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At what time in the court process should a case be referred to mediation?

Question and Answer

At what time in the court process should a case be referred to mediation?

The earlier that a case can be referred to mediation, the greater the likelihood that parties can resolve their dispute at a cost savings to themselves and the court. Parties should feel they have enough information to discuss the dispute, which may mean that some information exchange should be completed. Mediators also can help the parties determine how much informal discovery is needed. Even if discovery has been completed, settlement negotiations have been unsuccessful, or the parties are close to a trial date, the mediation process may still help the parties reach a mutually acceptable agreement.