Mediation provides adverse parties and their counsel a unique opportunity to discuss seriously the merits of an action and to engage actively in negotiation outside of the courtroom. Furthermore, mediation allows parties to discuss contested issues and damages with the aid, input, and oversight of a neutral facilitator. The process thus enables parties to resolve disputes in ways not available in traditional litigation or other alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods.
In addition, courts have recognized the value in compelling adversaries and their counsel to convene and negotiate without the constraints of discovery, pretrial proceedings, or evidentiary rules, and often implement mandatory mediation. Doing so also enables courts to better manage their dockets.