Forrest (Woody) Mosten
Mediator and Collaborative Attorney
Certified Family Law Specialist
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
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
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.
Family Law Paralegal
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.
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.
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!
“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
“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
“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
“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
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
“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,
“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
“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.”
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
“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
“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
“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.
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
Two Day Basic Divorce Mediation Training Participants
Sponsored by Donna Nazir, The Skye Group Inc
Ontario, CA June 7-8, 2019
Lawyers, Therapists, Financial Professionals, Real Estate Brokers and a CEO of one Non-Profit offering boxing and counseling to young men and another Non-Profit offering Prom Dresses to young women!
Advanced Mediation Training Endorsements
To learn from trainers whose passion and mission is the focus of the training makes a huge difference. I felt like I had guides rather than instructors. The training left me with new skills and plenty to contemplate.
David Bean, Lawyer Portland, OR www.wysekadish.com
I participated in a 40 Hr training with Woody and it was the best training I ever attended. When I signed up for his Advanced Mediation Training, I knew I was in for an excellent educational experience---and I was right. Within 2 fast days, I added many tools that I plan on adding to my mediation practice. Time spent with Woody is always well spent.
Roula Suter, Family Lawyer Santa Ana, CA www.roulasuterlaw.com
My two days in the Advanced Mediation Training with Woody came at a perfect time in my mediation career.Woody embodies so many of the qualities I hope to cultivate both personally and professionally. He is a model peacemaker, mediator, teaching and human being.
Shannon Seeley, Therapist Soquel, CA
This was a fantastic training. I am an experienced family mediator and I came away with skills that I know I can put into my practice right away.
Elisa Kisselburg, Attorney San Diego, CA www.elisakisselburg.com
Truly a Master Class. This training lived up to all its hype. Woody's unique and engaging style created a stimulating atmosphere to exchange ideas, challenge assumptions and protocos, and push the frontier for future growth
Vicki Shemin, Attorney Wellsley, MA
I am grateful for learning many new strategies to use in my practice.
Julie Mersereau, Lawyer Rochester, NY
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
Well structured, new ideas and humor. Best presentation on mediation that I have ever been to.
Michael E. Clift, Attorney
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
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.
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.”
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:
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:
Also, many more not included here.
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)
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.
Building a Successful Mediation and Collaborative Practice (How To Get More Cases)
ABA & IACP Sponsor Woody Mosten’s Course on Building a Successful Practice
In 2018, the ABA Section on Dispute Resolution launched its First Practice Development Institute in Chicago featuring Woody and several prominent trainers whom Woody has provided custom training to teach this course.
In 2020, IACP partnered with Mosten Mediation to offer collaborative training.
Agenda can be found here. Participant reaction from the Institute are below.
Woody and a hand picked training team would be pleased to present this course for your practice group in your community or you and members of your practice group can attend an upcoming course in San Diego, CA.
The one workshop that changed everything for me. (Plus I’m in a book!)
In 2015, I was at a crossroads. I had been practicing law for 23 years and for the last ten, I had been straddling the line between a traditional and a collaborative practice. The time I spent going to court, leading my clients into what I knew would be a devastating experience for them, was taking a toll on me as well as them.
I no longer had the heart to practice in the old paradigm, but I didn't know if I could make a living in a new one.
That all changed when I met Woody Mosten. A lawyer, mediator, educator, and author, Woody embodies what it means to live your values; he is a world-leader in my field. In the spring of 2015, I attended Woody's Portland workshop on Developing a Peacemaking Practice. That was the first step to finding the courage to admit that I could no longer work as a traditional lawyer –– not when I knew there was a better way. And when I learned Woody was headed to Seattle to deliver the same training a year later, I jumped at the chance to learn from him again and headed up north.
Fast forward to today, and I'm now running the practice I didn't even realize was an option three years ago.
No more leading clients through an adversarial process that creates "winners" and "losers", no more court experiences that harm just as much as they help. Today, I help people find mutually beneficial solutions where each person has an equal voice. I get so excited when I can help people who have stopped talking to each other, reconnect in a way where they can finally hear what the other person has to say. And I'm jazzed when I can help someone gain a little bit of insight about themselves in the process. Best of all, I get to do it under the umbrella of promoting a better way of dealing with conflict, one in which we all come out the other side a little more human.
Without Woody Mosten, this may never have happened. It was at that second workshop that Woody invited me into a community of 15 peacemaking practitioners he has entrusted to teach that very course that started it all for me. Among these collaborative practice leaders is Adam Cordover, a lawyer from Florida, who is quickly making a name for himself in the international collaborative community.
So of course, when Woody and Adam approached me about a year ago to contribute to their upcoming book, I said yes.
And now the book is almost out! This book is the roadmap I wished I had in 2015. It provides the steps to building a sustainable collaborative practice and covers how collaborative professionals deal with common challenges. It's an invaluable resource for all practitioners trying to help more families find peace and resolution.
I'm thrilled to pieces to have been part of such a fascinating collaboration between people who are all focused on the same thing: changing the way the world approaches conflict.
