The success rate for commercial mediations is very high, approximately 60-75%, which makes it a very attractive alternative to conventional litigation. However, there are a few outlier cases in which the parties cannot reach agreement despite having devoted many hours to joint sessions, caucuses and negotiating strategies with the mediator.
None of these cases are inherently beyond the realm of resolution. They usually do not involve matters of great principle or legal significance. Nor do they seek forms of relief other than monetary damages. They all present common threads: intransigent parties, lawyers unwilling to counsel their clients candidly on the risks and costs of continuing to litigate, unrequited emotions, and the corrosive effect of the slings and arrows generated by the litigation itself.