There really is no reason for the OP to not contact the attorney's office if settlement is a possibility. You may be thinking "entrapment", I am thinking "Last-ditch attempt to bludgeon a "stip" to favor the client before it goes to mediation. Because if it gets there, our case is weak enough that we are not going to have a very good chance of prevailing against the defendant!"
In other words, her case looks a lot better than one might suppose, and if she makes the move to at least attempt to come to a settlement (one that would favor her, of course), it'll look better come mediation than if she fails to respond at all. Note that she need not agree to anything, and should make sure the session(s) are well-documented, in case they twist things to suit them. What works here is is the very professional, and honest, attempt to come to an agreement, with the Plaintiff/plaintiff's attorney. Such attempts to settle prior to trial is what looks good to the Judge.