Because in the end, that's what it's all about.
I'm honored to be a leader in the community of collaborative professionals who are on a mission to change the way the world resolves conflict. Woody Mosten showed me it was possible to build a peacemaking practice. I'd like to show you it's possible to resolve conflict and create more peace.
Nancy Retsinas, Collaborative Lawyer and Mediator
The question came down to this: Is the cost of a transcontinental flight, overnight accommodations at a fancy hotel, car rental, and the cost of the program worth the money? I took a chance, and any doubt that it was all worth it was blown away by what I learned at this 2 day conference. The speakers were very well prepared, but particularly Woody, who set the tone of high energy positivity every minute. He bombarded us with not only the “how to”, but the inspiration to start applying his ideas to our own practices “Monday morning”. Yes, he made each of us tell him what we would start doing Monday morning. Questions were welcomed and fully answered. Woody’s students can avoid pitfalls he overcame and plow ahead with principals he has finely tuned over the decades. This is training at its finest.
Sharon Kelly Sayers, Family Mediator, Collaborative Attorney Rochester, NY www.ryanandsayers.com
I learned very practical things in this training, down to the actual words to use with a client over the phone or in a first meeting. Just as importantly, this workshop gave me a “re-charge” why I am doing this peacemaking work—and that’s a long lasting fuel.
After this two day training, my brain is very full!
Jenny Wood, Family Lawyer Santa Barbara, CA www.jennywood.com
I wish this training had been longer. I could listen to Woody for hours. I am looking forward to coming from Toronto to San Diego to take other trainings.
Helene Rivard, Mediator Mississauga, Ontario www.mediate2agree.ca
Woody and his co-trainers Ron Ousky and Gary Direnfeld showed me how to improve my practice. I learned best practices and how to implement Kaisen!
Kevin Keller, Family Lawyer and Mediator San Diego, CA www.PacificMediationCenter.com
My weekend in Chicago at the Practice Development Institute enabled me to deepen my knowledge of mediation and the collaborative process, identify my business goals (and concrete ways to obtain them), and develop and market my vision/dispute resolution signature. I owe a debt of gratitude to Woody for showing me that "peacemaking" is a broader commitment than to just resolve or "hammer out" settlements, but instead has three important goals: improve the lives of people we work with, help them repair their relationships, and encourage them to prevent future conflict. I look forward to putting these peacemaking skills to work on behalf of my clients and their families.
Heather Piper, Mediator and Attorney
Woody and his co trainers were very inspiring and provided invaluable tips on how to become a peacemaking lawyer
Patricia Sciarrino, Family Lawyer
Woody and Company will make you think. The thought provoking questions and ideas are helping me turn my practice into something that I want it to be.
Gary Allen Gardner, Family Lawyer
Spending two days with Woody and his amazing training team is life changing if you want to grow your practice.
Marya Pleasant, Collaborative Financial Specialist
Woody’s passion and enthusiasm for peacemaking is inspiring—I learned so much in these two days.
Sharon Corsentino, Mediator-Attorney
Time and money well spent attending this two day training. Woody is the one to learn from
Lea Shelemey, Mediator and Collaborative Attorney
Building a Collaborative & Mediation Practice
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
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
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
Woody’s training will put fire in your belly to expand and enhance your peacemaking practice.
Maribeth Blessing, Family Lawyer and Mediator
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
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
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
I found Woody’s course to be stimulating and can really be used to improve my work.
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
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
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
Woody redefines what Collaborative Services are all about: Sobering and Inspirational
John Lazar, Collaborative Lawyer
This ABD training was thought provoking that gave me new ways to look at my Collaborative work.
Susan Schwartz, Collaborative Mental Health Professional
Woody’s training taught me that you are either “all in”as a peacemaker, or you are not!
Leslie Hart, Collaborative Lawyer
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
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
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
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
Woody’s expertise, range of knowledge, and experience are amazing.
Angela Bissada, Licensed Clinical Psychologist
This training is intelligent, provocative, and interesting for the entire two days.
Tony Aloia, Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Woody is a master! He gently pushes you outside “your box.”
Kim Davidson, Mediator and Collaborative Attorney
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
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
Introduction To Sold-Out Portland, Oregon Training
by Dona Cullen, President of Oregon Association of Collaborative Professionals
May 1-2, 2015
Welcome 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
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
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
"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
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
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
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
“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
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
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
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!
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
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
Woody’s practical, insightful, and flexible approach combined with his warm presentation make for a truly enjoyable and inspiring experience.
Joanna Roth, Lawyer
This training gave me a roadmap to help me grow my family peacemaking practice.
Lillian Watson, Family Lawyer
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
Collaborative Training Endorsements
The IACP Board has approved two trainings in San Diego for which Woody will be Principal Trainer:
- February 7-8, 2020 - Building a Successful (Profitable) Collaborative Practice (Limited to 35)
- May 22-23, 2020 - Training Trainers to teach Building a Successful (Profitable) Collaborative Practice (Limited to 15)
Thank you for sharing your time, talent, and wisdom with the Association of Collaborative Professionals of Utah. Your passion for Collaborative law is contagious and has encouraged our Utah community.
