But there is another reason beyond limited resources: Highly inconsistent results. I have practiced for quite a while, and although this is a subjective opinion, it seems to me that the consistency of court decisions has declined in the last ten years. This makes the civil litigation system even more unpredictable.
Another troubling tendency, particularly in the federal courts, is the trend toward what I call "summary justice." A civil trial in federal court is becoming a rare event. But that does not means courts are not issuing rulings. In fact, they are issuing rulings every day on motions to dismiss or motions for summary judgment. Judges are regularly disposing of cases on motion that would have surely been sent to trial in days gone by.
What does this mean? It means there will be a winner and there will be a loser. Good news for one side and bad news for the other, but the inconsistent and random nature of the results should offer comfort to no one.
A shorter way to put this is that, in my experience, the civil litigation system is getting worse, not better, and is becoming less predictable. This simply reinforces the case for mediation, where the parties are in control, and where reasonable parties can almost always come to a reasonable outcome.