The reasons are many. Please see the attached article from ADR & the LAW, 18th edition. I wrote this article nearly 20 years ago, when mediation in Illinois was really starting to become a part of the legal culture in most of northern Illinois. Both Cook County and the Federal Court in Rockford have since implemented programs, but the same basic principles still hold true. Perhaps foremost among reasons are the tremendous cost of litigation and the frighteningly unpredictable conduct of today’s juries. For more on this, please see the attached article titled “Whose Peers are These” I wrote for the Lake County Bar Association’s publication, “The Docket” in 2006′
The better question is really “why not mediate?” Because mediation is non-binding, there is very little downside compared to the numerous potential benefits. Even if unsuccessful, the parties to mediation usually walk away with an increased insight into their case and are thankful that they explored the possibility of settlement before commiting to the protracted battle ahead.