Mediation is a voluntary dispute resolution process; all parties must consent to participate in good faith and work toward a mutually agreeable resolution. The mediating parties are not bound to resolve their dispute. If mediation ends without a settlement, the parties can take their dispute to court. But if a settlement is reached the mediated settlements can be made binding.
It is customary for mediation for the parties to negotiate a solution on their own. Matters are not decided in favor of one party or another: The mediator simply facilitates the negotiation process. The mediator will counsel parties on the strengths and weaknesses of their case and gauge each party's likelihood of success if the dispute proceeds to arbitration or litigation. Successful mediation therefor ends with a win-win solution where both parties can leave the table with a feeling of success.