Forrest (Woody) Mosten

Mediator and Collaborative Attorney

Certified Family Law Specialist

Mediation and Collaborative Law Training

Forrest “Woody” Mosten has an international reputation for high quality Mediation and Collaborative training from introductory courses to advanced supervision for highly experienced peacemakers.s. He maintains an intense focus on cutting edge issues in law and the craft of conflict resolution skill building, and enjoys helping other professionals build their own profitable practices.

Woody Mosten's Training is an Approved Continuing Education Provider by the California State Bar CLE & Family Law Specialization, the California Psychological Association Accrediting Agency, and the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. Most courses are approved by the Association for Conflict Resolution and may qualify for credit by other agencies and organizations throughout the world.

Woody offers mediation and dispute resolution training for many non-profit organizations such as the Hopi Indian Tribe, Schools and Colleges, Courts, and Governmental Agencies.

September 2017
17 Hour Divorce Mediation Training Participants

On Bench (which has sign “Please Sit and Enjoy”) next to Woody is Jody Mosten and Virginia Colin, Assistant Trainer and Vice President of the Academy of Professional Family Mediators who traveled from Northern Virginia to help our training participants.

 

Click Here for Virginia’s Comments About the Training.

 

January 2016
Basic Mediation Training Graduates

Assistant Trainer is Ron Ousky, former IACP President, from Minneapolis, Minnesota

Course participants included peacemakers from Chicago, Eire, Pittsburgh, New York, and all over California.

Basic Mediation Training Class

September 2015

Lisa Wong Jacobs from Hawaii was Woody’s Intern Assistant Trainer.

Participants were lawyers, therapists, financial professionals and peacemakers from other fields who traveled to Los Angeles from all over California, Oregon, Florida, Massachusetts, and Arizona.

 

Click for more information about the Basic Mediation Training Class

Developing a Profitable and Satisfying Peacemaker Practice

June 2015: Boston, Massachusetts

Woody training Collaborative Professionals and Mediators from New England to make their peacemaking practices more profitable (with David Hoffman, Co-Trainer).

The course in Chicago (July 2015, Carl Michael Rossi, Co-Trainer) had 53 participants and this two day program had sell outs in Tampa and Portland.

For participants’positive reactions to this practice building experience, click here.

New York State Council on Divorce Mediation
Awards Woody its Lifetime of Service Award (2014)

(Click here for introduction by Louise Phipps Senft)

Woody Mosten presenting a full day training (47 Things That Every Mediator Should Know) at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the New York State Council on Divorce Mediation held in Sarasota, New York. The Conference Organizers presented Woody with its prestigious Lifetime Mediation Service Award.

Woody Mosten with participants of his 2012 Basic 3 Day Mediation Course sponsored by the Asian Pacific American Dispute Resolution Center in Los Angeles.

Watch Woody’s 7-Part Interview about the Development of his Peacemaking Career on CuttingEdgeLaw.com 

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 (YouTube links)

Mediation and Collaborative Law TrainingClick here for a list of Selected Publications by Forrest Mosten, including his new new book, Collaborative Divorce Handbook: Effectively Helping Divorcing Families Without Going to Court.

Click Here to read Woody’s Top Ten Tips for Using an Unbundled Approach to Expand Your Services and Build Your Practice [afccnet.org].

In addition to his training programs in Los Angeles and providing advanced short trainings and law school courses worldwide, Forrest Mosten offers his basic mediation training with other sponsoring organizations. Since 2002, Mr. Mosten has trained Michigan lawyers to rave reviews. This annual basic divorce mediation training course, limited to 30 participants, generally sells out months in advance.

Within a week of completing the 2008  Divorce Basic Mediation Training, Terry Brankert, of Flint, Michigan, began incorporating peacemaking lessons of Mr. Mosten’s Michigan ICLE course in his weekly radio show. Click to view Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.


Basic Divorce Mediation Training Endorsements

All I can say about Monday following Woody’s 40 Hr. Divorce Training is that I never worked so hard on getting an agreement. I was at Mosk Courthouse at 7:00 a.m. (left and 4 p.m.) meeting with my client and all of her close family members, who came as support group (that presented its own challenges in the process later on). We were there on a permanent restraining order, temporary custody, visitation, financial issues, and some separate issues on the other party's RFO. Very high conflict, years of abuse, very heavy substance abuse, long break from visits for one parent, high assets. Emotions were sky high and positions very firm. Opposing counsel lawyered as usual (hard cord) and so the rhetoric went...

UNTIL...the mediator (parties had mandatory separate session mediation) opened it up first to discussion with counsel followed by discussions with everyone. AND I jumped on the opportunity (with resistance from opc). Everything was different about my own approach, language (verbal and non-verbal), questions, tone, strategy. Woody, you created such a great space for mediation training to happen. I decided to create space to help these two people come to an agreement. So, the mediator asked me to informally co-mediate the issues.

After about 7 hours, the matter was fully resolved as to temporary custody and visitation (parenting plan) with lots of therapeutic orders for rehab, AA, individual therapy, alcohol monitoring etc. The restraining order was also stipulated as a result of mediation. The parties agreed to mediate their financial issues (have an appointment). No judge except to get a trail date to keep on target with the money issues. Opc visibly upset about no litigation... First hug in 5 years for the parties!

I had an awesome opportunity to use some of the techniques we went over during the 5 day training. The questions of "why" and "what if..." and "imagine your family in x time what would you like to see (what would it look like if x"). The concept of being a restructured family going forward was a very novel idea to them btw) helped the parties immensely in understanding their needs and uncovering some of their internal blocks/excuses. The parties reached an agreement they both could live with and it was truly in the best interests of the child (not forgetting about the safety of the abused parent). I actually could not believe how much these two (considering the years of abuse) people agreed on. The only(immediate) thing was I was exhausted after the 7 hours of mediating the issues between them. I bought a book (from Woody's list) on spiritual daily practice for peace makers that will hopefully provide some concrete things to help with that.

You have no idea what transformation has begun in me (as a lawyer, partner with my spouse, parent, colleague). Woody’s training literally left me speechless and overcome with emotion. I still need to process and read the binder and all the books I bought but it is a darn good start. !

The final thing I did on Monday was I made up my mind that the path of a peace maker is it for me

Agata Zwierzhowski, Family Lawyer
Long Beach, CA
www.zenlawgroup.com

Ariella Shuster

“I love Woody’s peaceful manner. It is a lovely anchor in a sea of discussing role playing and conflicted situations and other issues of mediation training.”

Ariella published the following article after the training

Ariella Shuster, Family Lawyer/Life Coach
Seattle, WA
www.resolvedivorcelaw.com

Marina Edleman

Woody’s training provided me with valuable information that is usable in all areas in which communication is invaluable.

Marina Edleman, Marriage and Family Therapist Intern
Westlake Village, CA
www.MarinaEdelman.com

Anat Sideman-Schneider

It has been an absolute privilege to participate in Woody Mosten’s transformative course. From the first hour of training, Woody disarms, supports and offers a learning environment that invites meaningful participation and learning. I hope to use the tools that Woody gave me to move forward in baby steps toward my own practice.

Anat Sideman-Schneider, Marriage Family Therapist Intern
Los Angeles, CA
anatrondm@gmail.com

Charles Legeman

Woody is a marvelous educator of the mediation process. His explanations of the nuances of mediation were clear and concise. The course is well worth the money for anyone interested in becoming a mediator or just learning about this important life skill.

Charles Legeman, Real Estate Broker and Arbitrator
Long Beach, CA
clegeman@me.com

Peter J. Lesser

Although I had very high expectations based on Woody’s stellar experience, the five day training far exceeded those expectations on all levels.

Peter J. Lesser, Business and Real Estate Attorney
West Los Angeles, CA
www.PeterLesser.com

Kristen Shaffer

Woody Mosten’s training provided me with hands on experience through role plays with feedback from expert professional mediators.

Kristen Shaffer, Family Lawyer
Cedar Rapids, IA
www.shuttleworthlaw.com

Diane Marmolejo

I was excited about this training and it exceeded all of my expectations. The skills and confidence that I now feel are priceless.

Diane Marmolejo
Family Lawyer
Marina Del Rey, CA
www.marmolejo.com

Marlou Russel, PhD

Woody’s Training gave me so much valuable information that he delivered in a relaxed and friendly environment that was very conducive to learning. This training will help me in my psychology practice and in my life.

Marlou Russel, PhD, Psycologist and MFT
Santa Monica, CA
www.marlourusselphd.com

Dena Klotz

Woody is a warm, intelligent and wonderful teacher. I have been inspired and cannot wait to embark on my new career.

Dena Klotz, Lawyer and Therapist
Tarzana, CA
denaklotz@yahoo.com

I have been thinking about my time as Woody’s intern trainer for the mediation course, and I learned a heck of a lot of peacemaking techniques. There is one particular technique that he taught, and I recently used it in a mediation case where I was representing a client.

Woody calls it an “Opening Statement,” though I think of it simply as my client trying to make a connection with the other party.

I had been involved in a paternity case for about 8 months, and we have gone through direct negotiations and one mediation that lead only to narrow, partial, temporary agreements.

Well, we had another mediation scheduled for this past week. I met with my client, and I asked him what were the positive qualities about his child’s mother. He thought this was an odd question, and I asked him to humor me. He started by saying that it was crazy that she would freak out whenever she saw the smallest bump on the child, but at least he knew that meant that she would ensure the child was always looked after and taken care of. He then went on to describe other aspects of what made her a good and loving mom.

I asked him if he would be open to mentioning this to her at the beginning of our mediation. I told him that he should not expect her to reciprocate, but that hopefully it would set a positive tone. My client said that he would try it, though he didn’t think it would make a difference.

Well, at the beginning of the mediation, the mediator asked us to outline the issues. I briefly mentioned that this was a paternity case, but then pivoted and said that I just had a really great conversation with my client. I asserted that I was confident that we would be able to reach an agreement based on what my client was telling me. I then asked my client if he was willing to share what we discussed.

He did, and he started off by stating that he felt secure in knowing that the other party would always be looking after their child’s health and well-being, and the entire room was in absolute shock. The mediator wondered what the heck was going on, and the other party’s jaw dropped. The mom did not reciprocate, but I could tell that the energy in the room was completely different than any other mediation or negotiation we had attempted.

Well, it took 3 hours, but we were able to reach a full and complete parenting plan. There are still some issues to determine, such as child support, but the toughest parenting issues are now resolved. And my client was absolutely thrilled that we were able to accomplish what he was beginning to think was impossible. In the end, both the mediator and the other parent thanked my client and I for starting things off on the right footing.

I want to thank Woody for teaching me this technique. His mediation course has helped me impress my client, the other party, and a mediator and, most importantly, has helped two parents cooperate in the best interests of their child.

Adam B. Cordover, Collaborative Attorney, Mediator, and Trainer
Family Diplomacy: A Collaborative Law Firm
Tampa, FL
FamilyDiplomacy.com

Woody Mosten is the John Wooden of mediation coaching!

Cheri Wood, Family Lawyer
San Diego, CA

Woody Mosten is a masterful trainer and mediator. He is fun to be with; completely unpretentious. Woody projected confidence we could learn techniques so foreign to our current practice. He is at once challenging and supportive. Learning doesn't come better than that. We all had to do the dreaded role play stuff. We demonstrated through role play what we learned. In the process, we demonstrated to ourselves we could choose and execute new techniques better and better each day.

We developed an affection for our classmates as if we were all enjoying a European tour together. After the closing ceremony it seems we had to go our separate ways too soon. Jody Mosten is a warm and wonderful seminar organizer and host I am looking forward to seeing Woody and Jody again.

Howard Marshack, Family Law Attorney
Vancouver, WA
www.marshack.us

“The basic mediation training was an intense yet fun week of valuable learning, coaching, practicing, and sharing. Top-Notch!

Juliet Laycoe, Family Law Attorney
Vancouver, WA
www.clarkcountydivorcelaw.com

Woody’s training is perfect for any practitioner who wants both to understand mediation theory and how/why it works, and also wants to gain skills to know how to put it into practice immediately, like now!!

Marie Tilden, Family Law Attorney
Vancouver, WA
www.marietilden.com

Woody’s training was fantastic. It was intense but incredibly satisfying. An amazing experience!!

Ji Park, Family Law Attorney
Beverly Hills, CA
www.Jyplaw.com

Woody’s mediation training gave me a completely new way of thinking about family law and how to resolve conflict.

Sharmila Singh, Family Law Attorney
Los Angeles, CA
www.cypressllp.com

Mosten Mediation Training has been the most informative and powerful tool in changing the litigation paradigm which most attorneys and parties believe is the only method of dissolving marriages.

Azita Avedissian, Family Law Attorney
Los Angeles, CA
www.wksllp.com

After practicing Family Law for 22 years, I found this training to be both transformative and rejuvenating—coming to the end of the training is really arriving at the beginning of the journey….

Carolyn M. Drew, Family Law Attorney
Vancouver, WA
www.carolynmdrew.com

As a paralegal working at a divorce mediation company, taking this training has provided me with a more well-rounded understanding of the ins and outs of mediation so that I can interact with clients in a more informed way and appraise each case with greater insight.

Julia Shaw, Family Law Paralegal
Playa del Rey, CA
www.peace-talks.com

Training with Woody Mosten:

I am still riding high from my week of mediation training with Woody Mosten. The opportunity to train with one of the greatest peacemakers in the world was the opportunity of a lifetime.

Woody and his wife, therapist Dr. Jody Mosten, hold these semi-annual mediation trainings in their beautiful home in Los Angeles. Last week, I was given the opportunity to assist him in his training for five magical days.

From the minute I walked in the Mosten home on that first morning, I could understand why these trainings are sold out months in advance. There is a warmth and energy that greets you at the door and never leaves your side throughout the week. The eighteen trainees from five different states gathered throughout the house and immediately began to share their stories. Woody and Jody had already begun to create an atmosphere that will eventually convert a house of strangers into longtime friends.

At 8:30 a.m. sharp, Jody sounds the gong and the trainees take their seats in the Mosten family room. Although the family room furniture is stacked in the garage to make room for tables, chairs and flipcharts, the room has lost little of its warmth as the California sun flows in through the sliding glass door leading out to the patio.

Woody stands up and greets us all with his immeasurable generosity and grace, going out of his way to extend his compliments and praise to everyone in the room. Within minutes, he turns the focus over to the trainees, giving them the chance to bring even greater intimacy to the room through their unique stories.

When all of the introductions are completed, Woody begins to take us on our journey through his mediation world; not with long lectures and pompous declarations, but through gentle nudges, engaging stories, wise observations, and personal connections. By the end of the first morning, everyone understands the charm and wisdom that has made Woody Mosten one of our great peacemakers. His generous smile and his true interest in the other people in the room is enough to send conflict running for shelter.

Throughout the next five days, we were taken on a journey filled with Powerpoints, flipcharts, role-plays, laughter, and learning. At each stage, the talk focus on “John and Linda” a fictional divorcing couple facing many of the troubles we all see in our offices each day. Skills are taught, practiced, improvised, and practiced again until unfamiliar new ideas begin to take shape and impact our work.

In what seems like an instant, the 40 hours of training came to an end and we found ourselves sitting in a large circle in the Mosten backyard, looking back on the past few days. Strangers had become close friends, novices had become enthusiastic learners, and old hands (like me) had become reenergized. As we prepared to part ways, gratitude was expressed all around and laughter (and even a few tears of joy) spread through the circle. Woody and Jody sat at the end of the circle, accepting the praise and gratitude but, as always, reflecting the attention and accolades back to the trainees.

