How do I know when to use e-Mediation versus a special master?

The needs of a case vary widely and counsel should evaluate which process is in the client's best interest.  Generally speaking, if there is  such breakdown in communication that the parties cannot even agree that the sky is blue, then more likely, the parties need a special master to act as a referee and "make the calls."  However, if the parties still maintain a level of civil communciation, then e-Mediation may be more appropriate.  E-Mediation may protect the parties from losing credibility with the court.  On the other hand, the court may prefer to assign certain duties to a special master.  Alternatively, the court may direct which process  it believes is appropriate for the dispute(s) at issue.    The parties should not expect an e-Mediator to evolve into the role of a special master; and a special master should be cautioned about the appropriateness of acting as an e-Mediator if confidential communications might be divulged.