In Mediation as a Discovery Tool, insurance expert witness Guy O. Kornblum describes the benefits of going to mediation:
So, mediation can be very productive as a discovery tool and opportunity to learn more about your client’s case, and what the other side has to say IF the parties come in good faith, with a view towards getting the important facts on the table. But if one side is attending simply to demonstrate that it is playing hardball and merely wants the other side to capitulate for reasons that are not meritorious, then a mediation is not worth the time or money.
One issue that you face is how much you tell the other side. For example, what if you have significant negative information on the other party, or impeachment potential; do you share that? Maybe not. Maybe it has to be saved to avoid the adverse party being able to defuse this potential damaging evidence. Or, it might be that you can disclose the essence of this information in a private letter to the mediator, and can go over its substance and level of importance in your case in a private caucus. That is a judgment call that you as counsel need to make. If you follow this approach and hold it back or disclose it only to the mediator, the mediator might use it if he or she believes it may result in closure. Again, that is something you and the mediator need to discuss to put together a strategy.