As I sat there, wondering where the time went, looking back with gratitude on a truly transformational week, I reflected on the impact that this week had on me personally. While teaching with Woody may have helped bring out the best teacher in me, I was more impacted by my role as a student. Watching Woody do his work, and seeing him bring out the best work in eighteen other people, has enriched me as a peacemaker, and as a person. Woody has become a dear friend, as well as a mentor, and has left a lasting impact on my work. I am eternally grateful for this opportunity.

Ron Ousky,
Collaborative Attorney and Mediator
Co-author of The Collaborative Way to Divorce and past IACP President

This was hands down the most rewarding professional training course I have ever experienced. Also, the most challenging. I’ll carry the broad array of skills with me wherever I go.

Peter Sullivan, Attorney
Chicago, IL
www.bergerschatz.com

This training has shown me a clear path for a legal career with purpose and heart.

Kelli Tabb, Lawyer
www.steinberginjurylawyers.com

Woody Mosten’s teaching embraces what the true definition of mediation is.

Michaela Brooks, RN
Simi Valley, CA

Wonderful training for beginners to the most experienced mediators.

Woody was very familiar with the participants and was able to connect their professional experience to the potential growth and increase of their practices into mediation and collaborative law.

Paula Teske, Certified Family Law Specialist
Los Angeles, CA

Woody is a great trainer. I particularly like his ability to bring clarity on different issues.

Jimmy Nikutu, Mediation Office of Leslie Howell
Pasadena, CA

I am often disappointed with the availability of quality educational or training opportunities I was thoroughly impressed with the quality of actual training, information and education. In such a short time, Woody’s mediation training was to able to provide invaluable insight and skills. It was a fantastic experience!!

Tamar Ouzounian, Family Lawyer
Woodland Hills, CA

As with my prior mediation training, I have sought out “The Best in the Field” Woody Mosten falls into this category and I was completely satisfied with this training.

Dr. Jesse Strauss, Mediator
Valley Village, CA

This training was simply invaluable for incorporating its lessons into my family mediation practice.

Kristin Hamilton, M.A. MS, Mediator
Newport Family Law & Mediation Group and CEO at KH & Co.
Newport, Beach, CA

The training was a transformative experience. Working with Woody at this early point in my development as a peacemaker is an invaluable opportunity.

Andona Zacks-Jordan, Lawyer
Erie, PA

Woody’s course was eye-opening. Even with 12 years experience in helping lawyers mediate, I learned that mediation is more complex, and is an art.

Valerie Coleman, Family Law Paralegal
Riverside, CA
www.legaldocumentprepriversideca.com

Of the 400+ hours of ADR training I have received over the years, Woody Mosten's Basic Mediation Course tops my list in all respects. My week in Los Angeles as Assistant Trainer Intern in this course was a gift to myself, my career, and to the people I hope to serve in the future.

Lisa Wong Jacobs, Collaborative Attorney & Mediator
Better Way Divorce, also known as Pono Divorce
Honolulu, HI
www.ponodivorce.com

As a mental health professional with no legal training, I signed up for Woody’s course with a degree of trepidation wondering if the content might be too far out of my wheel house. I was so pleased to discover just the opposite in that anyone with a passion for peacemaking has something valuable to bring to the mediation table. I found myself among a collection of like minded colleagues from varying professional backgrounds.
I started the course with a vague notion that I wanted to learn how to be impactful for children and families affected by divorce preventatively rather than attempting to clinically treat the trauma triggered by a heavily litigated process. I walked away with a much richer concept of what mediation can do to positively affect people’s lives and next steps to take to grow a mediation practice.

Samantha Wakach, LCSW, Psychotherapist
Los Angeles, CA
www.samanthawakach.com

My Week with Woody, Jody and the Peacemakers. 

After over five decades on this planet, over three decades working in law firms and the legal services industry, and over two decades of searching for a way to practice law with a mindset that is about healing and not destruction, I find myself stranded on a bench in the sun at LAX due to a snow storm preventing any airline from delivering me back to my current home in the Midwest to start a multi-day custody trial.Lacking clear guidance on how one should or might act or think under these particular circumstances, I'm left with much time to ruminate.So with four (possibly more) hours until the next scheduled flight, weather permitting, I have taken my IPadMini and stylist in hand to attempt to put into words my experience this past week in Westwood, California, serving as assistant trainer with my mentor and friend, Forrest "Woody" Mosten.

For those who have not yet experienced Woody's 40-hour mediation training, let me first described the setting for the week.Lawyer, mediator, peacemaker, Woody, and his therapist wife, Jody, turn their beautiful family home, on a tree lined street near UCLA, into a mini-campus for five days.Twice a year they host 18 professionals all seeking to explore, expand or start mediation or peacemaking practice.The students and assistant trainers gather in Jody and Wood's family room - converted to a classroom complete with white boards, projector, screen and gong from Tibet used to make the passage of time.The Mostens' patio, garden, dining room, home offices and hallways become breakout spaces for role-plays, debriefs, peacemaking circles and mealtimes. Over the five days the students take a fictional divorcing couple, Linda and John, from conflict to resolution - from turmoil to peace.

The students and assistant trainers come from various disciplines and industries - law, mental health, finance, nursing, business, real estate and even the arts.The trainees and other assistant trainers I was privileged to work with over the five days included accomplished litigators, a cardiac psychologist, a financial planner, and a lawyer turned one-women stand-up performer.Their paths to Woody's home-classroom may be varied but on the first day it became clear quickly that the reasons for being there are quiet similar.The students, bar none, are life long learners in search of ways to live and serve those looking for ways out of conflict.Some of the participants are themselves products of devastating family conflicts - one student poignantly shared how at the age of six she was made testify in her grandparents divorce.Others shared about the "scorched earth" proceedings they, their families, their friends or their clients experienced in courthouses around the country - a few of those proceedings ending with suicide or years of dysfunction for the children or the extended families.

I have participated in and have presented at similar professional trainings over the last twenty years. Typically these types of programs start with the trainer going around the room having the participants introduce themselves to the group.However, from hour one Woody turned the introduction task into a learning and sharing opportunity.Students were divided into pairs and sent to the various breakout spaces for 20 minutes to interview one another - using only open questions.When the large group reconvened each one of the pair introduced the other for one minute summarizing the highlights of the other's life, journey, professional and personal experience.This exercise helped with honing listening, reframing, questioning and reporting skills essential for all proficient mediators.This exercise was a wonderful ice-breaker and created an atmosphere of immediate intimacy with participants not merely sharing their "rank and serial numbers" but also sharing one-on-one details on topics like family, faith and philosophy.

Each morning the students were assigned different seats in the classroom and each role-play allowed students to rotate roles between the mediator, each of the clients, the observer and the reporter.This created a kaleidoscope of perspectives and allowed a simulation of the real world where each family, no matter how similar their circumstances, are unique systems needing individualized attention and tailored outcomes.Break-times and lunchtime (all lovingly curated by Jody Mosten) became gatherings of camaraderie, sharing, and laughter for students and trainers alike.We read aloud, we joined, we literally took baby-steps to the bench in the front yard, we sat in silence, we danced, we learned to mine for needs and interests, we learned to step away when that is the best technique to improve communications between bickering parties.The hours flew by and the flowering of knowledge, friendship, personal and professional growth was amazing to witness and to be part of.The closing ceremony, facilitated by Woody around his family’s outdoor dining table (based on an Quaker sharing circle using an indigenous talking-stick) brought expressions of deep gratitude, of hope, of renewal, of love and of dedication and re-dedication to the healing art of peacemaking and conflict resolution.

For now I am still stranded on the bench at LAX awaiting my return to frozen tundra of the Midwest.But I am warmed, not only by the sun, but by the joy of knowing that because Woody so wholeheartedly shares his home, his knowledge and his wisdom there are now eighteen more professional peacemakers on this planet.Eighteen new friends and list-serve buddies who are committed, as I am, to genuinely helping families and individuals looking to pivot away from conflict and toward healing for themselves, their children and the generations to come.

Sandra Crawford
Collaborative Attorney and Mediator
Chicago, IL
www.lawcrawford.com

I learned so much from Woody’s seminar. As a Certified Family Law Specialist litigator with over 15 years of experience, I decided to “add” a practice area of mediation. I thought mediation would be easy add. I was so wrong! You know what’s easy? FIGHTING. The difficult part of our jobs as attorneys and therapists is to help people get out of their personal hells and move on with their lives. Woody’s seminar was such an eye-opening experience. I walked out of there learning so much about people and how to “do things right”. I used to believe those “divorce lawyer” jokes. Not anymore. Woody’s seminar has given me true purpose. I will still be a fighter. But I will fight for peace. Woody is a great mentor and I cherish his big heart and super knowledge. EVERY single litigator should sit for the 40 hour mediation training class. We should opt not only to be better attorneys, but better people. This class is a start.

Kelly Chang Rickert, Certified Family Law Specialist
Los Angeles, CA
www.purposedrivenlawyers.com
www.divorcefamilylaw.blogspot.com

Woody’s 40 hour basic mediation training provided me with a new set of tools to take on the family law world as both a mediator and a peacemaker. The course was intensive, enlightening, and life-changing as it highlighted a career path other than that of a litigator. I left the course feeling reinvigorated and looking at my profession through a new set of lenses.

Nicole Oden, Family Law Attorney
Woodland Hills, CA
www.leonfbennettlaw.com

Woody’s course is an “eye-opener” to the world of mediation and hopefully a “jump start” to a new segment of my family law practice. The training was extremely educational, challenging, and at times, overwhelming, only because it has opened a new world of family law.

Lauren Petkin, Family Law Attorney
Beverly Hills, CA
Petkin@KolodnyLawGroup.com

Although my official role in Woody’s 40-hr training was assistant trainer, I was very much a student as well. In fact, when I thought I was wearing my training hat by engaging with the students as they acted out their vignettes, multiple questions came up for me that provoked my thinking and gave me new insights In my dual role as trainer and student, in spite of my 21 years of practice as a family mediator, I learned many new techniques, interventions, and creative approaches to facilitating settlement for my own clients, which by the way, I began implementing on the first day following the training.. What could be better than a training that you can immediately and effectively put into play in one’s own practice? I already sensed from my first mediation after Woody’s training that my skills have been “taken it up a notch”, or truthfully, up many notches! can’t imagine how the benefits and transformation will unfold over the next weeks and months to come---but will look forward to this new journey that Woody’s training has inspired.

Enid Miller Ponn, Collaborative Lawyer and Mediator
Weston, FL
www.theccdm.com

This training has me a more responsive and open Financial Professional. It is the most stimulating five days of training that I have ever had.

Ginita Wall, Financial Professional (CPA, CFP, CDFA)
San Diego, CA
www.PlanForWealth.com

Whether a novice in the industry, or a seasoned professional transitioning into mediation work, Woody’s training allowed for a safe place to be vulnerable, to learn openly, and in a manner that was effective. The information was rich, and yet delivered in a fashion that was clear and concise. The five days were invaluable and very motivational!

Ester Agopion, MFT Intern
Westlake Village, CA

A wonderful, intensive course taught by a world-class mediator. The best of the best.

Katy Gronowski, Certified Family Law Specialist
Walnut Creek, CA

Insightful, informative, and invigorating. This training was an amazing journey of education and awareness that far exceeded any training experience that I have been part of.

DaLaura Kader, Mediator
San Diego, CA
www.PacificCoastMediation.com

A challenging but highly educational course. This training is where you can get the most hands-on experience in mediation.

Anh Nguyen, Family Lawyer
Torrance, CA
www.regallawoffice.com

I couldn’t help but be in awe of Woody’s enthusiasm for mediation and his love of teaching. The training was exhausting, challenging and energizing at the same time. This class forever changed the way I look at mediation and litigation. I am better able to represent my litigating clients because I have more tools in my “toolbox” to settle issues outside of court. The student participation keeps you engaged and helps you absorb the strategies instead of just reading about them or watching others role play. I recommend this course without hesitation for anyone who is mediating, or litigating, family law cases!

Puja A. Sachdev, Certified Family Law Specialist
San Diego, CA
www.SachdevFamilyLaw.com

Woody set the tone for learning peacemaking skills by choosing to invite participants into his home, humbling and opening himself to be an equal participant with the students. His calm and unhurried demeanor , his sense of humor, and his nonjudgmental and accepting manner serve to put everyone at ease and in a position to take in a mountain of information. Mostly, Woody focuses on the good in everyone. I got so much from this training the first time that I took the course a second time!

Kathleen Caswell
Family Lawyer
Walnut Creek, California
kcaswell@sbcglobal.net

Woody’s Mediation Training was a transformative and profound experience for me. It reminds me of when I did the AIDS Ride for the first time in 1997. I believe that this training too will change my life for the better and I have learned so much from so many people from different backgrounds and points of view.

Joanne Ratinoff
Family Attorney, Super Lawyer 2009-2014
Los Angeles, CA

This training provides experiential as well as educational training for being a confident mediator. You will get everything you need to handle all aspects of a divorce mediation. The role modeling by Woody was the most valuable aspect of the course.

Michelle Daneshrand, Family Attorney
Woodland Hills, CA
www.smartdivorceoptions.com

David Brien

“Don’t Even Think About Mediating A Family Law Case Without First Taking Woody’s Training!”

David Brien
Family Attorney Mediator
Agoura Hills, California
www.DavidBrien.com

Sarah T. Schaffer

“Woody Mosten’s training exceeded my high expectations. He is the ultimate peacemaker and teacher of his craft.”

Sarah T. Schaffer, Family Law Attorney
San Diego, CA
www.sarahschaffer.com

Yiping Wang

“Mr. Mosten’s training offers so many professional mediators, lawyers, and other people in the same room to talk about issues involved in mediation. Every minute, no, every second, I am learning new insights from everyone in the training. This training opened my eyes and gave me a totally new direction for my career as a peacemaker and the motivation to step into a challenging world. I love the song of mediation!”

Yiping Wang
Los Angeles, CA
Asian Pacific Dispute Resolution Center

Dina Lenchitsky

“Woody Mosten has a vast depth of knowledge in the area of mediation and an innate apability to impart that knowledge. He encourages his trainees to learn in a thoroughly structured, involved, and interactive manner. I am grateful for the opportunity to have been part of this class and look forward to taking future trainings from Mr. Mosten.”

Dina Lenchitsky, Attorney and MA in Psychology
Sherman Oaks, CA

Renee C. Bauer

“This course is engaging, challenging and energizing! Woody has forever altered not only how I mediate, but also how I handle conflict, both professionally and personally. Be prepared to work hard, laugh and possibly even cry as you embark on the magic of Mosten's mediation training.”

Renee C. Bauer, Lawyer
Hamden, CT
www.BauerMediationGroup.com

Marci Goldberg

“Woody's engaging course energized me to jump into mediation with both feet and to keep learning more about the universe of things I now realize I don’t know!”

Marci Goldberg, Mediator (former Lawyer)
Woodland Hills, CA

Christopher Trigueros

“I attended Woody Mosten’s divorce mediation training and learned from the mediation guru. Thanks Woody for your invaluable training and insight on divorce mediation.”

Christopher Trigueros, Mediator
Los Angeles & Orange County, CA

Diana Mercer

“I am grateful to Woody Mosten for teaching me everything worth knowing about how to become a mediator.”

