Is mediation really neutral?

It should be.  The mediator should not make decisions for the participants or make any judgments of who is right or wrong.  The mediator does not have a stake in any particular outcome and therefore, should treat all participants in a fair and balanced way.  The main goal of the mediator should be to help create an environment for the parties to make voluntary and informed decisions.  Not all mediators are the same, and there are many philosophical approaches to mediation.  Anyone interested in mediation as a means of dispute resolution should request an initial consultation with the mediator to ensure he or she is a good fit for the parties.