When a potential client asks what I can do to "clear up" a dispute in an association, I know there is no assurance at all that bringing a mediator will lead to immediate results. We don't know how the person will react when the mediator tries to contact them asking for them to relate what's happened--from their point of view.
That's essentially what I do. I go in and try to reach the aggrieved party--the ones who believe they have a huge grievance. Often they say "this is not about mediation. It's about complying with the law".
In order to reach out to an angry disputant, the mediator has to talk to them. In order to relate to them, the mediator has to put herself or himself in a frame of mind which is completely empathetic; so that hopefully they have no sense that I am judging them for what they did--for example for having filed a suit in court with 10 counts!! I have to understand the good reasons--they do exist--why they acted as they did.
I don't have to agree with what they did.
If I can show them that I am not condemning them, that I don't like what they chose to do but I don't think they were 'wrong' to do it, I can probably bring them in to the process and to the table to mediate.
It's always worth a try to go to route of peace and dialogue.