In theory, early mediation is the quickest, most cost-efficient way to resolve a dispute. The problem, however, is that until there has been sufficient discovery, all the lawyers know about the material facts is what their own clients have told them, leading to vastly differing valuations of claims and defenses. It is only when counsel become aware of the limitations in their case that valuation disparities shrink and can be bridged by mediation. So let your mediator know if lack of information is a barrier to settlement. Your mediator may be able to get counsel to agree to focused discovery in advance of the mediation conference to give each party sufficient information to reach a mediated settlement.