Diana Mercer, Mediator and Collaborative Attorney
Los Angeles, CA
Author, Making Divorce Work and Your Divorce Advisor
Founder, Peace Talks Mediation

Shel Stark

“Woody Mosten is to Mediation what Tiger Woods is to Golf!”

Shel Stark
Specialty Programs Director
Institute of Continuing Legal Education
Ann Arbor, MI

Rick Rufner

“The training was an excellent blend of the concepts important to successful mediation with practical exercises in which to use them. Once again, Woody has reminded us that the important work of divorce professionals is primarily to construct future lives, not to dismantle the past lives.”

Rick Rufner, Lawyer
Centennial, CO
www.RufnerLaw.com

Nancy Gabriel

“The confidence I felt in my future as a peacemaker increased measurably with each training session, culminating in the affirmation that the process is a perfect fit for me.”

Nancy Gabriel, Mediator
Las Vegas, NV
www.mediationaroundthetable.com

Steve Bernal

“The training opened my eyes to the opportunities available to be of service. I was under the false belief that only attorneys made good mediators. At the end of the training, I realized I had numerous skills to be an effective, knowledgeable, and successful mediator.”

Steve Bernal, Real Estate Financing Professional
West Los Angeles, CA
www.stevebernal.com

Rick Phillips

“As a civil litigator with over 30 years experience, I found Woody Mosten’s 40-hour Basic Mediation Training to be extremely helpful in building my civil mediation practice. The material presented was specific and substantive. Although I have taken many other trainings, I found it to be a bit humbling to the extent that learning with Woody made me realize just how much knowledge I still have to absorb in order to be able to do a competent job at the mediation table. I fully enjoyed my week in Los Angeles and felt comfortable in the Mosten home that was opened up with warmth and graciousness to me and the other training participants.”

Rick Phillips
Mediator
San Luis Obisbo, CA

Sheila James

“Because of the training I received from Woody Mosten, I conducted private meetings with my new clients which helped establish our relationship effortlessly. We have met jointly twice (excluding the Orientation meeting) and they are making good progress. I cannot thank Woody enough for  the gateway he offered. I am excited to be a mediator and grateful to be of service.”

Sheila James
Attorney and Family Mediator
Claremont, CA

“My first intensive mediation training has overwhelmed me from its expansive contents in depthIt has challenged in a great deal but has given high motivation to develop its needed knowledge and skills. Having learned so much, I will be looking forward to build up what it will take to follow the path of peace-makers of which I highly value.I hope to see myself contributing to those people in conflicted marital relationship especially in Asian American community.”

Shin-Hwa Park, Mediator
Los Angeles, CA

“This training exceeded my expectations and I had heard many wonderful things about Woody’s trainings. Woody is a great inspiration to all he touches and is a true believer in the peacemaking process.”

George Hillis, Mediator
Fresno, CA

“Woody is a true mediation expert, who will guide you through advanced techniques with ease and friendliness. He models communication skills in his teaching and is open to various mediation styles.”

Elizabeth Goddard, Court & Community Mediator
BBB Mediation Services
Fresno, CA
www.bbbmediation.org

“In January 2011, I was in attendance at Woody Mosten's 40-hour Basic Divorce Mediation Skills class. Whether or not you are an attorney, and whether or not you have considered a career in mediation, I urge you to consider signing-up for this class if you wish to learn the basics from a master.

I tell you with all sincerity that I have come out of that class a changed person. My outlook on my practice, my clients, litigation in general, and upon others has been shifted irreversibly. Mr. Mosten's method of teaching brings home the essentials of mediation and so much more. I urge each of you to find out more about this exciting class, and others that he offers. This class was well worth the tuition.”

Patricia A. Duncan
Family Law Attorney
Murietta/Canyon Lake, CA

Posted on Los Angeles County Bar Family Law Section Listserve, January 18, 2011 (reprinted and adapted with permission)

“I have also been trained by Forrest Mosten under his Family Mediation Training program. With his guidance I learned the importance of strategizing. This allows me to think about the various avenues a mediation might take and anticipate which tools the parties might need as they negotiate their way towards a settlement. In particular, this led me to the creation of a Divorce Workbook that I give my clients to help focus them on the many questions and details that arise during a divorce.”

Barry Simon, Los Angeles, CA
Mediation Network

“Any class that Woody Mosten teaches offers new ways of looking at old and perplexing problems. He presents material in such a way as to encourage excellence in mediation skills and belief in your ability to achieve your highest standard.”

Dvorah Markman, Chair,
Chair, Los Angeles County Bar Family Law Section (2006-2007)

“I consider Woody Mosten to be one of the world's most creative thinkers and innovative teachers in the field of Mediation Training.”

Dean Jay Folberg, USF Law School
Past President, Association for Conflict Resolution and
Association of Family and Conciliation Courts

“Woody Mosten has a gift for helping people to change, evolve, and become better human beings. He enlightened me to an alternate style of resolving conflict and genuinely caring about people and his course changed the way I conduct my business and family conflict resolution issues.”

Diane Raffill

Los Angeles, CA

“As an entertainment transactional attorney, intellectual property attorney and law professor, I am involved in business negotiations and in teaching students about negotiations. Your divorce mediation training has made me a better, more aware and, I believe, more effective negotiator. You are a superb teacher and I am grateful for the opportunity to study mediation with you.”

Jay Dougherty, Professor of Law, Loyola Law School
Los Angeles, CA

“Woody Mosten is one of those wonderful people who rejoices in the accomplishments of others, wants to see all of his colleagues prosper, and holds the door open for others. His life's work is to make the world a better place, and he is doing a great job of it.”

David Hoffman, Former Chair, ABA
Section on Dispute Resolution, presenting Lawyer as Problem Solver Award
to Forrest “Woody” Mosten at 2004 ABA Annual Meeting (Atlanta, GA)

Read the entire presentation here

“As a litigator for 18 1/2 years, I was skeptical about mediation. After Woody Mosten's five day course, I am convinced that mediation is the future of family law and I want to be a part of it.”

James R. Parke, Certified Family Law Specialist
Minyard & Morris
Orange County, CA

“The 40-hour Divorce Mediation Course is ideal training and specialization for psychologists. Mr. Mosten combines therapy techniques and family law practice which offers therapists refined skills and new consumer oriented service products in the era of managed care.”

Dr. Taylor Cantrell, Ph.D.
Dr. Amy Miller, Psy.D.
Rancho Cucamonga, CA

When I was accepted to serve as Woody’s intern trainer for his 2016 40-hour mediation course, I was elated! I knew others who had either attended or served as an intern for the course, and all said it was quite an experience. Further, I was just beginning my own training career, and so I looked forward to learning Woody’s training techniques.

When I arrived from Tampa to Los Angeles, Woody and Jody made me feel right at home. They took me out for dinner, told me stories from prior trainings, and prepared me (or so I thought) for an eventful 40 hours.

I arrived early at their home the next morning for the training. It is then that we began what I learned would be our morning ritual for the next several days: take a leisurely stroll with Woody and Jazz – the Mosten’s Katrina rescue dog – around the neighborhood. Having the opportunity to simply hang out, ask Woody questions, and listen to how he built his peacemaking practice was a pleasure and an honor.

And then the training began. I had already conducted a 2-day introductory collaborative training, and had attended quite a few collaborative and mediation trainings, so I thought I had a pretty good grasp of available teaching techniques. Boy, was I wrong!

Day after day, Woody would surprise attendees (and me) with new and innovative learning strategies. There were even a few times when, if the neighbors did not know Woody, I’m sure they would have wondered what the heck was going on in his yard! I could barely take it all in, and I still review all my notes as I incorporate Woody’s techniques into my own trainings.

Woody is a pioneer in unbundled legal services, collaborative law, and mediation, and yet he comes to his training with the excitement and passion of a new law graduate. His energy and joy for training is truly contagious, and I hope that when attendees at my trainings look at me, they also see a bit of him.

Adam B. Cordover, Collaborative Attorney, Mediator, and Trainer
Family Diplomacy: A Collaborative Law Firm
Tampa, FL
FamilyDiplomacy.com

Advanced Mediation Training Endorsements

Woody is an extraordinary teacher; challenging, engaging, interested, generous … the list goes on. Attending his class was a gift that keeps on giving. It has taken my knowledge of mediation and my practice to another level.

Kimberly Best, Mediator
Franklin, TN
www.bestconflictsolutions.com

I had the good fortune to attend a mediation training with Forrest ‘Woody’ Mosten on the recommendation of a respected colleague. It was ,by far and away , a transformative experience. This is due to the level and depth of the information, the time spent in actual application of the techniques , and , most importantly in the sharing of the experience with Woody over several days. The devotion to the development of skilled mediators to meet the needs of modern society was underscored in the most genuine and invitational manner through the entire course. The information , demonstrations and interactive exercises were thorough, interesting and unhurried. Each hour was full of learning opportunity , unlike many other workshops I have attended, yet the pace seemed natural, so that one had time to absorb and incorporate the material . The true prize in this is the presence and the person of Woody Mosten, who is a treasure of experience , a superb communicator and guide, unflagging in energy , and a model of strength and patience. In short , Woody is a true master of his craft . The added feature is his remarkable availability and skill in conveying core information and experience to his students. I can say that I had a transformative experience as a result of this workshop , which carries on in my life to this day. I see the human experience , especially regarding conflict, with different eyes and a feel it with a different heart, I believe this has had positive impact in my practice and in my daily life ,as well . If you have the chance , spend some time with Woody. You won't regret it.

Reno Galassi, Licensed Marriage and Family Counselor
San Clemente, CA

In his training, Woody left me with the mantra:” Boundaries, Boundaries, Boundaries!

Mary Ellen Bowen, Executive Director, Mid-South Mediation Services
Hohwenwald, TN
www.midsouthmediationservices.org

Sandy Arons, Financial Consultant

I you can’t see the “Forrest” for the trees in your mediation practice, attend Woody’s training. You’s be out of the weeds, seeing straight, and helping your clients.

Sandy Arons, Financial Consultant
Brentwood, TN
www.getasmartdivorce.com

Ralph Krisher, Lawyer

Woody is an outstanding teacher with immense practical and applicable insights into the mediation process.

Ralph Krisher, Lawyer
Marlboro, TN
www.Krisherlawfirm.com

Woody was very knowledgeable and clearly experienced in resolving disputes---yet was refreshingly open minded to discussion, creativity and different methods to the approach of mediation. I enjoyed his training very much and will rely on the materials as a valuable resource in beginning my own practice.

Beth Oschack Tarter, Executive Director, The Mediation Center
www.columbiamediation.org

Well structured, new ideas and humor. Best presentation on mediation that I have ever been to.

Michael E. Clift, Attorney
Cookeville, TN/p>

Woody Mosten’s ‘Mediation Career Guide – A Strategic Approach to Building a Successful Practice’ takes pride of place on my bookshelf. Inside the front cover, there is pressed leaf that always brings to mind a special time. I immediately associate thoughts of hope and change, inspired by Woody’s clarity of thought and purposeful inspiration.

When the planes crashed into Twin Towers on 9/11/2001 I was in my law office in Scotland, my life partner, Karina, was at Harvard University on an advanced management program and our closest friend Michelle was at her desk in downtown Manhattan. In October, the three of us met in the tranquillity of Martha’s Vineyard, all realising how fortunate we were. The book I took with me was the Career Guide as I had set myself the target of moving into mediation full time. That week of reading and reflecting set the course for my career since.

I wrote a one page action plan and within a year I left the law to set up the Scottish Mediation Network and begin my freelance practice. My mediation career since has offered wonderfully diverse opportunities across Scotland, then New York and now London. In 2004, I first met Woody and am honoured now to count him as a friend and guiding mentor. H is absolute commitment to developing the practice of peace-making in the most practical and thoughtful of ways will, I am certain, benefit all who encounter him.

Ewan A Malcolm
Chief Executive, Relate London North West, London
www.relatelondonnw.org.uk

Woody Mosten Masterclass: Hot Issues in Mediation

Monday 8th April 2013, Scottish Mediation Network, 18 York Place, Edinburgh, EH1 3EP

The Scottish Mediation Network are delighted to again welcome Forrest (Woody) Mosten to Scotland to present the “Hot Topics in Mediation.” One of the most experienced mediation trainers with an international reputation, Woody will use this session to discuss Hot Issues in Mediation and how they impact negotiation strategies, practice development, and the mediation profession. Woody’s training maintains an intense focus on cutting edge issues in law and the craft of conflict resolution skill building, and he enjoys helping other professionals build their own profitable practices.

This session is available for all to attend and will be of particular interest to mediators and legal practitioners. Woody is not often in the UK, so do not miss this opportunity to train with one of the most experienced mediation practitioners and trainers.

Robin Burley, Chair of the Scottish Mediation Network attended the training himself and offered the following review:

Monday 8th April was the Forrest (Woody) Mosten Masterclass and it was a tour de force of mediation mastery from the west coast of the United States. Woody’s gift was not only in the richness of the toolkit of skills from his twenty seven years as a mediator that he shared with us but in the way he engaged in conversations by following our individual interests, exploring the examples in their context, and eliciting mediation principles that can guide our mediation practice.

Using Monet’s paintings of Haystacks Woody illustrated how mediators, like artists, need to dig deep to develop mastery in our craft. Monet painted the Haystacks in the grain fields behind his home numerous times as a thematic series to capture the nuances of difference in light through the day, seasons of the year and the weather conditions. Monet was a perfectionist and his Haystacks series represented a deep study of their iconic form from diverse perspectives. Similarly, Woody’s moral is that mediation is a craft which in common with other artistry is not only hard to learn but is rewarded by being studied in depth.

Woody encouraged us to identify and develop our mediation signature. I immediately warmed to this concept having for some time been taken with the notion of our unique mediator voice. For me the mediation signature takes the voice idea further by embracing a conception of congruity across our mediation values, personal attributes, style and practice and the target market and services of our business. I look forward to exploring this further in Woody’s book, The Mediation Career Guide.

I was then challenged to rethink my views on the positions of parties at mediation. From my earliest training I have felt comfortable with the mantra: interests good, positions bad. The logic that it is in the parties’ interests and not their positions that the settlement is likely to lie seemed to me irrefutable. But not so fast; Woody advises us to welcome the voicing of positions and work with them. His reason for ennobling positions is that we can learn so much from them about each party and their path to settlement by paying attention to positions. This was certainly a lesson for me and I will be less hasty in future to move parties off their repetition of their positions and instead ask them why so they can dwell in that terrain longer!

The masterclass tips came thick and fast throughout the morning. Take baby steps: a mediator’s role is to slow the pace not rush the settlement. Create a client library: have books and videos on mediation available for clients to browse and interest them in our craft. Unbundle our services: not everyone will want a full service mediator – we need to get better at offering a service responsive to the client and not just offer the model of our practice. Keep spawning options: give more time and attention to generating options – it is the mother’s milk of what we do. Write aspirations into settlements: it is not only SMART clauses that are relevant to the Settlement Agreement – why not heed the parties’ hopes and ambition, even their dreams. Tell mediator stories: it is through the stories we tell that we can learn about the art and its fine distinctions.

