[mpc_quote author_font_preset=”mpc_preset_87″ author_font_color=”#3b363a” author_font_size=”14″ author_font_line_height=”1.3″ author_font_transform=”capitalize” author_font_align=”center” author=”- Sun Tzu, The Art of War” quote_font_preset=”mpc_preset_88″ quote_font_color=”#262225″ quote_font_size=”24″ quote_font_line_height=”1.6″ quote_font_align=”center” padding_divider=”true” padding_css=”padding-top:80px;padding-right:20px;padding-bottom:50px;padding-left:20px;”]“Now the reason the enlightened prince and the wise general conquer the enemy whenever they move, and their achievements surpass those of ordinary men, is foreknowledge.”[/mpc_quote]

Why NeutralCheck?
Put simply, you and your clients can’t afford not to.

[mpc_dropcap font_preset=”mpc_preset_8″ font_color=”#3b363a” font_size=”64″ font_transform=”uppercase” font_align=”center” letter=”I” padding_divider=”true” padding_css=”padding-top:0px;padding-right:20px;padding-bottom:0px;padding-left:20px;” margin_divider=”true” margin_css=”margin-top:-9px;margin-bottom:-20px;”]

n any field, good intelligence can make the difference. It reduces the unknowns that planners must face and forms the basis for both deliberate and crisis action planning. It wins wars, mitigates disasters, and gives one side or the other the leg up in litigation.

As attorneys ethically and legally obligated to zealously represent our clients, we know that often the side with the best information wins. We understand that successful settlements often need the right kind of neutral. We appreciate that mediators and arbitrators aren’t always unbiased. And we know the statistics: that ninety-five percent (95%) of litigation cases settle, and mediation and arbitration are now standard requirements in most contracts. In-house counsel and clients themselves know and appreciate the same things.

Mediation and arbitration have become big business in their own right. Open almost any legal magazine or publication, and we’re bombarded with ads from so-called neutrals who practice as solos or from large regional, national or even global companies selling “resolution.” According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employment of arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators is projected to grow 9 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations.” And just one such company, the American Arbitration Association (AAA), earned more than $89,000,000 in administrative fees in 2017 alone.

Selecting a particular mediator or arbitrator is often the most important and outcome determinative decisions an attorney and client can make in a case. But surprisingly, there are few if any resources to help attorneys and their clients make these crucial decisions.

Large law firms often have a perceived advantage here. When the other side in a case proposes a list of neutrals, the first thing many large firm attorneys do is send out a firm-wide email describing the nature of the case, who the firm represents, and asking for input—good or bad—on each listed name. Small firms or solos don’t have that option. Instead they often email their friends and colleagues at other firms requesting the same information. As to in-house counsel and the clients themselves, usually they have no source at all outside their retained lawyer for this crucial intelligence. In any of these cases, the results are of dubious benefit, if any.

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NINETY-FIVE PERCENT (95%) OF LITIGATION CASES SETTLE,
AND MEDIATION AND ARBITRATION
ARE NOW STANDARD REQUIREMENTS
IN MOST CONTRACTS
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“EMPLOYMENT OF ARBITRATORS, MEDIATORS, AND CONCILIATORS IS PROJECTED TO GROW 9 PERCENT FROM 2014 TO 2024, FASTER THAN THE AVERAGE FOR ALL OCCUPATIONS.” AND ONE SUCH COMPANY ALONE, THE AMERICAN ARBITRATION ASSOCIATION (AAA) EARNED MORE THAN $89,000,000 IN ADMINISTRATIVE FEES IN 2017
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NINETY-FIVE PERCENT (95%) OF LITIGATION CASES SETTLE,
AND MEDIATION AND ARBITRATION
ARE NOW STANDARD REQUIREMENTS
IN MOST CONTRACTS
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“EMPLOYMENT OF ARBITRATORS, MEDIATORS, AND CONCILIATORS IS PROJECTED TO GROW 9 PERCENT FROM 2014 TO 2024, FASTER THAN THE AVERAGE FOR ALL OCCUPATIONS.” AND ONE SUCH COMPANY ALONE, THE AMERICAN ARBITRATION ASSOCIATION (AAA) EARNED MORE THAN $89,000,000 IN ADMINISTRATIVE FEES IN 2017
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Why is NeutralCheck more effective than simply asking your law firm partners or friends?  

