In civil cases, New Hampshire court rules require alternative dispute resolution, unless a party proves that special circumstances exist to justify avoiding it. Most often, parties choose mediation as the form of ADR that is best suited to their needs. The trained, certified mediators do not provide legal advice, and they do not evaluate or decide the case. Instead, mediators will listen and facilitate a discussion among the participants to a legal dispute, encouraging the exploration of settlement options.

If the mediator can assist the parties in reaching and documenting a reasonable compromise, an executed agreement can be submitted to the Court as a resolution to the case. Mediation empowers the parties to determine the outcome of the litigation which, if not settled, would eventually be decided by a judge or jury. The parties can be spared the economic and psychological burdens of an actual trial by mediating a resolution to the legal issues that would otherwise be presented for a decision by the Court.

If a Court proceeding has not yet been initiated, mediation can be particularly effective to assist the parties to resolve some or all of the issues existing between them. It is possible to obviate the need for future legal entanglements in the Court system by working with a mediator prior to filing writs or petitions in the Court, and mediation can help the parties to avoid the investment of time and money, becoming entrenched in their legal positions. Instead, communicating with the other party with the assistance of a trained, neutral mediator allows people to control their own destiny by crafting their own agreements and maintaining their own priorities.