Woody rounded the morning off by turning a participant’s mediation story into a case study demonstration of how we can support each other by group feedback. Woody’s wisdom is something he generously shared with all of us who took part that morning and in this last exercise he showed how we all can share group wisdom as a way of reviewing and improving our practice. Several participants went away talking about the potential of such study groups for consultation and supervision in mediation practice – now there’s an acorn Woody has imparted which could grow into a mighty oak to support our craft. I certainly hope it will not be long before we are welcoming Woody to Scotland again. Since he and his wife, Jody, have been able to pursue their favourite pastime, golf, in this visit to its birthplace, I suspect it will not be too difficult to tempt them back. When that happens I will be quick to put my name down for Woody’s next SMN masterclass.

Robin Burley
April 9, 2013

Woody finds the essence of peacemaking in the nuts and bolts of mediation inspiring me to be a better mediator and centered human being.

Richard Lutringer, Lawyer
New York City, NY and Palm Springs, CA
www.mediate.com/rlutringer

I have been mediating cases of all types for approximately 16 years and I teach mediation in law school. Had I taken Woody’s course long ago, I would have conducted many mediations differently (and better) and my teaching curriculum would have been different (and better).

Donald B. Cripe, Mediator (Retired Lawyer)
Riverside/San Bernandino, CA
www.camsmediation.com

I could have listened to Woody for a week and still not have had enough. I could not wait to get back to my office and put Woody’s strategies into practice.

My New York Colleagues have said that this was the best conference we have ever had.

Daniel Burns, Attorney and Mediator
Co-Chair, 2014 New York State Council on Divorce Mediation Annual Conference
Latham, NY
www.BurnsMediator.com

I have been attending mediation conferences for the past 20 years and feel that Woody's two presentations, 40 Things Every Mediator Should Know and Using Peacemaking Values to Build Your Practice were two of the best sessions I have attended. The handouts were superior as was his engaging style of presenting his material.

My love for practicing Divorce Mediation has been rejuvenated thanks to Woody's presentations.

Kathy Jaffe, LMSW, Divorce and Family Mediator, LCSW
Secretary of the New Your State Council on Divorce Mediation and CLE Coordinator.
Pomona, NY
www.jaffemediation.com

A Review of Forrest “Woody” Mosten's Seminar

By Stephen L. Shields

This last month (September 9–10, 2011) I attended the Midwest Mediation Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Indiana Association of Mediators (“IAM”) sponsored the conference, which featured Forrest “Woody” Mosten. I promised my colleagues here in Tennessee that I would prepare a summary of Mr. Mosten’s key points and share them. Thus, this article sets out some of what I learned from Mr. Mosten — as filtered by me, of course. As one would expect, what I believe I heard Mr. Mosten say may very well be surrounded by my own observations on occasion.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Mr. Mosten, he is (as his biography from the Midwest Mediation Conference stated) “… an internationally recognized expert on mediation and the author of numerous books on mediation.” Mr. Mosten also teaches mediation at the UCLA School of Law and instructs students at the Pepperdine School of Law in Pepperdine’s dispute resolution program. And though some may earn similar credentials without exhibiting a concomitant predilection for teaching others, let me set the record straight at the outset: Mr. Mosten is a truly gifted teacher. He possessed an admirable ability to atomize his points, allowing us to reflect on those points, and to step back and comment on what we had learned.

He covered many different points in two full days; I have selected some of the highlights. Other attendees who read this may ask, “But you left out this great point!” And they would be right: My list is incomplete and intentionally brief. With that said, here goes:

The Business of Mediation

Mosten suggests that each mediator should develop his own “peacemaker signature,” reflecting your own unique approach to mediation that differentiates you from others in the field. In fact, his “signature process” is the fundamental concept throughout two of his books: Mediation Career Guide and Collaborative Divorce Handbook. In addition, he has a “peacemaker” self-survey focusing on the following areas: 1) your current marketing practice, 2) the components of your practice, 3) financial and strategic planning, 4) management of your practice, 5) client education, and 6) how to improve your skills and practice through training.

He views his role as an equal partner with his clients and emphasizes four things: 1) he is accessible, 2) it’s important to him to help his clients save money, 3) he’s committed to helping them stay out of court, and 4) he’s committed to “knowing his stuff” and mastering the details before mediation. Mosten also maintains a “client library” at his office for parties to use so that they have the chance to review information about mediation (and, in particular, information about collaborative law) beforehand.

Although he lists a number of personal attributes for mediators, Mosten emphasized patience and the ability to adapt. He stressed that there’s several approaches to mediation depending on the situation, and that a good mediator adapts to a situation instead of dogmatically insisting upon one style. Mosten also pointed out that, to be effective, mediators must stop riding two horses —mediator and lawyer. As he put it, “Are you just a lawyer dressed up in peacemaker clothes?” Well, I got his point!

Also, Mosten recommended “unbundling” as a business practice. Mosten stated that “unbundling” is also known as “limited scope representation” or “discreet task representation.” Essentially, it’s an agreement between the client and lawyer to limit the scope of services that the lawyer renders. In his view of unbundling, “The client is in charge of selecting one or several discreet lawyering tasks contained within the full service package.” For a more in-depth discussion of unbundling, see Mosten’s article in the July–August 2003 Law Practice Management magazine.

The Mediator as an Artist

Mosten — borrowing, he said, ideas from a book by Lange and Taylor — encourages that mediators need to transition from a mediator “apprentice” to an “artist”:

Apprentice unconscious incompetence

Novice conscience incompetence

Practitioner conscience competence

Artist unconscious competence

The idea, of course, is that we need as much training and experience as possible to get to the highest level — that of a mediator artist. Along these lines, Mosten strongly recommends that mediators form “study groups,” encouraging mediators to expand their knowledge and tools of the profession.

Before the Mediation

Mosten spends a great deal of time and effort working with parties and/or their attorneys before mediation. No longer is it the day when everyone walks into mediation with a blank sheet and tries to settle things from scratch. Mosten refers to his pre-mediation work as “private planning” — and he does a lot of it.

Part of his planning is working with parties and/or their lawyers to design the process itself. And to our collective surprise, he requests that lawyers sign a “disqualification agreement.” That is, he requires the attorneys involved in the mediation process to agree not to litigate. Of course, most in the audience thought that this was solely in regard to his “collaborative practice.” But Mosten stated that he encourages disqualification agreements in all of his cases. Some sign; some don’t. But I gathered that Mosten believes mediators should use disqualification agreements in all types of mediations.

Mosten also generally uses a hybrid between the “American” and “Australian” models of mediation. In the Australian model, as I understood it, the mediator works in private meetings with each party until the parties are ready to meet in joint session. Obviously, the American model typically involves the parties meeting jointly with the mediator at the outset. But in the Australian model, the mediator learns the facts of the case during the private session and helps the clients prepare for the negotiations by gathering up necessary information. Mosten stated that a major benefit of holding private sessions first is for the mediator to start playing the role of reality agent “… testing each side’s position with legal information, research findings, and practicality.”

Orientation

During the orientation, as I understood his comments, Mosten looks for commonality in objectives between the parties. Again, he works with lawyers and parties beforehand so that all can understand exactly how the mediation will proceed — openings, private caucus, etc. Again, his emphasis is on the mediator and parties helping design the process.

During the opening, Mosten suggests discussing what he expects of a party who considers “walking away.” He lets them know that the door is always open, but he asks them to discuss with him the following before they walk out: 1) Why they want to walk out the door? 2) What’s outside the door that makes it better?

During the Mediation

If mediation will last for more than a day, Mosten provides at the end of the day’s session a summary list of key points as to what was accomplished versus what’s left open and makes it available to the parties for their study and review.

Mosten pointed out that it takes most people years to get into conflict but now we, as mediators, are expected to assist them in resolving that conflict in a short time. In order to do so, Mosten says that it’s necessary to create “Agreement Readiness” between the parties. Part of getting parties agreement ready involves moving them away from narrow litigation issues to a broader discussion:

litigation issues narrow

business interests narrow

personal/professional, relational interests broader

community interests broader still

The question is, “How do you move the parties forward?” This, again, is where Mosten emphasized patience and stepping back from the old ways of conflict and moving toward resolution in “baby steps”.

One key to obtaining agreement readiness is using what Mosten calls “De-positioning with self-interest.” To “de-position” even the most entrenched party, he suggests three things: 1) Accurately restating the party’s position; 2) Asking the party if a judge accepted their position, how would that benefit them? 3) Listing all of the benefits — squeezing every possible benefit dry and, if necessary, helping the party by suggesting benefits they may not have thought of. The whole idea is to exhaust the concept of benefits from the client’s position. Then the mediator may restate and summarize the benefits stated by the client, asking if an ultimate settlement addressed each of these concerns, would the party consider settling on this basis?

The benefit of intervening in this way is that it helps the parties feel heard and the mediator gains trust. In addition, it assists the mediator in beginning to create a list of priorities. (During the discussion, I pointed out that this “de-positioning” appeared to me to be getting at the parties’ BATNA. Mosten pointed out that he does not use BATNA, but uses BATMA instead: “The Best Alternative to a Mediated Agreement.”) Obviously, helping the parties in a mediation analyze their “BATMA” helps the parties understand their case’s value and uses that as a benchmark for negotiations.

Mosten also addressed what happens when faced with the “rubicon” — i.e. impasse. He shared his “late-stage strategies” to keep the parties from walking out the door. He tells parties that they have a choice of either going to trial or attempting to press on to try to resolve the matter. He also uses a technique (which he emphasized throughout the training) to always ask the parties for their permission before making a suggestion. For example, “I have some ideas. Do you want to hear them?” He also pointed out that when he talks about an agreement with a party, he asks them, “Is this an agreement you can live with?” If they can’t live with it, he keeps talking. (I noted that he did not say, “Win Win.”)

These are the steps that Mosten suggests for setting up a mediator’s proposal:

  1. Describe the status of negotiations
  2. Detail the areas of agreement between the parties
  3. Discuss the open issues
  4. Get confirmation from the parties as to whether your description of areas of agreement and disagreement is correct
  5. Discuss whether there are any other facts or information needed to bridge the gap
  6. Ask the parties and counsel if they would like to hear a mediator’s proposal, and if so, are they ready to hear the proposal
  7. Emphasize that a mediator’s proposal is an attempt to meet the interests and concerns as developed throughout the mediation.
  8. Then, the Mediator provides a specific proposal as to each issue.
  9. Lastly, he has each party sign off on the entire mediator’s proposal without change. Otherwise, he suspends the mediation.

Mosten suggests that our job as mediators is to listen and respond. One of our responses is to reframe. For Mosten, reframing can involve one of five areas: 1) reframing the facts; 2) reframing the agenda items; 3) reframing the legal assertions; 4) reframing emotions; and, 5) reframing the proposals. In addition, of course, he emphasized that if you had to sum up the “one-word response” of a mediator, it would always be the one-word question, “Why?” You have to get beyond the position to the real problem and to the interests of the parties.

Throughout the seminar, it was obvious that Mosten was emphasizing the four ethical pillars a mediator must be aware of: 1) self-determination; 2) impartiality; 3) confidentiality; and, 4) competence.

What did the Attendees learn?

Mosten asked for a “scribe” to list ideas that the attendees had learned. My notes are incomplete but here is a partial list of what the attendees stated they learned:

  • To use pre-mediation conferences;
  • Advertise that you can perform discreet tasks — “unbundling”;
  • To utilize the de-positioning process during the mediation;
  • To consider disqualification agreements;
  • One size does not fit all. There’s more than one way to mediate a given situation;
  • Competence is a hallmark for the mediator;
  • Always ask for permission to suggest an idea rather than just telling them;
  • That early resolution of cases is the trend;
  • To think about your philosophy of practice: What is your signature?
  • To get a board of directors for your practice;
  • To get synergy with other professionals.

Also, many more not included here.

Peacemaking Pledge

Mosten ends his seminar requesting that the parties consider signing a “Peacemaker’s Pledge.” What a great way to end two days of learning about creating peace!

Finally, thanks for the invite, IAM.

A big “Thank You!” to the IAM for their Hoosier hospitality — you made this “Volunteer” feel right at home!

Stephen L. Shields

Rule 31 Listed Mediator (Tennessee)
Past President, Tennessee Association of Professional Mediators
Memphis, TN

www.jsylawfirm.com

William H. Hunt

“Woody dynamically presents not only advanced mediation practice skills but also gives the opportunity to remember why we chose peacemaking as a vocation.”

William H. Hunt, Lawyer
Westlake, OH
www.huntlg.com

Amy Wirtz

“Woody did a wonderful job of taking complex concepts and changing them into digestible bites of information and memorable strategies. I am very excited to put Woody’s information to work in my next case and in future trainings that I may conduct.”

Amy Wirtz, Mediator and Collaborative Lawyer
Cleveland, OH
www.Skirbuntlaw.com

Mark B. Baer

“I am so grateful to Woody Mosten for everything that he has taught me. When I completed his basic mediation training, I realized that I had learned a great deal. However, over time, I have come to realize that I learned far more from Woody in that basic mediation training than I realized at that time. The subsequent trainings I have received from Woody and the materials that he has written or suggested that I read have been invaluable in educating me to become the mediator and collaborative law practitioner I have become. It is for just this reason that I frequently mention (including on my ProVisors profile and on my short bio in articles I have published in the Daily Journal) that I received my mediation training from him.

I regularly receive emails from people requesting a referral to a good family law mediation training course and I always recommend that they receive their training through Woody.”

Mark B. Baer, Esq.
Family Law Attorney/Mediator/Collaborative Law Practitioner/Author/Lecturer/Keynote Speaker
Pasadena, CA
www.markbaeresq.com

Mary Damianakis

“Forrest (Woody) Mosten has been at the heart of the mediation movement since the 1970’s. His work embodies, compassion, intellect, perpetual growth and his love of harmlessness is always present. Having taken courses with Woody over the past two decades, I have found that each workshop had more depth and sharpened my skills and insights,—adding to my toolbox. He is a pioneer and ‘elder’ in the family mediation and dispute resolution field, a great mentor, person, peacemaker and friend.”

Mary Damianakis
Chair of the Board, Family Mediation Canada (2012)

Rick Wacker

“Woody's presentations were always insightful and stuffed with ways I can improve my own performance as a peacemaker! I really liked how relaxed and encouraging Woody was to all of the Midwest Conflict Resolution Conference participants - he has an outstanding way with people to encourage them to open up and participate I suspect that this empathy with people is, in no small way, a key to Woody's success as a Mediator and Collaborative Lawyer!”

Rick Wacker, Mediator
Chair, 2011 Midwest Conflict Resolution Conference
Indianapolis, IN
www.WackerMediation.com

Thalia Veintimilla

“Woody has it all figured out. :) I enjoyed the participation of the students as it was continuous during the sessions, making them a very live experience!”

Working together, ordinary people can perform extraordinary feats. They can push things that come into their hands a little higher up, a little further on towards the heights of excellence.
- Author unknown

Thalia Veintimilla, MA, Mediator
Panorama City, CA
www.conresolution.com

Margaret Crowley

“Woody’s training style is very dynamic and accessible. He not only challenged my thinking, he made me anxious to get out there and apply all the new techniques I learned.”

Margaret Crowley, Attorney Mediator
Reno, NV
www.CrowleyMediation.com

Guadaline Biadoma

“The MOST useful training I have ever been to.”

Guadaline Biadoma, B.S.L., J.D.
Mediator/Arbitrator

Stephen L. Shields

“I attended the 2011 Midwest Mediation Conference in Indiana and learned advanced strategies from Woody Mosten. Although I have considerable experience in the field and have trained extensively, I found that Woody is a truly gifted teacher. He possesses an admirable ability to atomize his points, allowing us to reflect on those points, and to step back and comment on what we had learned. I look forward to bringing Woody to train my colleagues in Tennessee.”