First, in many cases there is little if any feedback to your requests for help. Attorneys are busy people, with cases and schedules of their own. Your priority is not always theirs.

Second, the partners or colleagues who do respond to requests for input just as often fail to do so in a timely manner, well after a decision has to be made.

Third, no matter how well you try to describe your client and your case in a short email or phone call, no one knows them as well as you. Only you can best decide who to select—and who to avoid—for a particular case.

Fourth, limiting input on neutrals to lawyers in the same firm, to others because they happen to be friends or people you know, or—if you are in-house counsel or a client—to your own retained attorney, by definition limits your sources of information and risks injecting additional bias (institutional and individual) into the selection process.

Fifth, rarely if ever is the feedback comprehensive and truly useful. For example, can partners in a firm or colleagues on the outside tell you what percentage of a particular mediator’s cases actually settle, or will you waste your time and your client’s money? Can they point to one place to show you a summation of the most important factors or comments about a particular arbitrator that every attorney should know? Can they provide a specific rating for a mediator or arbitrator demonstrating how they compare to others either overall or for a particular category that matters more to your particular case? Sadly, the answer to these questions is usually, “No.”

NeutralCheck changes all that. It provides attorneys and their clients with a powerful intelligence tool where it matters most. For the first time, you can go beyond those you already know for information about potential neutrals.  In one reliable and credible source, you can see a succinct comparison of all the names on a list proposed by opposing counsel. You can gather information that matters to your own unique client or case from sources all across the bar, from Big Law partners to solos, plaintiffs’ lawyers to defense attorneys, and from almost every area of law.

You can even check whether particular mediators and arbitrators are NeutralCheck certified, representing the highest level of professional, ethical, and importantly, neutral standards. And there’s no more waiting on others to respond. You can access that information when and where you need it, however often you need it, and confidently recommend and select the right neutral. And if you’re an in-house counsel or the client yourself, you can see all this crucial information for yourself, unfiltered and available when you need it.

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Why is NeutralCheck more effective than simply asking your law firm partners or friends?

First, in many cases there is little if any feedback to your requests for help. Attorneys are busy people, with cases and schedules of their own. Your priority is not always theirs.

Second, the partners or colleagues who do respond to requests for input just as often fail to do so in a timely manner, well after a decision has to be made.

Third, no matter how well you try to describe your client and your case in a short email or phone call, no one knows them as well as you. Only you can best decide who to select—and who to avoid—for a particular case.

Fourth, limiting input on neutrals to lawyers in the same firm, to others because they happen to be friends or people you know, or—if you are in-house counsel or a client—to your own retained attorney, by definition limits your sources of information and risks injecting additional bias (institutional and individual) into the selection process.

Fifth, rarely if ever is the feedback comprehensive and truly useful. For example, can partners in a firm or colleagues on the outside tell you what percentage of a particular mediator’s cases actually settle, or will you waste your time and your client’s money? Can they point to one place to show you a summation of the most important factors or comments about a particular arbitrator that every attorney should know? Can they provide a specific rating for a mediator or arbitrator demonstrating how they compare to others either overall or for a particular category that matters more to your particular case? Sadly, the answer to these questions is usually, “No.”

NeutralCheck changes all that. It provides attorneys and their clients with a powerful intelligence tool where it matters most. For the first time, you can go beyond those you already know for information about potential neutrals. In one reliable and credible source, you can see a succinct comparison of all the names on a list proposed by opposing counsel. You can gather information that matters to your own unique client or case from sources all across the bar, from Big Law partners to solos, plaintiffs’ lawyers to defense attorneys, and from almost every area of law.

You can even check whether particular mediators and arbitrators are NeutralCheck certified, representing the highest level of professional, ethical, and importantly, neutral standards. And there’s no more waiting on others to respond. You can access that information when and where you need it, however often you need it, and confidently recommend and select the right neutral. And if you’re an in-house counsel or the client yourself, you can see all this crucial information for yourself, unfiltered and available when you need it.