Forrest (Woody) Mosten

Mediator and Collaborative Attorney

Certified Family Law Specialist

Mediator Supervision and Consultation

“A mediator might want direct supervision in entering private practice or making it profitable once taking the plunge.”

— Forrest S. Mosten, The Complete Guide to Mediation

Mosten Mediation TrainingFor the past 30 years, Woody Mosten has been training law students and mediators to improve their skills and maximize their careers. Of all his worldwide training, Woody most enjoys working one on one with talented mediators who come to him for supervision. Whether the supervision ends after the three-hour assessment or lasts for years in person or by telephone, it is an important relationship in the mediator's life and for Woody.

Having been mentored himself for over two decades by Professor Louis M. Brown (The Father of Preventive Law, 1909-1996) and having learned from many of the world's great mediators, Woody is dedicated to providing quality supervision to mediators who commit themselves to improve both their craft and their cashflow in the challenging and rewarding supervision format.

Joan Skudera

I so much appreciated the wonderful individual training supervision with Woody Mosten! I was expecting a great deal from the session and he exceeded my highest expectations.

I really appreciated Woody’s honesty and compassion with me. I felt comfortable and supported in sharing my information with him because I trusted that Woody was trying to help me become more successful in my Collaborative and Mediation career.

Joan Skudera, , Mediator and Collaborative Attorney
Midland Park, NJ
www.skuderaesq.com

Thurman W. Arnold

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

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

“I wish to thank Woody Mosten – who introduced me to the importance of ADR and family law and persuaded me how much more useful I could be focusing on family law than civil litigation.” Professor Andrew Schepard

Professor Andrew Schepard
Hofstra School of Law and Official Reporter of Uniform Collaborative Law Act

Upon receiving prestigious ABA Lawyer as Problem Solver Award in San Francisco on April 9, 2010.

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

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

“Although I have an LL.M. in Dispute Resolution Studies from the Pepperdine University School of Law after over 25 years in law practice, I also highly recommend an advanced course of individual study with a veteran mediator for anyone serious about the subject. I have found Woody Mosten to be an exceptional coach who has inspired me to take my mediation skills and practice development to the next level. He helps me work through my options, decide on my goals, and efficiently direct my efforts to achieving them. He as also been, from time to time, the voice of my conscience in encouraging me to do what needs to be done. I have profited immensely from working with him.”

Kendall Reed

Kendall Reed
Mediator, Los Angeles

Kristina R. Hess

“I am particularly grateful to Woody Mosten. Woody was the first mediator that I contacted after I read his book, Mediation Career Guide. Woody has and continues to be a wonderful resource and mentor and I value his energy and commitment to our field tremendously. Woody is committed to leaving a positive legacy and to helping as many mediators he can to “make mediation their day job.” Woody has studied marketing and business development, been there, done that and has the scars and success to prove it.”

Kristina R. Hess
Estate Planning Attorney
KR Hess Law, P.C.

“Supervision with Woody Mosten has been an adventure. Supervision for an adult can make one feel like a child; but with Woody, it is always two colleagues working together. Woody acts like a mirror for my questions and guides me gently to improve my skills and has even given me ideas to improve my fee collections.”

Peri Drake Coburn

Peri Drake Coburn
Lawyer/Mediator

Barry Davis

“My private supervision with Woody Mosten has been invaluable to my practice development! Not only has he helped me define my target market, he has suggested specific and effective ways to reach this audience as well. Woody’s direction and feedback has allowed me to focus my resources on those approaches that will provide the greatest return on investment—thereby saving me thousands of dollars and dozens of hours of precious time! I have already developed multiple referral relationships as a direct result of implementing his practice development strategies and techniques.”

Barry Davis
Davis Mediation, El Segundo, California
DavisMediation.com

Groups for Mediators and Collaborative Professionals

Every month in Los Angeles and in venues throughout the world, Woody Mosten conducts groups for practicing mediators and collaborative professionals. These groups are generally organized by the professionals themselves and feature in-depth interactive discussion of relevant skills and conflict resolution theory as well as consultation and supervision by Woody on current cases that are ongoing in the practices of the group members. In 2009, a third year law student, Heather Weiner, interested in a collaborative divorce career, was invited to visit the group and wrote a memo to the professionals in the group chronicling her experiences at the session.

“Let me thank you again for allowing me to participate in your meeting this month—it was truly the highlight of my week in Los Angeles. Listening to your collective concerns, ideas, and feedback was invaluable, and helped solidify my interest in becoming a peacemaker.” To read Heather’s full memo about the Monthly consultation group for mediators and collaborative professionals led by Woody Mosten that she visited, please click here.