Wishing you health and happiness.
The Utah Association of Collaborative Professionals
Woody's presentation was inspiring and insightful. His passion for this peacemaking work was obvious. The information, handouts, and extra resources, and guest speakers were phenomenal. This is all I need to start my quest as a peacemaker.
Marla Snow, Lawyer Provo, UT www.mlhmlawoffices.com
Woody and his enthusiasm for the Collaborative Process cannot be muted by a pandemic. Woody crafted a special 4-day training via Zoom for the Utah Bar Association to help our Collaborative Professionals cultivate a collaborative community and to continue to develop our practices. Woody’s teambuilding methods help establish an atmosphere of trust and support while venturing outside of our comfort zones. Woody, I cannot thank you enough for helping the Collaborative Community in Utah gain traction and inspiration.
Anne A. Cameron, Collaborative Lawyer and Mediator Park City and Salt Lake City. UT www.UtahCollabDivorce.com
This training was facilitated by Forrest “Woody” Mosten and hosted by the Utah collaborative professional Anne Cameron. The purpose of the training was to assist in developing a self-sustaining collaborative practice in our community and individually. This meant, to a large extent, training each of us, or should I say “converting“ each of us to the true collaborative mindset and orientation. This goes beyond simply skill training. Instead, it was intended to help us become “peacemakers“ not only professionally but truly peacemakers day-to-day and in other aspects of living.
Let me put it this way, this was 12+ hours of training spread over four days. I was apprehensive to register. In my mind I reserved an exit if I needed to do something else. Instead, I attended all sessions, even Friday afternoon and that should speak for itself.
This is most important: he demonstrated, not only trained, but actually showed how a peacemaker behaves. His conduct with participants was the most compelling instruction that week. Upbeat, respectful, informative, prepared and entertaining at the same time. I learned as much observing Woody as I did by way of the substance of the materials.
Frederick “Rick” Green, Lawyer Sandy, UT
Woody’s training was inspiring and hands-on. He was able to answer important questions and connect our group to a larger community of professionals and resources. This is exactly the boost that we needed.
My two days with Woody in Columbus, Ohio in 2019 truly inspired me and other members of our Cleveland practice group in attendance to expand the traditional collaborative models to more effectively address the needs of our particpant families. Woody challenged us to incorporate mediation and other innovative problem solving into our collaborative processes. Following the training, we all gathered to review our notes to make sure we capture and implement the many insightrul takeaways from this training.
Jonetta Kapusta-Dorogi, Lawyer, Mediator Cleveland, OH www.dorogilaw.com
Woody’s training gave so much to think about. These two days made me realize the way I want to assist clients in divorces.
Traci Hooper, Lawyer Columbus, OH www.suzannekaysabol.com
Woody Mosten is a fantastic trainer. He is dynamic and his ideas are innovative that led to a great learning experience.
Amy Weis, Lawyer Columbus, OH www.woclaw.com
Woody models and teaches outside the box and invites all collaborative professionals to join him.
Brian Urban, Attorney Cleveland, OH www.urbanfamilylaw.com
“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
“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.”
“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
“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
“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
“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
“Woody's passion for peacemaking and knowledge about the processes, strategies and tools of alternative dispute resolution are inspiring and contagious.”
“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.”
“Woody's knowledge and demeanor commands my attention by making the lessons relevant and offering his knowledge rather than pontificating.”
“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.”
Certified Family Law Specialist
Chino Hills, CA
“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
“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.”
“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
“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.”
“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
“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
“Simply spectacular—thank you for allowing my spirit to soar!”
Patricia Wozniak Henk, Attorney/Mediator
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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.”
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“This Seminar provided me with useful tools, food for thought and renewed enthusiasm for collaborative practice.”
Gregory Brough, Attorney & Mediator
“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
“Awesome! Loved it! Learned Lots! Great Modeling! Our work is cut out for us. Loved the spirituality.”
Bob Appleton, Attorney
“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
“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
“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
“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
“Pauline and Woody demonstrate the beauty of collaborative practice by dancing the dance, a two step, not a rave.”
Cyndi Brewster, Attorney
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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.”
“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
“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
Unbundling Training Endorsements
First National Unbundling Training
In March 2018, Woody was the Principal Trainer for the first national unbundling training. Woody’s co-author, Elizabeth Potter Scully and Bob Merlin, Collaborative Practice Leader from Miami were Assistant Trainers. Held at Loyola Chicago School of Law (Professor Stacey Platt, Host), this training (see agenda) was sponsored by AFCC. Some of the reactions of the training participants from throughout the US and Canada are set out below.
For information about how Woody provides legal coaching services to his clients, see our coaching information.
This was an incredible training which will enable me to improve my practice and the services that I can provide to clients. In addition to the extensive course materials, I truly appreciate the tremendous resources I can provide to my clients after this training.