Stephen L. Shields, Rule 31 Listed Mediator (Tennessee)
President-Elect, Tennessee Association of Professional Mediators
Memphis, TN
www.jsylawfirm.com

Raymond Hovsepian

“After taking a course with Woody Mosten, I have successfully settled hundreds of family law and landlord/tenant cases using Woody’s mediation techniques. His methods are just as useful to me as an advocate than a mediator.”

Raymond Hovsepian, Attorney
Los Angeles, CA
RaymondHovsepianLaw.com

Glen L. Rabenn

“Words cannot fully express the pure enjoyment that I experienced at Woody Mosten training’s Advanced Mediation Training. Woody’s kind and scholarly manner, coupled with his passion and technical excellence, caused his training to be among the most professionally satisfying two days of my 36 years of practice.  He has shown me that my decisions to become a practitioner of Collaborative Practice and to reincorporate mediation into my practice were among the best that I have made in my professional life.”

Glen L. Rabenn
Certified Family Law Specialist 
Orange County, CA 

Mark Warfel

“The recent Advanced Divorce and Family Law Mediation Training that Woody Mosten conducted in Los Angeles was truly outstanding. I added more to my toolbox of mediation strategies and tactics in two days with you than I could ever have expected. Woody's insightful tips on structuring mediation sessions and drafting summaries for the parties and attorneys I have put into practice immediately. Thank you.”

Mark Warfel

I was thinking earlier how I wanted to send a follow up message regarding today's Master Class on Mediation Strategies to which Woody Mosten arranged an invitation for me. Me saying it was "awesome" isn't enough detail, or explanation. So I decided to wait until I could get my thoughts together.

I am up doing some research for a journal I need to write, and I come across this video on our school website about leadership. The speaker is very motivational, and inspiring about the duty to live up to our highest potential as leaders. One thing that really did grab my attention was when this speaker asked if we have ever told a person about the time that they made a significant impact on our lives; a moment they may have never known the significance.

This moment made me think of Woody Mosten, and how yhe impacted my final decision for a full complete career change.

I am so glad that I followed my instincts by reaching out to him as a mentor. I have a more clear path in how this work aligns with my "CORE VALUES" as he mentioned in his Phoenix training

In the session,I was able to observe how Woody's methods, and how the ideas impacted the attendees from a student perspective. It was awesome to see. I could tell that not everyone has a clear vision on what services they offer, or how it aligns with their personal goals.

I am beyond grateful to gather this information at such an early part of my learning process.

I was able to relate and understand the techniques, skills, and ideas offered. It was very helpful to me now, even in my current work.

The class today was very engaging, thought provoking, and encouraging for those who may find themselves not getting enough work. Woody offered great tips on unbundled services to earn income. Income seemed to be a major issue today, even at this more advanced level.

The most important thing I took away from the class was the ideas Woody talked about in the earlier part of class about dreams. He said that every aspect of your work are consistent with your core life.

I can't imagine spending the next 7 years in school learning, to have to do anything other work that I didn't want to do, or enjoy doing. Hence the career change. I can see by not perfecting the craft through workshops and trainings can really stunt your professional growth.

Again I was encouraged by what I heard. I do hope those that are already practicing can find their "Signature", and know what their core values are.

I am learning a lot in some of my early courses about having a clear purpose on why you are doing what your doing. This serves as a road map moving forward.

It was such a pleasure meeting Sherri Capra, the session organizer, and just having dialogue with her. First impressions can be everything, and I really have a good feeling about staying connected with MCAFM moving forward.

Though Woody mentioned others in the room, I know I have truly found a person who I would like to module my career after, and yes, that would be Woody Mosten.

Cynthia McKenzie
Future Mediator and Peacemaker
Tempe, AZ

Building a Profitable and Satisfying Peacemaking Practice (How To Get More Cases)

Woody’s Minneapolis training on Getting More Cases has truly set the Iowa Collaborative practice group on fire — several of us have found all sorts of magical things happening since we've been back in Des Moines. It's amazing what happens when you begin to think more creatively about your practice and how to use collaborative law skills to better serve your clients. I've attended a lot of trainings in my career and his is top notch. I highly recommend Woody's training.

Kimberly Graham, Collaborative Attorney and Mediator
West Des Moines, IAr
www.GrahamLawCollaborative.com

I first took “Building a Profitable and Satisfying Peacemaking Practice” in Portland, Oregon in early 2015, with Trainer Woody Mosten and Associate Trainer Kevin Scudder. I found myself at this training just a few months into my “No More Court” New Years Resolution of 2015. Honestly, I had no particular plan in place for this transition. I did have vision and resolve – I knew it must be done – but a plan? Not so much.

At the time of the 2015 training I had practiced law more than 23 years. For more than a decide of those years, I had been straddling the fence between a traditional practice and a peacemaking practice, and finally had the courage to admit it was just not possible for me to continue to practice in the old paradigm. Put simply, I no longer had the heart to lead my clients into what I knew would be a devastating experience for them and their families.

Woody and Kevin knocked my socks off with this training. They are such skilled trainers and genuine humans. They opened my eyes to some creative ways to help clients make peace, offered tangible how-to’s to help me get there, and challenged my thinking in ways large and small. This experience gave me the courage to explore a wider range of peacemaking options for clients, and the resolve to stick with my vision of creating a more satisfying practice with happier, healthier clients. This training left me inspired, and scared, and exhilarated at the same time.

In the ensuing year I have increased revenues, experimented with more creative non-court dispute resolution methods, relocated my professional office into space more compatible with my peacemaking vision, and co-trained Collaborative Law Basic Team Training twice to members of my local community. But more importantly, I have stepped in to my role as a change-maker for peaceful resolution of family conflict. I couldn’t have done that without this backdrop falling into place just when I needed it.

Shortly after the first of the year 2016, I learned Kevin and Woody were reprising this training in Seattle. I registered immediately. And I am so glad I did! It was more than worth it to repeat this course. Woody and Kevin knocked my socks off (once again!) with their wisdom, passion, humor, and vision. Kevin is keenly insightful and intelligent. With Woody, you get a brilliant mind and a seasoned educator who challenges you to think outside the box and demands you bring him your best self. I am once again inspired, a lot less scared, and absolutely exhilarated to think about what the next year will bring.

Nancy Retsinas, Collaborative Lawyer and Mediator
Vancouver, WA
www.retsinaslaw.com

Developing a Profitable and Satisfying Peacemaking Practice was one of the most informative and valuable seminars I have ever attended. Woody’s presentation broadened my insights and provided practical and innovative ideas for strategizing and exploring possible ways to build a peacemaking practice.

Woody’s mastery of the subject matter made this an indispensable training experience and his passion for peacemaking is inspirational.

Being surrounded with like-minded professionals who share my goal of traveling on a peaceful path with clients was exciting and motivating.

Woody’s seminar exceeded my expectations on all levels.

Carol Dubron-Witlin, Attorney
Beverly Hills, CA
www.dubronwitlinlaw.com

It is hard to summarize my experience. While I should have been tired after two very full days of discussion, thought and learning, I returned home and was awake until close to midnight continuing to process the possibilities, comfort and excitement for a better way to practice law. I am engaged and inspired.

Juliet Laycoe, Family Law Attorney
Vancouver, WA
www.ClarkCountyDivorceLaw.com

Woody carries in his being a love for this work that is contagious. He teaches many ways to creatively build a collaborative practice but the value of the workshop goes far beyond the specifics of those teachings. He models what it means to live from an enormous sense of possibility. He's not afraid to dance on the walls of the compound, by which I mean to challenge long-held and deeply ingrained assumptions about collaborative practice and its cannons. He has no attachment to anyone seeing things his way. He's transparent about his perspectives and invites students to take what fits for them and leave the rest -- while modeling an approach that is fearless, joyous, creative and enthusiastic.

There are many things I want to work on in the weeks, months and years to come. I see now the importance of investing time in reflecting, reading, studying and sharing -- not from a place of lack because I love my life and my practice as it is and feel enormously blessed, but rather because I see so much room to expand and grow. For me, this insight is the great gift of Woody's course: That this work is most fun when we bring full hearts and creative spirits to it and the path forward involves a combination of courage, hard work and appreciation for the gift we've been given to do what we do.

Roy N. Martin, Attorney
Bellingham, WA
www.creativedivorce.com

Woody’s training will put fire in your belly to expand and enhance your peacemaking practice.

Maribeth Blessing, Family Lawyer and Mediator
Rockledge, PA
www.mbfamilylaw.com

Woody’s training offers very specific discussion and training materials that are unusually insightful and helpful. I appreciated the extensive reference documents to supplement my practice forms and I found these materials to be available only from this course.

Jane Carol Glendinning, Lawyer
Albany, NY

Woody’s training is a strong challenge to focus and articulate my professional goals to create a successful mediation business which was very difficult for me prior to this course.

Susan Guercio, MSW-JD
New York City, NY

In my third training with Woody, I found this course very eye opening to the many ways to serve as a peacemaker in my practice.

Henry Jampolsky, Mediator and Collaborative Lawyer
Trevose, PA
www.conflicttransformed.com

I found Woody’s course to be stimulating and can really be used to improve my work.

Sherzod Pulatov
Astana, Kazakstan

In another training with Woody, I always enjoy his pathway to edgy thinking, more hats, more heart, stretching and spreading my wings.

Zanita A. Zack-Gabriel
Erie, PA
www.Zanitalaw.com

Thank you for inspiring and pushing us to expand and improve our collaborative practices! I thoroughly enjoyed this training and am amazed at how much was covered in just two days.

Teena Johnson, Family Lawyer
Tacoma, WA
www.TeenaJohnson.com

Woody is probably the one person who has had the most influence on my career, as a mediator and now as a collaborative attorney. The things that I have learned from him have not only been thought-provoking and informative but cutting edge as well. I look forward to taking his next training event.

Lynette S. Kim, Family Law Mediator and Collaborative Attorney
Los Angeles, CA

Woody redefines what Collaborative Services are all about: Sobering and Inspirational

John Lazar, Collaborative Lawyer
Los Angeles, CA
www.JohnLazar.com

This ABD training was thought provoking that gave me new ways to look at my Collaborative work.

Susan Schwartz, Collaborative Mental Health Professional
Torrance, CA
www.SusanFSchwartz.com

Woody’s training taught me that you are either “all in”as a peacemaker, or you are not!

Leslie Hart, Collaborative Lawyer
Hermosa Beach, CA
www.lesliehartlaw.com

Woody’s passion, joy, and mastery of Collaborative Practice gave me a strong beginning plan to develop a peacemaking practice.

Susan Saint-Welch, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Manhattan Beach, CA

This training provided me with a wealth of very practical and concrete ideas of how to implement and peacemaking practice. It was inspirational and provided me a road map to make my dream a reality.

Joanne Ratinoff, Certified Family Law Specialist
West Los Angeles, CA
www.JoanneRatinoff.com

Woody demonstrated true generosity by sharing his wisdom, experience, practice tips and his own forms. His generosity revealed his true commitment to Collaborative Practice.

Mary Elizabeth Grant, Family Lawyer
Los Angeles, CA

Woody’s course is Mediation and Collaborative Divorce Training at the highest level. Woody helps us to be our best selves. This training was informative, practical, and inspiring.

David Kuroda, Therapist
Torrance, CA
www.davidkuroda.com

Woody’s expertise, range of knowledge, and experience are amazing.

Angela Bissada, Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Encino, CA

This training is intelligent, provocative, and interesting for the entire two days.

Tony Aloia, Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Torrance, CA
www.taphd.com

Woody is a master! He gently pushes you outside “your box.”

Kim Davidson, Mediator and Collaborative Attorney
Hermosa Beach, CA
www.KimberlyDavidson.com

The Ontario Association for Family mediation was very grateful for your September 2015 full day presentation to us on our mediation practices. People were thinking, talking and challenged to take a good look at their style and how they were reflecting that style to potential clients. The ideas about having small groups to get advice from each other is excellent and something OAFM will be encouraging in our members. Thank you and hope to see you here in Ontario real soon!!

Jennifer Suzor, Certified Specialist in Family Law
President, Ontario Association for Family Mediation
Windsor, Ontario
www.familylawspecialist.ca

Lisa Jacobs’s comments as Assistant Trainer Intern

Serving as Woody’s Assistant Trainer Intern for his September 2015 40-hour Basic Mediation Training was truly a highlight of my professional career, which met my goals of honing my skills as a trainer, facilitator, speaker, mediator, and collaborative professional. I whole-heartedly recommend that all individuals who have similar goals as mine to consider applying for Woody’s Assistant Trainer Intern position. In this role, Woody will support you through the process of developing core training skills, and, at the same time, stretch you beyond your comfort level, which he consistently does with everyone in his workshops. That makes for such a rich learning and growth experience for all participants.

On the final full day of the training, Woody invited me to lead facilitating the workshop for the entire morning. This included presenting a training module for the class. I presented a very condensed and customized version of Woody’s 2-day course on “Building a Profitable and Satisfying Peacemaking Practice.” In my utilizing Woody’s practical methods and practices on how to translate a passion for peacemaking into a profitable full-time professional career, I was able to build a very fulfilling 100 percent peacemaking practice in less than one year, and my revenues continue to climb exponentially and beyond my wildest earlier expectations and forecasts. I humbly attribute much of my success to Woody’s sage advice, which not only can be found in the content in Woody’s 2-day course, but also is generously available in numerous additional places, such as on his website, www.mostenmediation.com, and also in his books, articles, and videos on how to develop a full-time peacemaking career. My training module was very well-received by all.

I still had much to share with the class before I needed to close and move on to the next training module; however, in a short amount of time and by summarizing some key steps, along with Woody, I seemed to have further energized and inspired many in our class to commit to doing more mediation back in their offices at the conclusion of our training. That is an overall goal of mine – as a trainer in the important and relevant work of conflict resolution, I find much joy in connecting with others who share my passion for peacemaking. I will commit to supporting them in their endeavors to make a fulfilling living doing what they love. Like Woody did and is doing for me, I would like to pay it forward for others who want to practice full-time peacemaking and re-assure them that if I can do it, that they could do it at least as well as, or even better than me.

Lisa Wong Jacobs, Collaborative Attorney & Mediator
Better Way Divorce, also known as Pono Divorce
Honolulu, HI
www.ponodivorce.com

Introduction To Sold-Out Portland, Oregon Training

by Dona Cullen, President of Oregon Association of Collaborative Professionals

May 1-2, 2015

Dona CullenWelcome and thank you all for being here. It’s so exciting to see so many people wanting to know more about non-adversarial practices and willing to engage in a process of self -discovery to bring their practices to life, helping others to find their best selves and resolve their disputes while at the same time finding satisfaction and financial profit from our work. It sounds like a win/win and we’re so lucky to find thinkers and trainers to help us figure this out.

OACP is proud to bring you this training. We are an organization existing for the purpose of working together in professional development and support for this new way of practicing law.

I also want to thank our sponsors, Bridges Collaborative Divorce Solutions, who donated most of the cost of the food that will keep us going over the course of the next two days and Carrie Reed who in addition to registering and spending 2 days here with us, also made a donation to the cause. This is an example of the public interest in the paradigm shift we are making.

