We tend to think of a mediation as successful where the parties reach a complete agreement at the mediation conference and as unsuccessful where they fail to do so. But a mediation also offers the opportunity to achieve success short of a complete agreement. The parties may resolve some though less than all their issues. They may narrow their differences as to the amount of money damages that may be due. Or they may agree to the structure of a complex settlement without quantifying the settlement terms. So even where the mediation conference does not result in a complete agreement, it often leads the way to an ultimate settlement before trial.