Laurel Amaya, Mediator and Collaborative Lawyer Pasadena, CA LTAfamilylaw.com
I was already doing some unbundling before attending this training. I am now energized to take my practice in a new direction. I feel that I now have the tools and resources, to make unbundling a success.
Melissa Larson, Family Lawyer Greenfield, IA melissalarsonlaw.com
This training was insightful and helpful. I cannot wait to attend future trainings that Woody might offer.
Clay Wilkinson, Family Lawyer Dallas, TX dfwfamilylawfirm.com
Woody revealed a new (to me) and exciting way to increase client satisfaction, grow my business, and start doing more of the work that I love to do.
Kevin Kellar, Mediator and Family Lawyer San Diego, CA pacificcoastmediation.com
Woody’s training was a great “rev” to my practice. This course showed me that there is a way for me to serve more people, have a viable businss, and make the practice of law more personally satisfying.
Armine Baltazar, Family Lawyer Los Angeles and Costa Mesa, CA hammersbaltazar.com
Woody’s training is a must attend opportunity for any attorney who wants to differentiate themselves, grow their practice, and get on the forefront of where the legal field is headed. This will help me help more people and gain more satisfaction from their work. Do not walk…to Woody’s next training.
John Dennis, Legal Access Businessperson Palm City, FL Unbundledattorney.com
This was the best and most thoughtful training that I have ever completed. I am so impressed by the quality of the material and am grateful for having had this opportunity to learn from Woody.
Marnie Smith, Family Lawyer San Diego, CA smithscatizzi.com
Woody’s ability to empower me to think outside the box was impressive. I am now able to take so much knowledge back to the office.
Jayshree Naidu, Office Manager Oklahoma City, OK naidulaw.com
I sit in some legal trainings scrolling through my email or daydreaming. Occasionally, I stumble on a remarkable presenter with a riveting subject. This week, I stumbled on Woody Mosten
Steve Robertson, Family Lawyer Greensboro, NC stevelawfirm.com
I gained great ideas about the unbundling process that I will take back to my practice. I truly enjoyed speakers who have successfully transitioned their practice to unbundling was very encouraging.
Jo Ellen Kane, Family Lawyer Portland, OR
This was a very thoroudh and methodical training. I am excited to go home and put in place the skills and tools that I have learned from Woody.
Rhonda Telford Naidu, Family Lawyer Oklahoma City, OK naidulaw.com
It is hard to imagine a training so full of helpful, career-jumpstarting information yet also so conducive to meaningful connections with fellow participants as well as Woody himself. Woody is a consummate master and called "Father of Unbundling" for good reason but for all the research and career building teachings he provides, he is also wide open to the ideas of the class. It feels like a primordial soup of career building and social change in which you get to be both a recipient and key player.
Michael J. Feldman , Lawyer Beverly Hills, CA
I have been unbundling my services as an adjunct to a full service practice for many years. This seminar refined my unbundled practice so that I can start marketing it more effectively (increasing volume) and managing it more effectively (making each case more profitable). Learning from the other participants regarding his or her firm culture and experience in unbundled services, and hearing from Judge Mark Juhas as to the LA Superior Court perspective on unbundling a litigation practice, made the presentation (and my learning) even richer. Five stars.
Cynthia R. First, Attorney/Mediator Everett, WA portgardnerlaw.com
I first met Woody at his training on growing a collaborative practice four or five years ago. He inspired me to not only change the way I approach my profession, but also the way I approach my life. Since the transformation Woody inspired in me, I have been on a beautiful journey of helping people in new and innovative ways I never even knew I could before. This training on unbundled legal services was the fourth seminar I’ve now attended with Woody and once again, I left feeling more excited than ever about having the privilege of practicing law. Thanks so much, Woody, for being an essential part of the founding of The Law Shop by Skogerson McGinn LLC! #peacelovelaw.
AJ Skogerson, Collaborative Lawyer and Mediator
Now I get it – why we need to offer unbundled legal services to address unmet needs and how unbundling can work in my practice.
Family Attorney and Mediator
Woody and his Assistant Trainers did an incredible job of taking us from the 30,000 foot level to the granular level of unbundling. They engaged all the participants on a personal level so we left with a vision of how we can tailor their lessons to our individual practices.
Daniel Bestul, Attorney
I like the way Woody told us at the beginning of the AFCC Chicago training that we will “learn more from each other than you will from me.” Woody encourages sharing unbundling tools as providing his own practice materials, insights, and knowledge of the topic.
Terri Breer, Family Attorney and Mediator
I found Woody’s AFCC unbundling training very informative. As a non-attorney, it was terrific to see others from around the country doing the kind of work we envisioned doing. I am thrilled to be able to talk to my attorney colleagues wrapping language around the concepts and have examples of who to structure our unique business model.
Lisa Fears, Law Resource Center
Woody is not only the pioneer of unbundling, he is one of the greatest trainers of best practices I delivering unbundled legal services both ethically and profitably. I walk away from the 2 day AFCC training much more informed about the practical steps lawyers can take in delivering unbundling. I am also very excited and encouraged about the impact unbundling will have on access to justice over the years to come.
