According to the Press-Enterprise, judicial caseloads in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties are the heaviest in the state. (“I.E. Courts Shortchanged,” 12/21/13, page A2) Columnist Cassie MacDuff concluded, “It means Inland judges can’t devote the time they’d like to weighing decisions. It means victims and witnesses must drive many miles to reach courthouses that haven’t been shuttered.” What does this mean to you if you have a legal problem that needs to be decided? It means you should consider mediation as a first—and hopefully final alternative to a trial. As it turns out, mediation is often a very happy alternative to trial.