Regarding the paradigm shift required to do the work we’ll be talking about here, Michael Zeytoonian, a civil collaborative attorney from Boston says:

“I think the paradigm shift comes in two parts: external and internal. The external shift is the process of learning about a new way to approach dispute resolution (collaborative law, mediation; in general, a non adversarial and interest-based approach), training in those ways and practices, committing to make them a part of our toolbox as conflict resolution advocates or facilitators, becoming engaged in that community of like-minded practitioners and applying these processes and practices to actual cases.

But the second part of the shift is the more profound part that follows these prerequisite steps above, and that is when we have internalized these processes and approaches so that they become natural and aligned with who we are philosophically and in our souls and how we approach our roles as solvers of problems and peacemakers. When this internal paradigm shift happens within us, it becomes increasingly difficult to go back to the old, adversarial litigation-type models. Approaching disputes first from the non-adversarial, interest -based door then also becomes easier and flows much more naturally from within us. We find ourselves speaking, acting, and working with a much deeper conviction, passion and grasp of what it is we are doing. Not only is the approach now different, but we are also different. To transform the way disputes are resolved, we have to first be transformed ourselves.”

Forrest Woody Mosten probably doesn’t require much introduction to this group. He has taught and written prolifically in what mediation and collaborative practice looks like and how to do it but what struck me was a video of an interview he did with Carl Michael Rossi a few years ago when the idea was first taking shape of thinking of ourselves as peacemakers and our work as peacemaking. This training has ingeniously been combined with the practical aspects of finding this potential in ourselves, being energized and motivated by it; along with the practical ways to make it become our work and make it profitable.

This training has taken off across the country and those of you here have been part of that spark.

Kevin Scudder is part of the collaborative movement in Seattle that we envy. He is one of the founders of the practice group that Bridges used as a model (Cypress Collaborative Solutions)– and he belongs to several others. He represents the inspiration from the north that this can be done in Portland as well and for a long time has sought to be able to help us. I look forward to his participation and hearing from his experience to help us build a similar movement here.

Let’s look around and thank each other for being here as we embark on this journey together.

I want to first thank both David and Woody for an inspiring and moving two days looking at lawyers as peace keepers. As an attorney, I know that working as a mediation attorney was I what I always wanted to do, but Woody and David provided examples for me to create and sustain a peace keeping practice.

It was an aspiring two days filled with lots of material, wonderful people filled with inspirations and ideas to better understand families of all ages and sizes find a better way to divorce, separate and find solutions outside of the costly and emotional process of litigation.

I have a lot of material, notes and thoughts to process from the two days, but the summer will be spent going through and creating a better process and a better practice for my clients and myself.

Carolan K. Hardy, Mediation, Collaborative and Limited Representation Attorney
Quincy, MA
www.divorceandfamilymediationservices.com

This training has the potential to be life changing for anyone thinking of stopping or cutting back their litigation practice. It was for me. This workshop is about taking care of yourself and you will learn why you need to stop litigating and learn how you will be able to continue to work as a lawyer after you stop. You will realize that as I did that by walking away from litigation you are opening the door to more fulfilling work life as a peacemaker. Your family, your friends and your primary care physician will be delighted.

Howard I. Goldstein, Attorney
Newton, MA
www.hgoldstein.com

I have attended a lot of trainings over my career and none of them have had a bigger impact on my practice then this one. It has truly kept me up at night thinking about the larger issues of not only what type of practice do I want, but also what type of lawyer and counselor I want to be. As lawyers we hold great power over the people that come through our door. They look to us for answers and guidance. They trust that we have truly looked at their issues and are advising what is best for them. It seems so simple, but it felt like an epiphany to have a practice where my goal was to create a process for my client, not fit them into one that I was most comfortable in. We all claim to have customer service as our hallmark, but it is something different to be totally client driven. It means being creative, it means really listening to what they need, it means not always being able to predict how it will play out. Yesterday what I told my client was,” I have no idea if this will work but what I can promise is that we will keep working together and trying things until we get it done”. That was a really hard thing to say as a lawyer. I am the answer person, but today I realized that what my client needed most was someone to be her guide and to be honest about what would happen, even if that honest answer wasn’t concrete. I met with 5 prospective clients this week, each one had different issues and struggles and each needed very different things. At the end of those meetings I had 5 new clients and 5 different approaches to their cases. Who knows how they will all work out, but I am committed to keep working until we get there. Woody and David gave me the confidence to step out of my comfort zone and really embrace the possibilities. It is amazing how different it feels.

Meegan C. Reis, Collaborative Lawyer
Dover, NH
www.WeibrechtReisLaw.com

"Take your pick: Empowering? Enlightening? Innovative? Informative? EEII - I experienced all in the “Building A Profitable Peacemaking Business” two-day workshop spearheaded by Woody Mosten and David Hoffman. The concept of peacemaking as a back-drop to collaborative law with an a la carte approach to providing mediation services to clients created a window I had not seen before in launching a family mediation practice. By branding oneself a “peacemaker” it allows you to craft a menu of services tailor made for your client and as a non-lawyer preparing to solicit mediation clients this overview created a limitless platform for my own business model. I also believe that as a true “peacemaker” we take the literal affirmation into our daily lives from a personal lifestyles perspective and extend it when needed on a professional front together with other services providers to create a form fitting support system for families in transition."

Jane C. Hoffmann
Real Estate Broker, Keller Williams Realty
Braintree, MA
www.janechoffmann.yourkwagent.com/

Many in our local practice group, Next Generation Divorce, had gone through one, two, or even three basic collaborative trainings, and yearned for something more. They fully understood the basics and filled to the brim with enthusiasm for the process, and yet, as in most communities, members were struggling to get collaborative cases. So we decided to bring Woody Mosten to Tampa for a two-day intensive seminar on “How to Build a Profitable and Satisfying Mediation and Collaborative Practice: How to Get More Client.”

On a practice group level, I am thrilled that we did. Woody provided so many ideas, methods, and samples that expanded our members’ minds about what constitutes a collaborative case and the various ways in which they could be created. Woody wasn’t afraid to tackle taboos, question “common wisdom,” and engage with and encourage members to step outside their comfort zone. As a result, I am hearing about more collaborative cases coming from members who attended Woody’s seminar.

On a personal level, I am truly thankful for the training. Not only were discussions had on collaborative ideas, but Woody went through the whole panoply of non-litigation and unbundled options. This has helped me make the determination that I no longer need to take on litigation cases. Woody’s training has helped me develop a plan for moving on from litigation, and I look forward to the day, in the summer of this year, when I will not accept any new litigation work.

For practice group leaders, I strongly encourage you to bring this training to your community. For collaborative professionals, if you want to take your understanding of the process to a new level and give yourself the best opportunity to build a strong peacemaking practice, you could spend no better time than to attend this seminar.

Adam B. Cordover, Collaborative Attorney
President, Next Generation Divorce, Tampa, FL
www.abcfamilylaw.com

Little did I know that being with Woody in his practice building seminar was going to be transformational for me and many others who attended. I have talked about not litigating for a few years, but I kept taking new litigated cases as well as Collaborative cases and preparing prenuptial agreements. We won't go into why I kept litigating, but it was NOT because I had to. At the end of Woody’s training, I knew there was only one choice for me. When Woody asked the attendees what they were going to do differently the day after the training, I announced to everyone that I decided that I was not going to take any new litigated cases. Period. Decision made, cold turkey! Yesterday morning, a person who consulted with me last year called my office to retain me with a fairly large cash retainer. I instructed my assistant to inform the potential new client that I would not represent her because I assumed that her case was going to be litigated. After thinking about it for a little while, I had my assistant call the client back and inform her that I would consult with her and that I would represent her if she and her husband agreed to handle their divorce Collaboratively, I could be available to her as a consultant during her litigation or I could be available if she litigated and then decided to go Collaborative. I am finally going to walk the walk. Even in the face of cash on the table. It is the only thing that makes sense to me. Thank you, Woody, for making it possible for me to clearly see the professional and personal direction in which I should go in the future. I hope those reading this make the same life-changing choice.

(Excerpt from a Post on Yahoo Collaborative Collaborative Law Listserve, April 10, 2014)

Robert J. Merlin, Family Attorney
Coral Gables, FL
www.MerlinLaw.com

Joanna L. Posey

Run, don’t walk, to get Woody Mosten to give this training in your neighborhood. Early and often. It will rock your world.

The experience for our community was like an earthquake. Out of a crack in the earth beneath us came a platform to support and take us to a higher level. It was magical and everyone felt it. The platform made it safe to shed the image of ourselves in our interdisciplinary roles and think of ourselves as peacemakers, connected with each other and our clients to bring them to durable, authentic resolution in ways we’ve been trained and other ways we can only imagine.

A bit dramatic you say? Well it was. Even during the training people were breathlessly connecting to see how they could work together and get more training. There has already been a meeting with a legislator at the state capital who is pledging to introduce the UCLA next legislative session. What is even more gratifying is that people are thinking in universal values that bring our attention above the disagreements and divisions that had existed in this community of litigators, mediators, coaches and others. We are on the same platform right now and that platform touches universal values we and our clients recognize. This is the fuel for the movement. To find our core values and strengths and combine them with our survival instincts to have a profitable livelihood and happiness, along with the forms to make it happen. It’s all here in this training and the trainer is an example of the product. He is beyond inspiring. He walks the talk.

Dona Cullen, Attorney/Mediator/CDFA
Lake Oswego, OR
www.powerofpeaceportland.com

Joanna L. Posey

“I left Woody’s collaborative law training with a new perspective on what is possible in the world of family law, a wealth of practical knowledge and useful forms, and a newfound inspiration to transform my practice away from traditional litigation. Like everyone else, I was found myself implementing the techniques I learned in Woody’s training as soon as I returned to the office.”

Joanna L. Posey, Profession Family Law Attorney
Portland, OR
www.landerholmlaw.com

Lisa Olson

Woody Mosten not only inspired me to devote my career entirely to peacemaking, but also showed me how to make that possible.

Lisa Olson, Collaborative Lawyer
Vancouver, WA
www.cascadecollab.com

Forrest Collins

Woody has a remarkable breadth of knowledge and an incredible ability to make sophisticated concepts easy to understand. If you want to build your Collaborative practice, I highly recommend that you take this training.

Forrest Collins, Family Lawyer/Mediator
Portland, OR
www.mediatingattorney.com

I wanted to follow up to say thank you for your impact on my husband Forrest. Last year, you wrote a beautiful and encouraging letter to him, supporting him in his pursuit to leave litigation behind and solely pursue out of court practice. I attached pictures of his reaction to seeing your letter and recognizing that it was from you.

This past year just got better and better. It seemed like every time he turned down a litigated case he received at least two out of court cases, which solidified his decision more and more. He took your training in Seattle last January and came home even more passionate about building his out of court practice. One of the pieces of advice he took from that training was it was best to not have any employees to reduce overhead. He agreed with you, but all year long, he didn't know how to let his two employees go. Two weeks ago, within two days of each other, his receptionist and paralegal both found other great opportunities elsewhere and he will be moving into a shared reception-office share next weekend. It was such a blessing to have it all unfold as it did. How often do people get to "downsize" when they are busier than ever?

He is 100% litigation free, is billing even more than he was last year with litigation and now he has reduced his overhead by over half. Your impact and wisdom has blessed our family more than anyone. Thank you for encouraging him to follow his dreams - he is happier than ever!

Sincerely,
Olivia Collins

I am blessed to be part of Woody’s training. He validated my interdisciplinary co-mediation style and out of the box approach to helping families through divorce.

Elizabeth Stabinski, Therapist and Mediator
Davie, FL
www.maritaltransition.com

I wanted to tell what Woody and his teachings have meant to me both personally and professionally. 

I think that Woody may be a tad oblivious to the profound impact that he can have on others, akin to a farmer may not be aware of what happens to all the seeds he scatters to the four winds. This note is to make sure that my colleagues in collaborative practice and mediation appreciate how he is making things happen in a good way out beyond even Woody’s horizons where those seeds drop.

Woody gave a workshop in 2009 I think entitled “Making Peacemaking Your Day Job”. It was a day long and full of ways to stay focused, keep motivated to develop and push peacemaking work, and of course to make it profitable. Profitable or not, if a practice isn’t rewarding and fun it will not flourish, so right at the end Woody had a short exercise where he challenged us to write down the things that we would change to make our practice better. It was late and I was a bit exhausted from taking in so much great stuff during the day.

In a bit of a daze, I dutifully wrote down three things. Then Woody said for us to cross out two of those things, leaving the single best thing that we could do to make our practice better. Then he asked us to turn over the paper and said simply “So, what are you doing Monday?”

At the time I was angry at Woody, and at myself for having walked right into his trap … because I had written “Stop taking litigation clients”. Angry because I knew that to not do what I had been so deftly forced to name would be a betrayal – of myself and my true journey. In that state of weakened resistance, my soul had grabbed the pen to really name what I needed.

I could not be happier with the results. As a lawyer/mediator I tell clients up-front (and in writing in my retainer agreements) that I will do anything for and with them except litigate. Everything on the unbundled menu is available – except court. I will advise, support in negotiations of all stripe, mediate, provide ILA for those mediating with another mediator, work directly with whoever shows up for the other spouse, and of course be part of a Collaborative team working for resolution. Across the five years since I have not wanted for work, and only 2 times have I had to hand off clients to litigation lawyers – and frankly each of those times I was glad to be released! And I am regularly told by people around me that I exude happiness – and certainly internally I rarely lose touch with a state of extreme gratitude.

And that gratitude extends to Woody’s part in my journey – I thank him sincerely for helping me take that leap! I know some days it may feel like he’s been doing what he does for a zillion years and to “keep on keepin’ on” may not be worth the fuss. Please know, from the bottom of the heart of this happy seedling out beyond Woody’s horizon, that it really is worth it!

Christopher Arnold, Collaborative Family Law Lawyer and Mediator
Ottawa, Ontario
www.christopherarnold.ca

The creativity, breadth, and richness of Woody’s workshop is unprecedented in this field—his kindness and generosity of spirit is a mirror for the Collaborative Process

Dr. Nancy Bacher, Psychologist and Collaborative Professional
Aventura, FL
www.DrBacher.com

Woody’s seminar was packed full of useful information for new opportunities to practice Collaborative Law. It also provided me with various ways to market and update my Collaborative practice to benefit both me and my clients.

Allison Hockman, Family Lawyer
Coral Gables, FL
www.allisonhockman.com

My head was spinning after spending a day and a half with Woody Mosten in Coral Gables, Florida, learning new ideas and new ways of looking at my self and the way I practice and recognizing I have so many tools in my toolbox I can use to serve my clients. Just when I thought I knew everything I needed to know about being a collaborative practitioner, I realized I didn't know the half of it!

One of the most wonderful benefits of the collaborative approach is that it opens the door to so many more possibilities to serve our clients than they ever had before. I am convinced that the traditional divorce litigation model is becoming a last resort for more and more families and it is getting lower and lower on the list of options for them to use when they're going through family conflict.

I've learned there are so many other ways that I can utilize my peace making approach to helping families resolve conflict and I recognize I was limiting myself by thinking this is an either/or approach. It is not; there are opportunities to work with families and colleagues that go way beyond the scope of either litigating or collaborating.

I am on my way to my real career as a peacemaker!

I want to give a big shout out to my colleague Enid Miller Ponn for coordinating this amazing experience and for bringing Woody to South Florida. Thank you, Enid!