CEO Unbundled Attorney
Woody’s Chicago training opened my eyes in a myriad of ways that I can assist clients without the price tag of full representation. His insights on unbundling my family law practice can enhance my career and give me greater flexibility in my practice and greater personal satisfaction.
Family Law Attorney and Mediator
La Jolla, CA
Woody’s trainings are always so informative and inspiring. This one was no different. The hand outs and real life sample fee agreements will immediately help transform my practice. The client stories we heard and simulations we did were invaluable.
Andrea McGinn, Family Attorney
Van Meter, IA
Woody’s warm and engaging facilitation created a fantastic environment for considering some bit lofty ideas and the nuts and bolts of best practices in unbundling. I leave the workshop with many valuable services, and perhaps more significantly, energy and enthusiasm to get to work!
Michelle Farrell, Family Lawyer
Richmond Hill, Ontario
Woody is always at the cutting edge. His thoughtful approach to Unbundled Services has helped me rethink this new area of opportunity to grow my practice. Woody sees the future and gives us the tools to be ready for it.
Brian Galbraith, Family Lawyer
Peacemaking Training Endorsements
This peacemaker mindset training is what I have been looking for.
Armine Baltazar, Family Lawyer Los Angeles/Orange County, CA www.hammersbaltazar.com
From the first moment until our final closing circle, Woody established a beautiful learning environment. His positive and supportive input to every participant was both authentic and powerful.
Jay Rothman, Peacebuilder and Mediator Yellow Springs, OH www.Ariagroup.com
After this training, I am going home feeling energized, more open, and more connected to my spirit and to others.
Sara Wahl, Lawyer Seattle, WA www.wahllaw.com
Woody has the ability to bring all of the divergent comments and suggestions makes it all personal to each of us. He is creatively humble in the way he shapes and reframes the discussion into positive productive nuggets of wisdom.
Dennis Cohen, Mediator www.settlementworks.com
Woody and David are the ultimate role models of peacemakers. This has been one of the most exceptional retreats that I have ever attended.
Carol Dubron-Witlin, Mediator/Family Lawyer Beverly Hills, CA www.dubronwitlinlaw.com
This peacemaker retreat was the most valuable and inspirational workshop I have ever attended.
Sharon Silbert, Lawyer St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada www.silbertfamilylaw.com
Life changing" doesn't even begin to describe this retreat. Woody modeled sharing control by having everyone in the training have an opportunity to train others: I cannot describe how much I learned from the peacemaking modules presented by the training participants.
Josh Kraus, Mediator Fort Lauderdale, FL www.fairandfriendlymediation.com
Woody and David are epic together—they are extraordinary!
The format of the retreat provided for lifechanging interactions with other participants that enriched the content
Elisa Kisselburg, Attorney and Divorce Mediator San Diego, CA www.elisakisselburg.com
Woody is so gently powerful that it is impossible not to be affected positively by him and his teaching methods. And, you don't have to be a lawyer or even a licensed professional to benefit from this training.
Jennifer Bryan Gredvig
Peacemaking starts with inspiration. Inspiration comes from one peacemaking soul speaking and awakening another. In his 2016 NY Advanced Collaborative Training and the 2018 Pa. Peacemaking Institute, Woody has awakened me.
Maribeth Blessing, Lawyer and Mediator
Woody Mosten’s depth of knowledge and breadth of experience are only eclipsed by his generosity and grace in teaching, listening and inspiring his students to become the most effective peacemakers.
You cannot afford not to take the time and focus to absorb as much as you can from this phenomenal teacher. For every hour in his programs you will reap at least 10 hours of reflection, growth, and further knowledge.
David A. Fitzsimons, Lawyer and Mediator
The 3 day 2018 Peace Institute in Philadelphia was the most in-depth, cutting edge, and groundbreaking training I have taken. Woody gave me many new ideas on how to promote and expand my practice by better describing to clients what I already do, particularly, unbundled legal services. I now have an action plan which includes conversations with my collaborative practice group about how we can offer more services for our clients and develop better protocols.
Mary Timpany, Lawyer and Mediator
New Ringgold, PA
I have been struggling to try to shift my practice to one based on peacemaking. My expectation was to gain more options for my practice. That expectation was fulfilled—I now have a number of new tools on to bring peacemaking to families and colleagues.
In Maine, Collaborative Practice has been slow to grow. There is a sense that we are all are collegial and therefore it is not necessary to use a disqualification clause. I leave the Institute to be a catalyst to grow Collaborative law with the safe container of disqualification but also mediation and unbundling.
Jane S.E. Clayton, Lawyer
In my 30 year legal career, I have sought to be a healer while practicing Family Law. Now I am a convert, a believer having found my true calling as a peacemaker.
Lenore MJ Myers, Lawyer and Mediator
King of Prussia, PA
Woody’s Peace Institute allowed me to think about how I can bring peacemaking and justice to a larger population in my private practice.
