Commercial mediation in the U.S.

There is strong public policy favouring Alternative Dispute Resolution, including mediation. Mediation is voluntary, unless the parties have contractually agreed to mediate, although it is increasingly common for courts to order parties to try to mediate their disputes. The courts can also support mediations through interpretation of mediation clauses and by encouraging the parties to mediate. There are generally no adverse costs consequences for failing to mediate, unless a party has not participated in a mediation in good faith. Mediations are confidential and are enforced as contractual agreements.