One of the many things I really appreciate about Woody is that he is not only a teacher, he is a student and he recognizes the value of sharing ideas and learning something new. It's pretty safe to say we all learned something this week.

(Posted on Yahoo Collaborative Law Group Listserve, April 10, 2014)

Carolann Mazza, Family Lawyer
Fort Lauderdale, FL
www.collaborativenow.com

Although my first Collaborative training was 8 years ago, after Woody’s seminar, I now have action tasks to help me grow my practice by bettering me for my clients.

Jennifer R. Failla, Financial Neutral
Austin, TX
www.planningthrudivorce.com

Woody’s training taught me that Collaborative Practice can realistically be the bread and butter of my practice and he taught me how to make that happen.

Nadia Pazos, Family Attorney
Weston, FL
www.nadiapazoslaw.com

I’m no slouch. I graduated from Yale when I was 19 years old. Woody packed so much information and so many suggestions into our day and a half together that I took home a month’s worth of valuable homework and remarkable resources. Thanks to him I will be honing my Collaborative Signature for a long and fruitful time to come.

Joryn Jenkins, Family Lawyer
Tampa, FL
www.OpenPalmLaw.com

Any opportunity you have to do a training with Woody Mosten is priceless. This particular training on developing a satisfying and profitable peacemaking practice is invaluable.

Nancy K. Brodzki,
Family Lawyer, Florida Bar Board Certified in Marital & Family Law
Coral Springs, FL
www.brodzkijacobs.com

Dona Cullen

“I want my collaborative colleagues to know what a profound effect the program and introduction (or re-introduction) to Woody Mosten and his ideas about peacemaking had on those who attended in Seattle in February 2014, and, perhaps more importantly, to our whole community.

“The members of our state-wide group who attended the training came to report at our OACP meeting and were exploding with hope and enthusiasm. It clearly was life changing for them. Hearing them has caused a course correction for all of us. We continued with this light at our all day retreat the next day. We all now recognize how this concept of peacemaker gives us understanding of our personal motivations and purpose. As a result our ships are pointed in the right direction and refueled.”

Dona Cullen, Attorney/Mediator/CDFA
President, Oregon Association of Collaborative Professionals
Lake Oswego, OR
www.powerofpeaceportland.com

Theresa Beran Kulat

“Inspiring! Thank you for helping me to learn new ways to take my current work as a peacemaker to the next level.”

Theresa Beran Kulat, Collaborative Lawyer and Trainer
Lislie, IL
www.trinityfamilylaw.com

Brian Garvey

“Woody Mosten’s training exceeded my high expectations. He is the ultimate peacemaker and teacher of his craft.

“I have a more opened mind to the use of peacemaking in Collaborative Divorce.”

Brian Garvey, Collaborative Lawyer
Chicago, IL
www.bigarvey.com

Sandra Crawford

“Woody is a Master Peacemaker. Having this opportunity to study with a Master in a small group setting will allow me to continue to work on my goal of Transforming my Practice.”

Sandra Crawford, Collaborative Lawyer and Mediator
Chicago, IL
|www.lawcrawford.com

Brian Garvey

“In 13+ years of involvement with CP, I've taken maybe 20 trainings of various levels (and taught several). Woody's work in creating this one is unique and should not be missed. This cuts right to the heart of the matter: ‘Sure CP is a nice idea, but it's not anything that will really change my whole practice, because I can't make a living being a peacemaker.’

“Au contraire! Thanks Woody for showing the way—I and everyone in Woody’s August 2013 workshop were ecstatic to learn the profitable strategies and new services that can be put to use immediately! We can’t wait to have Woody come back to Chicago next year to give this workshop again!”

Carl Michael Rossi, JD, LPC
Moderator of the CollabLaw listServe
Co-Publisher of The World Of Collaborative Practice online magazine

Carol Betts

Woody brought the client centered principles of collaborative law to this training. He offered options, ideas and wisdom that helped me to see how I could commit to align my practice of law with my values. Each of us came to the training with different needs and goals. We were respectfully challenged to expand our thinking and discover within the wealth of practical ideas how to meet our individual needs. The balance of tools and conceptual ideas allowed each of us to leave with immediate action items as well as generously shared resources that we can draw on to build our peacemaking skills and practices well into the future. Masterfully inspired. Thank you!

Carol Betts, Lawyer
Bellevue, WA

Joanna Roth

Woody’s practical, insightful, and flexible approach combined with his warm presentation make for a truly enjoyable and inspiring experience.

Joanna Roth, Lawyer
Seattle, WA
www.rothattorney.com

Lillian Watson

This training gave me a roadmap to help me grow my family peacemaking practice.

Lillian Watson, Family Lawyer
Gresham, WA

Angela Laidlaw

As a lawyer who is launching a non-court family practice, this training helped me clarify and better articulate my role as a Collaborative Lawyer.

Sharing these lessons with my clients will improve their lives and their families.

Angela Laidlaw, Mediator and Colllaborative Lawyer
West Linn, OR
www.LaidlawandLaidlaw.com

Collaborative Training Endorsements

Interview of Forrest (Woody) Mosten with Brian Edwards of Navigating to Next.

Forrest Woody Mosten’s conversation with Carl Michael Rossi, Moderator of the Yahoo Collaborative Group Listserve

Robert Horwitz

“As Program & Training Chair of the Connecticut Council for Divorce Mediation & Collaborative Practice (and a former Mosten mediation trainee myself), I was delighted that Woody was able to offer a two-day training for us on Mediation Strategies for Collaborative Professionals. The training received very positive reviews from our interdisciplinary group, and we're hoping he'll return to our area soon for some follow-up training. Woody is truly a national treasure, and I feel honored to have worked with him.”

Dr. Robert Horwitz
Licensed Psychologist, Mediator, and Collaborative Professional
New Haven, CT

Thurman W. Arnold

“Like many attorneys who’d struggled with the dissatisfaction and destructiveness of adversarial litigation (for three decades), I knew there had to be a better solution to offer the individuals and families who arrived in crisis at my office. I had never heard of Forrest “Woody” Mosten, but as soon as I began to investigate the collaborative law and mediation resources that were pioneered by those who'd earlier come to similar realizations, I bumped into Woody’s name - over and over. I resolved immediately to train with him. Since then I have participated in his Divorce Mediation retreat, have had the honor to partake in supervised training with him in person and via Skype, and I have attended other of his advanced seminars. Within a year my mediation practice has exploded wide open, and I now realistically anticipate a career wholly devoted to family peacemaking.”

Thurman W. Arnold, III
Certified Family Law Specialist
Palm Springs/Palm Desert, California
Collaborative Attorney & Mediator

J. Mark Weiss

“I enjoyed hearing Woody present ideas and concrete strategies at the 2010 Collaborative Professionals of Washington annual meeting in Gig Harbor. Woody is an excellent speaker and clear presenter. His training emphasized some important concepts in dispute resolution including: meeting and working with the client(s) where s/he/they is/are, and expecting baby steps rather than giant leaps to the end, and a careful approach to the BATNA/WATNA conversation. I think that exploring those and other concepts were very beneficial for many in our Collaborative community. I also appreciate Woody's emphasis on the importance of continued learning and growth for all dispute resolution professionals.”

J. Mark Weiss
Seattle , Washington
Collaborative Law Attorney and Mediator
Fellow, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers|
www.mark-weiss.com

Neil Denny

“I attended a presentation on mediation and collaborative law by Woody Mosten at the RESOLUTION, UK Conference in Bournmouth, England in April 2006. I was impressed by Mr. Mosten's innovative approach to family law and peacemaking. Due to Woody's inspiration, I took Collaborative Law Training and my career is progressing in ways I never dreamed of.”

Neil Denny, Solicitor
Member The Family Lawyers Collaborative Lawyers Organisation
Trowbridge, England

Susan Purdon

“In the training workshops conducted in April 2007, the real star was Woody Mosten. The feedback I received from my colleagues was that he is brilliant and it has been too long since he was last in Australia. I would love to see us get him back for a repeat performance if this marries in with his diary commitments.”

Susan Purdon, Family Lawyer
Partner, Hopgood Gannim,
Brisbane, Australia
Member, Family Law Council of Australia

Brian Don Levy

“While this was not my first training, it was the most significant and content rich training that I have participated in. What a unique and empowering learning experience!”

Brian Don Levy
Collaborative lawyer, Mediator & Trainer
Covina and Newport Beach, CA
www.collaborativeattorney.com

Marc Bertone

“Woody's passion for peacemaking and knowledge about the processes, strategies and tools of alternative dispute resolution are inspiring and contagious.”

Marc Bertone
Irvine, CA
Marriage Family Therapist
www.bertonetherapy.com

Susan Smith

“I attended Woody Mosten’s 2011 Advanced Collaborative Training in Hartford, Connecticut during which I learned Woody’s tip on asking permission before offering my own ideas or guidance as Collaborative Lawyer or Mediator.

Recently, I was serving as a mediator with a couple in in their last session, which means that everything has been drafted. Out of nowhere, they argue about who is going to pay a joint credit card and the conversation kept escalating. I scribbled and figured while they are arguing for a bit. I then thought about Woody’s tip and asked: May I tell you what percentage you each would be contributing to this debt given your incomes if you were still married? Silence. All eyes were on the mediator. Yes, please tell us … and I explain the ratios. It is a great technique, the mediator is not imposing, not lecturing, and the parties buy into the information when they say Yes.”

Susan Smith
Collaborative Attorney and Mediator
Avon, Connecticut
www.smith-lawfirm.com

Leslie Howell

“Woody's knowledge and demeanor commands my attention by making the lessons relevant and offering his knowledge rather than pontificating.”

Leslie Howell
Collaborative Attorney
Pasadena, CA

“As always, Woody delivered! This training is essential for anyone actively involved in the practice of mediation and/or colaboration. This is the next step toward a journey leading to peace, at least in the world of divorce.”

Pamela Edwards-Swift
Certified Family Law Specialist
Chino Hills, CA
www.pamswiftlaw.com

Delilah Knox Rios

“The difference of the intersection and interaction between mediation and Collaborative Law is but a hair's breath and with Woody and the CDEI training team, my passion for peacemaking is affirmed and accelerated. I hope each day to show by example to others in the legal, mediation and collaborative law field the intensive and superlative lessons I have learned from Woody's training.”

Delilah Knox Rios
Mediator and Collaborative Lawyer
Diamond Bar, CA
www.dkriosfamilylaw.com

Douglas Pinkham

“I wanted to learn about mediation and collaborative practice. I had no idea how excited I would become. I expect this is my future in law. I could not be more excited about the future of my practice and my career.”

Douglas Pinkham
Family Attorney
Yorba Linda, CA
www.pinkhamlaw.com

“Woody opened my eyes to alternative approaches to eliciting information from parties unfamiliar with the litigation/divorce process and ways to provide them information regarding alternative solutions in addition to the traditional paths.”

Suanne I. Honey
Family Attorney
Orange, CA
www.honeylaw.com

Patrice Courteau

“What an amazing opportunity to enrich our skills as peacemakers. Collaboration and mediation may have the power to change our communities one person, one case, one family at a time. Thank you for this training experience.”

Patrice Courteau
Therapist, Collaborative Coach, and Mediator
Newport Beach, CA

“Woody provided training which was educational, informative and stimulating. I learned new skills which can be applied to psychotherapy and mediation. I also appreciated Woody's concepts for meeting the client where he or she is at, his flexibility and creative use of approaches and skills to facilitate the mediation process and to keep it moving.”

Michael Gass, Ph.D.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Collaborative Master Class Endorsements

Interview of Forrest (Woody) Mosten with Brian Edwards of Navigating to Next.

Forrest Woody Mosten’s conversation with Carl Michael Rossi, Moderator of the Yahoo Collaborative Group Listserve

Mark Criss

“Mosten and Tesler are the Fred and Ginger of advanced collaborative training, even when they disagree, which is often.Each of them—preeminent in their disciplines—managed a respectful dialogue that entertained as well as enlightened.”

Mark Criss, Collaborative Attorney
Cranberry Twp, PA
www.crisslawoffice.com

Patricia Wozniak Henk

“Simply spectacular—thank you for allowing my spirit to soar!”

Patricia Wozniak Henk, Attorney/Mediator
Pittsburgh, PA
www.marcus-shapira.com

Lea Anderson

“The Pauline & Woody Show! Engages you at the start, no matter what your level of collaborative expertise, and elevates you by demonstrating and letting you practice and engages both you and your entire practice group. A++!”

Lea Anderson, Attorney
Pittsburgh, PA
www.grblaw.com

David A. Miller

“Pauline Tesler and Woody Mosten have put together a course and they have the communication skills that clearly and cogently demonstrate how to return lawyering in our increasingly complex society to a 'calling' that helps people in conflict reach a deep resolution, not simply a piece of paper called an agreement. They are experts at the social science of helping people in conflict reach agreement, but more importantly they are great artists at painting the big picture that brings people in conflict out from under the shadow of the law and into the light of better relations after the conflict is resolved.”

David A. Miller, Attorney
Chairperson, Collaborative Law Committee of the Pennsylvania Bar Association
Pittsburgh, PA
www.davidmillerlawoffices.com

Danielle Smith

“Woody’s ‘Peacemaker’ is a valuable concept for us as attorneys who are looking to transform the traditional way to resolve conflicts. I appreciate and learn from his insights every time.

I read Pauline’s first book in 2002, which led me to collaborative practice as I was looking for a ‘better way.’ Pauline is a ‘brainiac.’ Her insight, theory, and brilliant delivery inspires me each and every time I had the good fortune to sit in her training classes. Our practice group adheres to her model and we have continued to learn from her. I am always amazed by the fact that Pauline continues to elevate our thinking about how to practice within the collaborative process. I am now interested in researching neuroscience and emerging learning systems, all because of Pauline Tesler.”

Danielle A. Smith, Collaborative Practice Attorney and Mediator
Bloomfield Hills, MI
www.michigandivorceoptions.com

Mary Margaret Boyd

“The beauty of the training is that Pauline and Woody have different styles and thinking, which brought a broader training and learning experience to my practice of collaborative law.”

Mary Margaret Boyd. Family Law Attorney
Pittsburgh, PA
www.marymargaretboyd.com

Susan DiGirolamo

“Pauline and Woody’s divergent views about perspectives and skills that enhance the Collaborative Process are a great jumping-off-point for further discussion among our practice group members.”

Susan DiGirolamo, Collaborative Attorney
Pittsburgh, PA
www.susanlaw.com

Vicki McLellan

“This was the best collaborative training I've ever had: A wealth of information and resources; a truly broad and deep advanced training. I wish my whole practice group was able to take this training. This is NOT for lawyers only. As a Financial Specialist, I found all of the information helpful for me as an individual practitioner and/or for our practice group as well. I have many pages of notes. I, along with my practice group colleagues who did attend are energized and excited to take what we have learned back to our group and spread the word. The training by Woody and Pauline was truly time well spent.”

Vicki McLellan, Financial Specialist
Bloomfield Hills, MI
www.EquitableDivorceResolutions.com

Lori D. Becker

“You know you are attending a phenomenal conference when even the little “side” comments are worth the price of admission. Some examples are: suggestion to call ADR, “Appropriate Dispute Resolution”; referring to my office assistant as my “Dispute Resolution Assistant,” learning to stay out of my “Snake Brain” when stuck in a position and seeing our collaborative team as an emergent system such as geese flying or a busy beehive at work.”