Andrea Amicangelo, Lawyer
Everyone who participated in the Peace Institute was a co-trainer! While David Hoffman and Ross Evans provided insights and sage advice to us all from their long successful careers, everyone present used the three days of study and discussion to reflect on their own practices and personal lives. Learning about the concepts and replicable models of peacemaking is just the beginning: each person was challenged to take concrete steps to make peacemaking changes starting the week following the Institute.
As a small example, here is the thinking and planning of just two peacemakers that were shared with all participants in the week following the Institute:
Maribeth Blessing, Lawyer and Mediator from Rolledge, Pennsylvania:
- Getting a chapter in a book published on Amazon called “Worry Free Divorce” soon to go on sale which fosters peaceful options in divorce;
- Getting a list of changes to my website to reflect more avenues for a peaceful practice;
- Promoting peaceful options with every client I see; focusing on advertising
- Launching new peaceful affiliation group called the Center for Peaceful Resolution (check us out at www.lawyerswithheart.com
- Continuing what I was doing with renewed commitment and passion!
Jane Clayton, Lawyer and Mediator from Bangor, Maine:
- Review and Improve Website
- Write Oath - Post
- Add divorce mission statement by Diane Mercer
- Add how I feel about clients and how I want them to feel about me
- Link to IACP website
- Look at Woody’s website for ideas
- Link to Woody’s website
- Add specific limited scope representation info to website
- Add information about my devotion to legal prevention and conflict reduction
- Ways to expand Peacemaking Practice
- Offer services as facilitator/neutral - specific issues? - flat fee? - with or without attorneys?
- Offer education sessions regarding reorganization of families
- Offer education sessions as manager of dispute resolution
- Create second opinion practice - review written submissions and provide decisions
- Act as Referee
- Steps to implement Peacemaking Practice
- Preliminary Private Planning Sessions with client - trip to courthouse
- Before any negotiation - sit down with other negotiator - ask 2 questions - what works best with collaborative partners/what drives you crazy
- Tell clients how lucky I am to do this work and that I am honored to have the opportunity to help people through their difficult time and be able to help them find solutions
- Work on recognizing when I am more involved than the client and the impact that has on my behavior
- Tell other attorneys, mediators, clerks, judges, etc. that I am doing peacemaking work
- Talk to successful peacemakers about how to build my practice
- Talk to successful peacemakers about whether they will caucus in mediations
- Let clients know you have added services and ask them to tell others
- Review norms of local practice group, MCLA, IACP - should we follow them rigidly?
- Advertising about kinder and gentler ways to help families
- Practice apology and acceptance
- Write articles - on issues and on peacemaking
- Offer information about peacemaking to other attorneys
- Offer information about peacemaking to mediators
- Offer information about peacemaking to other Judges
- Calendar times to send follow up letters even when it seems like the case is over
- Tools to Develop
- Template for client’s opening statements
- Template for apology and acceptance of apology
- List of emotional/financial costs
- Menu of unbundled packages
- Chart of options for processes - benefits and disadvantages
- Questionnaire for client's to complete before initial office conference
- Limited representation entry of appearance
- Cooperative law agreement
- Collaborative prenuptial
- Things to consider
- Where are the clenched fists in our works - how will I unclench them?
- How can I bring more peace in the room?
In addition, Jane shared just some of the books that were discussed in the Peace Institute:
- The Evolution of Conflict - Robert Axelrod
- The Handbook of Conflict Resolution - Dowtch and Coleman
- The Reflective Practitioner - Schon
- Getting Past No/The Power of a Positive No/The Third Side (the best one) - William Ury
- Beyond Winning/Bargaining with the Devil - Robert Mnookin
- Bringing Peace Into the Room - Daniel Bowling and David Hoffman
- Calm in the Face of the Storm - Nan Weller Burnett
- Deepening the Dialogue - Nancy Cameron
- Good Divorce/We’re Still Family - Connie Ahrons
- Should I stay or should I go - Lee Raffle
- The New Lawyer - Julie MacFarland
- Family mediation facts and myths - Beck and Sales
- Mediating Dangerously - Ken Cloke
- Mediation, a Practice Guide for Mediators, Lawyers and Other Professionals - David Hoffman
Selected Publications of Forrest S. Mosten (May 2018)
- Building a Successful Collaborative Practice (with Adam Cordover).
ABA Book Publishing (October,2018).
- Family Lawyer's Guide to Unbundling Legal Services (with Elizabeth Potter Scully).
ABA Book Publishing (2017).
- The Complete Guide to Mediation (with Elizabeth Potter Scully).
2nd ed. ABA Book Publishing (2015). Prior Edition, 1st: 1997
- Collaborative Divorce Handbook: Helping Families Without Going to Court.
- Mediation Career Guide: A Strategic Approach to Building a Successful Practice.
- Unbundling Legal Services: A Guide to Delivering Legal Services à la Carte.
American Bar Association, Law Practice Management Section (2000).
