It is not unusual for a mediation to reach an impasse because one party believes that the case is not worth settling. While there are cases where one side has the stronger legal argument, there are very few cases that should not settle.
It is all a matter of perspective. Perhaps one side is likely to win at trial but is that a true victory? What about the time and expense of litigation? And, even more importantly, what about the benefit of obtaining a full release of known and unknown claims? Indeed, even a trial victory may not end the case completely with post-trial motions and the seemingly never-ending right to appeal.
I recently conducted a mediation in which the defendant began the mediation by declaring that he would never settle the case because the claim was worthless. That case still settled. Why? The defendant ultimately realized that he was paying to obtain a full release and not to settle the claim that he thought was lacking merit.
The lesson learned: It may be worthwhile to settle even the weakest lawsuit. It all depends upon why you are settling.