Lori D. Becker, J.D., M.B.A., Collaborative Attorney & Peacemaker
Bloomfield Hills, MI
www.BeckerLegalGroup.com

“Woody continues to demonstrate his commitment to collaborative practice by generously sharing his research and resources with us.

Pauline is the quintessential visionary—our collaborative practice guru—who inspires and encourages us to strive for balance in our work and in our lives.I am so grateful to learn from her.”

Nancy Fishman, Ph.D., Psychologist/Collaborative Coach
Birmingham, MI
www.thefamilylawdoctor.com and www.NancyFishmanPhd.com

“When I saw an opportunity to learn from both Woody Mosten and Pauline Tesler for an entire three days, one word came to mind—Jackpot! The topic of the training was immaterial to me! Both of these consummate professionals are true leaders of our time, so opposite those who foist “leadership” upon us. Their message and way of enlightenment resonates deeply with anyone who believes there is truly a better way.And Pauline and Woody wonderfully model respectful disagreement and openness to hearing alternative perspectives in a supportive way—quite the skill we need to emulate as collaborative professionals. Thank you both for dedicating yourself to this important, life-giving work.”

Natalie Alane, Attorney, Mediator, Collaborative Practitioner
Lansing, MI
www.alanechartier.com

“The paradigm shift from adversarial to peacemaker may have a reverberating effect beyond our imagination. Tesler-Mosten, Ying &Yang, is a great exercise in deference to ego and support of uniform theory.”

Rana Glick, MA, LMFT
Port Matilda, PA
www.familytherapycentre.com

“I found the training to be very stimulating and inspiration. This training came at the perfect time because I was feeling extremely disillusioned about litigating in general. In fact, the morning of the training I woke up and advised my husband that I wanted to close down my practice, despite it being extremely successful simply because the stress is not worth it. After these three days, I feel reinvigorated and look forward to ramping up my collaborative practice so that I may be able to stay out of court for good.

Finally, I can’t believe more people wouldn’t automatically want to do a collaborative divorce. If people can just get past their anger and emotions and be open to divorcing with dignity. It’s truly a no-brainer.”

Attendee, Master Collaborative Training in Pittsburgh, PA

Michael Rossi

“I’ve been fortunate to know and to experience many of the very best CP trainers and Pauline Tesler and Woody Mosten are in that group. To experience these ‘twin stars’ orbiting around each other, sharing so much light and energy, I could not imagine NOT attending their Master Training in St. Louis. And my reward was even greater than I expected. They did a magnificent dance that both discussed and modeled reasons that we in CP keep taking ‘trainings’.

Walking the walk of the Paradigm Shift was what was so valuable about the dance of these twin stars. As Pauline talked about the importance of a cluster of professionals reaching agreement on forms and protocols, Woody would urge that serving the client’s needs and the goal of peacemaking should also leave room for flexibility. As Woody suggested we work very hard to remind clients of the downsides of terminating the Collaborative process, Pauline would be right there reminding us that just as with intake, clients are not necessarily well-served if we are too deeply concerned with what their choice is.

And through it all, they both brought us back to the simple truth that none of this ‘works’ or really benefits the client unless we are approaching it from a deeply held personal belief AND in a way that genuinely reflects who we are as an individual.

It remains my hope that more of the kind of work that Pauline and Woody shared with us in this ‘Master’ class will find its way into ‘Basic’ trainings.”

Carl Michael Rossi, JD, LPC, Attorney, Mediator, Coach and Counselor
Chicago, Illinois
www.CPChicago.net

Yvonne Homeyer

“As an organizer of the St. Louis Master Training in December 2011, I found that Pauline and Woody brilliantly model the dynamic dance that is collaborative peacemaking. They shared with Collaborative Practitioners from Missouri, Kansas, Tennessee, and elsewhere, that there is no single “right” way to work collaboratively with our clients and other professional team members and that there are many ways to serve our clients in the collaborative process. At the end of the day, our deeply held beliefs, values and commitment to collaborative practice will guide us toward being full-time peacemakers.”

Yvonne Homeyer, Collaborative Attorney and Mediator
St. Louis, MO
www.stlouisfamilylaw.com

Terri Harrington

“In June 2011, I served as the Master Class Coordinator for Pauline Tesler and Forrest “Woody” Mosten’s first collaborative training together in Denver, Colorado. I was impressed with their amazing knowledge and continuous spirit. I truly feel as though they are changing the world with every word they speak and every thought they share. I appreciated their wisdom and their ability to affect me as an individual and our collaborative community, as a team. Woody and Pauline’s admiration for one another goes a long way in teaching collaborative professionals how to disagree with both dignity and respect.

Both Pauline and Woody have the unique ability to capture an audience and present materials in a way that people understand and appreciate. Woody’s peaceful nature and concrete practice tools will benefit attorneys and neutrals throughout the country. Pauline’s academic approach and inspirational ideas will help revitalize our practice groups and spread the word about collaborative divorce throughout Colorado. Woody and Pauline’s concrete examples of the collaborative process rejuvenated our collaborative community and will have a lifetime impact on our practice groups and collaborative teams.

I would encourage anyone who loves collaborative practice and wants more work to attend their upcoming trainings in other parts of the U.S. and invite them to come to your city.”

Terri Harrington, Attorney
Denver, CO
www.harringtonbrewsterclein.com

Sandy Arons

“My brain hurts … I feel like my frontal cortex is a sponge that can’t absorb another drop. The Tesler-Mosten Master Class course material is rich in fertile content that will provide any practice group with 2 years worth of monthly meeting material. Thank you for the opportunity to learn from caring professionals who are passionate about their collaborative work and at the top of their game. Now my hard work will begin. I hope to enjoy the journey.”

Sandy Arons, Financial Consultant
Nashville, TN
www.getasmartdivorce.com

Alan Freed

“What a pleasure – to spend these days in “total immersion” training with the totally committed and passionate proponents of collaborative peacemaking. Their knowledge is encyclopedic and each effectively presents a different perspective on how to be a successful collaborative professional. Perhaps most impressive is their ability to model collaborative, respectful collegiality.”

Alan E. Freed, Collaborative Lawyer and Mediator
St. Louis, MO
www.pcblawfirm.com

Sandra Hendin

“As an experienced psychotherapist, but relatively new Mental Health Coach (MHC) in a Collaborative Practice Group, I found this training gave me a much deeper understanding of the Collaborative process values and how they translate into “facts on the ground.” This training filled in the finer, more nuanced details of doing good collaborative work, whereas I previously had only broad brush strokes. I now feel ready to apprentice with my more experienced colleagues to become a qualified, competent MHC, serving our clients in a way that meets the highest collaborative practice standards.”

Sandra Hendin, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist
St. Louis, MO
www.sandraahendin.com

Scott Mann

“Excellent, restorative and re-energizing program. Especially enjoyed the constrast in styles and perspectives between Pauline and Woody. Thought-Provoking to “fear-generating” (in a good way)”

Scott M. Mann, Attorney
Shawnee, KS
www.evans-mullinix.com

Irene King

“In the dramatic opera of family law, Pauline and Woody taught us that there is a way to hear the individual voices, gracefully dance the dance and be a respectful player during the performance. Thanks to our incredible maestros for orchestrating a course that will give attorneys, mental health professionals and financial planners alike, the guidance to master the tools to support a meaningful, successful collaborative practice.”

Irene P. King, Family Law Attorney
Charlotte, NC
www.jmdlaw.com

“Woody’s skills modeling and training style and content are inspiring. His respectful approach is sensational and we all need to channel him when things start to go wrong.”

Bev Clark, Lawyer, Mediator & Collaborative Practitioner
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
www.bc-lawyers.com.au

Gary Soule

“Through the differences in their perspectives of Collaborative Practice, Pauline and Woody deliver a tremendous amount of added value to the breadth and depth of the knowledge, experience and information contained in this training. I so appreciate that they shared their passion with us and I promise to incorporate the lessons of this training in the work I do with my clients, as well as our local Practice group and larger community.”

Gary Soule, Attorney/Mediator
St. Louis, MO
www.stl-lawmatters.com

Lenny Frankel

“Pauline and Woody – two highly talented, experienced and interesting trainers. I appreciated hearing when their views concurred and when they were diverse – a most meaningful experience.”

Lenny Frankel, Attorney
Clayton, MO
www.frankelrubin.com

Gregory Brough

“This Seminar provided me with useful tools, food for thought and renewed enthusiasm for collaborative practice.”

Gregory Brough, Attorney & Mediator
Clayton, MO

Jack M. Carstens

“I was not sure what to expect when I signed up. It far exceeded any expectations. My mind is swirling with new ideas and ways to improve my practice and our collaborative group.”

Jack M. Carstens CDFA, RFC, Financial Planner
St. Louis, MO
www.headwayfinancial.com

Bob Appleton

“Awesome! Loved it! Learned Lots! Great Modeling! Our work is cut out for us. Loved the spirituality.”

Bob Appleton, Attorney
Clayton, MO

“Listening to you both initially in this pioneering workshop, I thought, Woody is like the guy who tamed the West initially and Pauline is the school marm, who perfected the system. Because you worked together as comprehensive presenters (of immense brilliance), I am inspired to want to implement something of this in my own frontier.”

Jane Geiler, Attorney-Mediator
Hillsboro, MO

“I really enjoyed the “team work” approach of hearing Pauline and Woody present together. They role modeled the way a good working team can play off each other to promote smooth collaborative work. I appreciated the way Woody and Pauline included the other professionals in everything they talked about and stressed their importance to the team. Pauline and Woody were wonderfully open to all questions and in giving honest and thoughtful answers. I was impressed with Woody as he encouraged us to call ourselves “Collaborative Peacemakers” to describe what we do. I love the sound and meaning of it.”

Lee Streett, Psychotherapist
St. Louis, MO

Joshua S. Wohl

“Pauline and Woody worked beautifully together and were both thorough and inspiring. The master class is a fantastic training and a bargain to boot. I can’t say enough about how wonderful it has been to have both trainers in Denver..”

Joshua S. Wohl, Attorney
Denver, CO
www.LittmanFamilyLaw.com

“The energy and commitment I saw in Woody and Pauline’s training held my attention continuously. Their lessons were very relevant and helpful for me to grow my collaborative practice as well as my practice group that provides services to underrepresented/lower-income families.”

Leslie Howell, Attorney
Pasadena, CA
www.howellfamilylaw.com

“Pauline and Woody demonstrate the beauty of collaborative practice by dancing the dance, a two step, not a rave.”

Cyndi Brewster, Attorney
Denver, CO
www.harringtonbrewsterclein.com

“Woody and Pauline gave us a treasure chest of tools and information that are collaborative process ready. They truly walk their talk and they are the collaborative Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dancing to the song of respect played by the band of peace.”

Deborah Owen-Sohocki, Licensed Professional Counselor
Broomfield, CO
www.centerforheartbasedliving.com

“The Master Class has helped me realize that I have serious decisions to make and lots of work to do. It has given me the tools to do it. I am very encouraged by my colleagues of all professions around the country who are not only committed to this process but who have made the personal and professional steps to make it happen.”

Carolann Mazza, Attorney
Fort Lauderdale, FL
www.cmazzalaw.com

“I was impressed by the quality of the material presented and the ability of both Pauline and Woody to create a team focused atmosphere. I look forward to attending future conferences of both Pauline and Woody, either separate or presenting together.”

Erika A. Burke, Attorney
Denver, CO
www.harringtonbrewsterclein.com

“I want to thank Woody again and again for his consistent and complete dedication to peacemaking, and his thoughtful teaching on effective problem solving strategies to the Master Class. I feel honored and blessed to have learned from Woody for these few days in Denver, as well as when he inspired me and my Washington collaborative colleagues at our 2010 annual conference.”

Cynthia R. First, Attorney
Everett, WA
www.everettlawyers.com

“This Master Class was a great reminder (and motivator) that what family lawyering is and should be about is building future lives rather than just dismantling the past life.”

Rick Rufner, Attorney
Centennial, CO
www.rufnerlaw.com

“The Master Class was extremely worthwhile as it challenged my assumptions and beliefs and provided new ideas and energy for me to enhance my collaborative practices.”

David Littman, Attorney
Denver, CO
www.littmanfamilylaw.com

“The Master Class was a fabulous opportunity to see two very different and brilliant approaches to Collaborative Practice—this quality training was well worth the flight from Seattle to Denver.”

Michele O’Loane
Everett, WA
www.oloanelaw.com

“I very much appreciated the modeling that Woody and Pauline did of working as compassionate and transparent teammates and trainers. Thank you, Woody, for tying peacemaking into the work we do and for the people we are. Also for how you related mediation to CP.”

Ronnie Rosenbaum, Mediator
Golden, CO
www.ronnierosenbaum.com

“Spontaneously on Target”

“Fantastic – loved hearing both views of approach!”

“2 Stars of CP deliver a stellar presentation!”

“Having attended Pauline's classes before, it was great to hear Woody's differing perspectives. I loved his presentations about mediation and unbundled legal services and how they can complement Collaborative Law.”

“I really liked Woody's step by step practical techniques and the trainers' recommendations of books and websites.”

“I liked the differences in approach and presentations in that there is no ‘right’ way to do it.”

“I really liked the balance of the two professional viewpoints and the wrap ups by the trainers twice a day.”

“This training was information rich, high energy, content was relevant, and the insights of Pauline and Woody were deep and thoughtful. I appreciate the depth of conscientious reflection that went into the perspectives offered by Woody and Pauline.”

“Truly liked Woody and Pauline's experience brought into the room and the varying perspectives (sometimes divergent) that Pauline and Woody brought.”

“I was inspired by the passion of Pauline and Woody, the depth of their knowledge, skill and experience. They showed excellent professional modeling--just by their demeanor.”

“This was a tremendous learning opportunity taught by legends in the field. The energy level and passion of Woody and Pauline is contagious. I have a lot to learn.”

“Great information presented in a supportive way. I liked the third day the best.”

“I most liked the interaction between Pauline and Woody.”

“Really liked the topics addressed.”

“I truly liked the hopefulness, newness and the socially responsible focus of the concepts leading to true change.”

“Pauline was zippier and more succinct and brilliant sounding. Woody made the process seem accessible, attainable, and and was so inclusive. He did bring the "table" to the table.”

 “I liked the practical pointers.”

“This training expanded my thinking.”

“I liked the contrasting styles and orientations of the trainers. It forced me to rethink how I interact with clients and how to better discuss Collaborative Law and Mediation.”

“As a financial neutral, I now have a deep appreciation for the Collaborative process and the commitment I need to make to it.”

“Pauline and Woody caused me to re-think how I have been approaching collaboration work and made me more hopeful about it. I really like the demonstrations by the trainers of the skills being taught.”

"I truly liked the vast knowledge and passion of the presenters, how they modeled disagreement , and the ability of the instructors to listen to the class response and respond effectively and with respect.”

“The presentations were geared toward challenging us to think and talk through "next steps" whether pertaining to the Collaborative Process or in building our practices.”

Attendees of Master Class for Collaborative Professionals
St. Louis, MO
December 1-3, 2011

Selected Publications

For a complete list of Mr. Mosten’s publications, click here. PDF

Books

(UCLA School of Law and other Training Books and Materials not listed)

Selected Articles

For a complete list of Mr. Mosten’s publications, click here. PDF

© Forrest S. Mosten

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