- Educating The New Lawyer: Teaching Lawyers to Offer Unbundling and Other Client Centric Services,
Dickinson Law Review (July 2018)
- Interdisciplinary Teamwork in Family Law (with Lara Traum),
Hostra Law Review (July 2018)
- Representing Clients in Family Mediation,
Los Angeles County Bar Symposium Book (2018)
- The Family Lawyer's Role in Preventive Legal and Conflict Wellness (with Lara Traum),
55 Family Court Review 26 (2017).
- Working with Your Spouse’s Lawyer,
ABA Family Law Advocate (2017)
- It Takes a Village: Using Seniors to Help Divorcing Families (with Lara Traum),
17 Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution 767 (2016).
- Representing Clients Effectively in Family Mediation (with Elizabeth Potter Scully),
Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (Summer, 2016)
- Late Nights and Cancellation Rights (with Hon. Thomas Trent Lewis and Elizabeth Potter Scully),
California State Bar Family Law News (2016)
- The Future of Mediation: 20 Predictions for 2030,
- The Uncertainty of Mediation Confidentiality in California (with Hon. Thomas Trent Lewis and Elizabeth Potter Scully),
California AFCC News, (2015)
- Unbundled Legal Services to Enhance Peacemaking,
Family Court Review (July 2015)
- Mediator Settlement Proposals,
Association for Conflict Resolution Commercial Section Newsletter (Summer, 2015)
- Unbundle Your Law Practice,
Association of Family and Conciliation Courts News (April 2015)
- The Lawyer as Collaborative and Preventive Peacemaker, Reinventing the Practice of Law,
In Herrera, Innovations in the Practice of Law (ABA, 2014)
- Beyond Mediation Toward Peacemaking.
Association for Conflict Resolution Magazine (Fall, 2014)
- Unbundling in 2014: Recommendations for the Courts
ABA Judge’s Journal (Winter, 2014)
- Unbundled Legal Services Today–and Predictions for the Future
ABA Family Law Advocate Vol. 35, No. 2, Fall 2012, p. 14-21
- Using Mediation Stories to Improve the Teaching of Conflict Resolution,
34 Cardozo Law Review 2455 (2013). Full Text
- Family Lawyering: Past, Present and Future (with John Lande)
Family Court Review (2013)
- Tips for Lawyers Using Mediation for Their Own Personal Disputes
Los Angeles Daily Journal, May 16, 2012
- Unbundled Legal Services Today – And Predictions for the Future,
Family Advocate 14 (2012).
- The Future of Collaborative Practice: A Vision for 2030,
Family Court Review 282 (2011).
- Guest Editor's Introduction,
Family Court Review 211 (2011).
- Confidentiality in Mediation,
California Lawyer 32 (2011).
- Confidential Mini Child-custody Evaluations: Another ADR Option,
Family Law Quarterly 119 (2011).
- Editor's Introduction to Family Court Review's Special Issue on Collaborative Practice
Family Court Review, No. 2, April 2011, p.211
- Future of Collaborative Practice: Vision for 2030
- Disputant Autonomy and Power Imbalance (with Bill Eddy)
Waldman, Legal Ethics (2011)
- Collaborative Lawyers' Duties to Screen the Appropriateness of Collaborative Law and Obtain Clients' Informed Consent to Use Collaborative Law (with John Lande),
Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution 347 (2010).
- Building a Successful Law Practice Without Ever Going to Court (Forrest S. Mosten, GPSOLO),
The Best Articles Published by the ABA (Sept. 2010)
- Before You Take a Collaborative Law Case: What the Ethical Rules Say about Conflicts of Interest, Client Screening, and Informed Consent (with John Lande)
Family Advocate 31 (2010).
- Lawyer as Peacemaker: Ethical and Innovative Practice Roles,
Family Law Quarterly 489 (2009).
- The Uniform Collaborative Law Act's Contribution To Informed Client Decision Making In Choosing A Dispute Resolution Process (with John Lande),
Hofstra Law Review 611 (2009).
2009 ACResolution Magazine 3-5 (Spring 2009). Special Issue.
- Marketing Our Practices,
2009 ACResolution Magazine 3-5 (Spring 2009).
- Collaborative Law Practice: An Unbundled Approach to Informed Client Decision Making,
Journal of Dispute Resolution 163 (2008).
- Unbundling Legal Services to Help Divorcing Families, in Innovations in Family Law Practice
(edited by K. B. Olson and N. Ver Steegh, Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, 2008).
- Collaborative Law Practice: An Unbundled Approach to Informed Client Decision Making,
Journal of Dispute Resolution 163 (2008).
- Unbundling Legal Services to Help Divorcing Families, in Innovations in Family Law Practice (edited by K. B. Olson and N. Ver Steegh),
Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (2008).
- The Potential of the Family Law Education Reform Project for Family Lawyers,
Family Court Review 5 (2007).
- Secrets to Successful Mediation Practice,
ABA Dispute Resolution Just Resolutions (Summer/Fall 2007). Parts 1, 2 and 3. ABA
- Where to Locate Your Mediation Practice,
ABA Dispute Resolution Just Resolutions (Spring 2007).
