Forrest (Woody) Mosten

Mediator and Collaborative Attorney

Certified Family Law Specialist

Mediation and Collaborative Law Training Courses

The First Client Consultation:
Increasing Enrollment of Collaborative Cases in Your Practice

Forrest (Woody) Mosten, Trainer

Overview of the Training

This is an advanced training that focuses solely on the first client consultation. After two days of intense examination and simulated practice on the elements of the consultation, you should be able to increase your rapport and trust building with potential clients, as well as offer them a fuller education of informed consent in choosing a process that meets not just their needs, but the needs and demands of their spouse and other attorney as well.

Since teaching my first course in client counseling in 1973, I have taught and served as an expert witness in the area of attorney-client consultations. Since 1989, I have been Chair of the International Client Consultation Competition for law students ( ). In this new course, I attempt to combine my background in client counseling with my training and practice experience in Collaborative Law, Mediation, and Unbundling to offer an invaluable and exciting learning experience.

In this two day course, you will apply the proven concepts of counseling clients to the particular demands of informed consent in Collaborative Law. The course is structured around factual situations that can make a difference whether your potential clients engages you and whether your clients are prepared for the key challenges that lie ahead in the Collaborative process.

We all know that not every potential client hires us, and those that do engage us often will not choose to sign a Participation Agreement with a Disqualification Clause. In this course, you will learn how to discuss your possible role as a limited scope professional if your clients decide to represent themselves or to start with mediation rather than enroll in the Collaborative process. Utilizing IACP research on why Collaborative cases terminate, you will be better prepared to handle the nuances of negotiating the Participation Agreement and Disqualification Clause as well as how to prepare clients to succeed within the Collaborative process by selecting a model that is right for their family, reduces resistance from the other party (and lawyer), and helps avoid termination if at all possible.

Finally, you will develop challenging consultation scenarios for me to handle in front of the entire class followed by the opportunity to discuss strategies raised during these Stump the Trainer sessions.

It is my goal that by focusing the training lens solely on the client consultation, after two days, you will not only improve your consultation knowledge and skills, but also increase the volume of Collaborative cases that you enroll that will contribute to increased profitability of your practice.

Woody Mosten


Day 1

9:00 a.m. Registration
9:30 a.m. The Client Consultation: The Foundation of Collaborative Practice
  • Structure and Strategies of a Client Consultation
  • Fundamental Client-Centered Counseling Skills (Motivation, Active Listening, Questioning)
  • Advanced Strategies for Information Gathering
  • Concepts of Client Decision Making
  • Making Your Office A Classroom of Client Education
12:30 p.m. Lunch
1:30 p.m. Providing Informed Consent
  • Enrolling a Collaborative Case
  • Anticipating and Overcoming Future Problems in Collaborative Cases with Effective Screening and Discussion With Your Client
  • Discussion of Benefits and Risks of Collaborative Practice
  • Frontier Issues of Confidentiality
  • Handling Key Issues of Client Engagement Letter and the Participation Agreement
  • Providing Estimate of Fees and Options for Payment

Stump the Trainer

Participants will Develop Challenging Consultation Scenarios for Woody to Handle in Front of the entire class.

4:30 p.m. Adjourn

Day 2

9:30 a.m. Overcoming Resistance
  • How to Describe Various Models of Collaborative Practice:
  • Lawyers-Only Referral
  • Full Team
  • Willingness to Work with Trained Collaborative Professionals Outside Practice Group
  • Untrained Professionals
  • Role of Litigators within the Collaborative Process
  • Synergy of Mediation and Unbundling with Collaborative Practice
12:30 p.m. Lunch
1:30 p.m. Using The Client Consultation To Build Your Practice
  • Developing Your Collaborative Signature
  • Improving Profitability through Congruent Peacemaking Values
  • Combining Missions of Individual Practices
  • Practice Group to Increase Cases;

Stump The Trainer

Participants will Develop Challenging Consultation Scenarios for Woody to Handle in Front of the entire class

4:30 p.m. Training Concludes

© Forrest S. Mosten

Certified Family Law Specialist
Board of Legal Specialization, State Bar of California