To achieve cost efficiency, lawyers will sometimes seek a mediated settlement at the inception of a case. But before discovery all the lawyers know about the case is what their own clients have told them. The result is a vast disparity between opposing case valuations and overconfidence on one or both sides. So unless the amount in controversy is less than the cost of litigation, it is most often better to defer mediation until critical documents have been produced and key witnesses have been deposed. Once the lawyers and their clients arrive at a more realistic and less disparate view of the value of the case, the time is ripe for a mediated settlement.