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U.S. Department of the Interior - Office of Policy, Management and Budget
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Report Checklist


Matter name


Date received by Program Administrator


Date early case assessment

Initiated      Completed     

Solicitor’s Office attorney assigned


File number


Client agency / agencies involved


Agency contacts


DOJ contact, if applicable


Nature of dispute

Contract Issue

ESA Civil Penalty / Forfeiture Matter

Habitat Conservation Plan

Natural Resource Damages

Land Use Issues







Other stakeholders:


Location involved, if applicable


Relief sought by parties


Matter history


Current status



Review of relevant DOI / Agency historical information

Completed on:      

DOI / Agency databases

Attorneys’ experience, including DOJ

Internal / External Expert Reports

Legislative Materials

FACA Materials

NEPA Materials

Other relevant sources

Review of general historical information

Completed on:      

Verdict outcomes/damages awards

Actions taken by interested parties

Success of similar claims

Length of litigation process

Publicity (adverse or otherwise)

Other relevant public records

Early abbreviated factual review

Completed on:      

Review of critical DOI / Agency documents

Review of critical opposing party documents

Review of critical third-party documents

Interviews with critical DOI / Agency witnesses

Interviews with critical opposing party witnesses

Interviews with critical third-party witnesses

(including experts)

Additional relevant information gathered

Early abbreviated damages analysis

Completed on:      

Estimation of damages:

$0 - $50,000

$50,000 - $100,000

$100,000 - $499,999

$500,000 - $999,999

$1 - $5 million

$5 - $10 million

$10 - $20 million

$20 to $100 million

Over $100 million

Early abbreviated legal review

Completed on:      

Does party or group have standing to bring action

Number of complaining parties

Does claim originate from legislative, judicial, executive or administrative act

Elements required to state a claim

Prior outcomes in similar matters

Affirmative defenses

Unique jurisdictional requirements

Relevant factual issues that are unascertained

Identification of important principles or precedents

Assessment of best/worst case scenarios and

likelihood of each

Other legal issues necessary to prepare


Potential non-economic risks/benefits analyzed

Completed on:      

Policy Considerations

Public Relations

Effect on internal relationships

Effect on external relationships

Department / Agency’s Reputation

Compliance with FACA or other Federal statutes

Employee Morale


Importance of establishing precedent

Dispute cycle time

Increase/decrease in volume of future disputes

Other factors

Assessment of forum for litigation (for DOJ to complete if necessary)

Completed on:      

Potential jurisdiction

Potential jury composition

Potential judge/ALJ

Potential neutral

Opposing counsel – firm

Opposing counsel – lawyer

Estimation of internal and external legal fees, expenses & costs (if necessary, DOJ will complete relevant portion)

Completed on:      

Estimation of internal resources already expended

Projected expenditure of internal resources through resolution

Legal fees to date

Expenses and other costs to date

Projected legal fees through resolution

Projected expenses and other costs through resolution

Additional factors to consider for this matter


Noted discovery/case management issues in the event matter is not resolved early and case proceeds to traditional litigation


Agency’s range of monetary settlement, or other desired resolution


Claimant’s range of monetary settlement, or other desired resolution



DOI / Agency’s goals and objectives

Uphold environmental standards

Ensure compliance with Federal statutory orregulatory requirements

Follow established policy

Maintain/improve relationship(s)

Assure openness and accountability



Confidentiality / privilege

Establish precedent

Obtain neutral opinion

Maximize/minimize recovery

Minimize costs

Other factors

Opposition’s goals and objectives

Financial reward


Achieve environmental standards

Minimize costs

Maintain/improve relationship(s)



Confidentiality / privilege

Establish precedent


Compliance with Federal statutory or regulatory requirements

Follow established policy

Assure openness and accountability

Obtain neutral opinion

Maximize/minimize recovery

Other factors

Summary of prior settlement discussions


Has opposing counsel indicated he/she is agreeable to early resolution through ADR?


Most recent demand(s)/offer(s), including date(s)


Are there practical alternatives to a monetary settlement?


If so, what could DOI / Agency offer which would respond to the opposition’s interests or needs?


What practical alternatives could the opposition offer which would respond to DOI / Agency’s interests or needs?


What ADR process would be most appropriate for this case at this time?

ADR not appropriate at this time



Policy Dialogues

Joint Fact-Finding


Early Neutral Evaluation



Case should be referred to settlement counsel

Convening would be useful to determine appropriate ADR process


If ADR is deemed not appropriate, why is it inappropriate?


Estimated legal fees, expenses and costs associated with using selected ADR process


Recommended “next steps”