It is normal procedure for judges to eventually refer a case before them to "alternative dispute resolution" or "facilitation." What the judges are really doing is sending the matter to be mediated. Often, the case has been going on for years. Attorney fees are enormous by that time. The parties are frazzled and frustrated. So why not just start with the mediation process and avoid all that expense and frustration? You will likely end up mediating anyway.
The Many Advantages of Legal Mediation
Mediation presents advantages over going to court in virtually all types of civil cases. The real savings is in cost and time. The result is lower legal fees and less time spent by litigants dealing with the case. If mediation is sought before a case is brought to court, privacy of all of the parties can be maintained.
There are also many emotional advantages as well, including the maintenance of business or personal relationships. Everyone has the chance to be heard in a less emotionally charged atmosphere. This leads to a better chance that the agreement the parties reach will be adhered to. Everyone involved will have an active part in coming up with the solution. All parties will have a real interest in keeping the settlement agreement alive.