What are the possible outcomes of a mediation? Obviously, the best outcome would be a settlement of the trust or will case. Keep in mind that to reach a settlement of the case, both sides are going to have to concede things in the mediation. Both sides go away a little bit unhappy. But they also go away happy, because they’ve resolved the matter, and they can recover from this horrible litigation experience that they have been going through. That’s the best outcome of a mediation.
Now, what happens if you don’t settle the case in mediation? Some people view that as a failure. But as a trust and will litigation lawyer, I certainly don’t view it that way. At every mediation, you learn two or three or four or maybe a half a dozen new facts that you weren’t aware of in your case that will better prepare you for trial.
Mediations are useful whether you end up settling the case or not. Obviously, it feels good to settle the case. If you don’t, don’t feel bad. The chances are that you’ve gotten some good facts out of the mediation process that will help your lawyer make a better presentation at the time of trial.