here.
Please click here to view the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin article.
Please click here to view more information about the neutral case evaluator program.