- The Path of the Peacemaker: A Mediator's Guide to Peacemaking,
ACResolution Magazine 8-11 (2006).
- Advanced Mediator Moves (with D. Mercer),
Association for Conflict Resolution Family Section News 6-11 (Fall 2006). ACR Family Section, Parts I and II.
- Intake Should Be Your Primary Marketing Strategy,
Just Resolutions 1, 3 (Jan. 2006). American Bar Association Dispute Resolution.
- Using Your Duty to Inform as a Marketing Tool
- Institutionalization of Mediation,
Family Court Review 292 (2004).
- Unbundling Legal Services: Servicing Clients Within Their Ability to Pay,
American Bar Association Judge's Journal 15 (Winter 2001).
- Peacemaking Can Be Your Day Job,
SPIDR Newsletter 1 (2000).
- The Lawyer's Role During Agreement-Making,
American Journal of Family Law 13 (1997).
- Emerging Roles of the Family Lawyer: A Challenge for the Courts,
Family and Conciliation Court Review 213 (1995).
- Unbundled Legal Services in Mediation,
ADR Report (Nov. 1999).
- Unbundling Your Mediation Services,
ADR Report 3-6 (1999).
- Operating a Profitable Mediation Practice.
Mosten Mediation Training (1998a).
- Recent Developments in Mediation,
LACBA News and Review of Los Angeles County Bar Association Family Law Section 16-18 (Summer 1998b).
- Written Mediation Agreements and Settlement Stipulations,
DRS Newsletter (LA County Bar) 7-8 (Fall 1998c).
- Our Own Communication Is Important Too (with J. Kichaven),
Southern California Mediation Association News 4 (Nov. 1997).
- Eleven Questions Most Commonly Asked About Mediation,
Fair Share: The Matrimonial Law Monthly 5-7 (1997).
- Mediation in Divorce Cases: Two Views (with P. Gangel-Jacob),
Trial Magazine 43-44 (Aug. 1997).
- Preventing Future Conflict Through Legal Wellness Check-Ups,
Preventive Law Reporter 12-15 (Fall 1996).
- Unbundling Legal Services,
International Legal Practitioner 42-45 (June 1996).
- Preventive Mediation in Blended Families, 3(1)
Dispute Resolution Magazine 16 (1996). American Bar Association, Dispute Resolution Section.
- The Client Library: Law Firm's Preventive Law Classroom,
Preventive Law Reporter (Fall 1995).
- Coaching the Pro Se Litigant,
American Bar Association Complete Lawyer 1-8 (Winter, 1995).
- Client Centered Consultation and ADR (with R.S. Redmount),
International Legal Practitioner 28-34 (Mar. 1995).
- Louis M. Brown: His Work in Preventive Law Receives Long Awaited Recognition,
Preventive Law Reporter 30-31 (June 1994).
- Unbundling of Legal Services and the Family Lawyer,
Family Law Quarterly 421 (Fall 1994).
- The Lawyer As Dispute Resolution Manager,
Family Law News and Review 5-8 (1994).
- Avoiding Trial in Family Law: ADR Options and Methods,
Los Angeles Lawyer 45-48 (Sept. 1993).
- The Case for a National Legal Health Strategy (with T.H. Gonser),
Preventive Law Reporter 31-32 (Summer 1993).
- Mediation and Prevention of Business Disputes,
Beverly Hills Bar Journal 105-008 (Summer 1993).
- Mediation Makes Sense: How to Prevent an International Crisis,
ABA Family Advocate 44-45 (Spring 1993).
- Confidential Mini-Evaluation,
Family Court Review 373 (1992).
- The Violent Family: Part II Intervention Strategies for the Family Lawyer (with N. Kaser-Boyd),
Family Law News 4-7 (1992).
- Lou Brown: Preventive Law and World Harmony,
Preventive Law Reporter 2-3 (Dec. 1991).
- The Violent Family: Psychological Dynamics and Their Effect on the Lawyer-Client Relationship (with N. Kaser-Boyd),
Family Law News 17, 28 (1991).
- The Duty to Explore Settlement: Beyond Garris v. Severson,
California State Bar Family Law News 25, 40-42 (1989).
- The Consulting Lawyer in Private Divorce Mediation: Sample Client Retainer Letter and Discussion,
LA County Bar Family Law News and Review 6-9 (1989).
- Preventive Planning in the Resolution of Dispute,
Denver Law Review 441-42 (1988).
- The Option of Private Family Law Mediation (with S.E. Wasserstrom),
Beverly Hills Bar Journal 118-22 (Spring 1987).
- How to Provide Legal Services to Middle Income Clients Profitably,
State Bar of California (1985)
- The Role of the Therapist in the Co-Mediation of Divorce: An Exploration by a Lawyer-Therapist Team (with B. Biggs),
Journal of Divorce 27 (1985).
- Introduction of Special Issue on Client Counseling,
Creighton Law Review 1329 (1985).