Sometimes the court requires mediation. Sometimes the parties agree to do it. For a mediation to succeed, both sides have to want to settle. A mediation is as much a test of lawyers' skill as any other part of a case. Never go into a mediation without a good, well prepared lawyer on your side..
Any opinions stated in response to Avvo questions are based upon the facts stated in the question. Responses to Avvo questions are for general information purposes only, and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice.
Mediation has become very common but not required. Either side can suggest it but both side must be willing to settle the claim for mediation to be an option.
If you feel this is the "best" answer or is "helpful," please indicate. Since I am limited to the information you provide, I cannot guarantee the accuracy of the answer. You should seek the advise of an attorney who can explore all aspects of your question. This communication does not form an attorney client relationship.
If the case is in Federal Court the Court will mandate the parties engage in mediation. In state court both sides have to agree. Generally since the defendant has the money they need to be the one to suggest mediation.