Heather M. Weiner
Third Year Law Student, 2009

Mediator Career Status Check

Where are you in your career as a mediator?

  • I have completed a Basic 40-Hour Divorce Mediation Training
  • I have completed at least one Advanced Family Mediation Course
  • My skills still need refinement
  • I need a business plan
  • I want to go into private mediation practice
  • I am in private mediation practice and want to make more income.

Woody Mosten, an AFM Approved Consultant, enjoys working with mediators individually to improve their skills at the mediation table and increase their profitability. He believes that craft and cash flow must both be maximized for talented mediators to stay in the field and serve the public.

We offer several opportunities for further training one on one:

  • Individual supervision
  • Small group supervision
  • Video and audio observation of your work
  • Personally observes your work
  • Roleplaying
  • Case conferences
  • Supervision of your writing a business plan, client training materials, articles, and presentations
  • Observe Woody mediate at his office
  • Co-mediate with Woody
  • Customized formats

Woody also offers customized consultations for mediation trainers and teachers, professional practice groups, and mediation organizations.

“A portion or all of the supervision process can be devoted to tackling marketing and practice management issues in the mediator's life. A mediator can receive hands-on help in developing a business plan or in writing a brochure or other promotional materials.”

Forrest S. Mosten
The Complete Guide to Mediation

Supervision Assessment for Mediators and Collaborative Professionals

All supervision and consultation requires an assessment conference with Woody.

  • Review and feedback of your Peacemaker Self-Survey written responses.
  • 3 hour Consultation in Los Angeles including breakfast or lunch. Long Distance Consultation by Skype or Telephone needs custom design.
  • Supervision plan will be developed jointly by you/and your Supervision Colleagues and Woody

You are required to complete Peacemaker Self-Survey in writing and submit it to Woody prior to your assessment conference. If your supervision is semi-private or with a group, each Supervision Colleague should submit a written response to each question on the Self-Survey.

It is recommended that you read Woody's books, Mediation Career Guide (Josses-Bass, 2001) and Collaborative Divorce Handbook (Josses-Bass, 2009) prior to the conference. Lawyers are also strongly encouraged to read The Complete Guide to Mediation, (ABA, 1997) and Unbundling Legal Services (ABA, 2000) as part of their Supervision, not necessarily before commencing the process.

Following the assessment conference, you will either commence the supervision plan that you have developed or follow a self-directed program.

Family Peacemaker Self-Survey

Family peacemakers are lawyers, mental health professionals, and financial professionals who deliver services in a number of roles: Client Representative, Individual and Family Consultant, Mediator, Evaluator, and Decision Maker. The distinction between a peacemaker and traditional provider are the values and goals of the professional and the expectations and long term benefits delivered to the clients and families served.

This self-survey is a working template for professionals to reflect upon the core definition of their practice. It is the foundation for the development of a peacemaker signature, mission statement, and business plan.

The questions presented are generic—and you should modify to customize your own practice and professional goals. It is recommended that you write out your answers—this may be very time consuming but should pay dividends over the years. For maximum benefit, you should discuss your answers with other colleagues individually, with your board of advisors, and with study/book and other practice groups.

I. Current Marketing Practices

  • What are my core personal values that are reflected in my peacemaking family work?
  • What are my key personal attributes are reflected in my peacemaking family work?
  • What services do I offer?
  • What is the target market for my services?
  • How do I communicate the availability and nature of my services to my target market?
  • How do my services provide improvement or diversity from other family professionals?
  • What is my involvement with organized professional associations in my trained profession?
  • What is my ongoing involvement with other family professionals? How is such involvement "cost-effective"?
  • To which professional journal subscriptions and software do I subscribe?
  • What is the extent of my volunteer peacemaking work for the community?
  • How do I help other family professionals develop their professional craft or practices?

II. Components of my Peacemaking Practice

What is my intake model for clients?

How do I describe the different services that I provide?

How do I compare the model of my services with other appropriate services?

What materials or templates do I offer clients for describing and comparing appropriate services?

What criteria do I use in comparing appropriate services?

Cost—how do I estimate?

Privacy and Confidentiality

Time for Resolution

Control over process

Control over result

Emotional and psychological impact

Impact on relationships

Impact on children

Financial Impact

Religious or moral impact

III. Financial and Strategic Planning of my Practice

What is contained in my written mission statement about my peacemaking practice?

What is contained in my written business plan to financially develop my peacemaking practice?

Who is on my Board of Advisors? What issues have they helped me with? What issues do I need to take to them in the next 6 months

What out-of-pocket capital have I invested to develop my peacemaking practice?

How much is budgeted for the next 12 months in direct capital outlay?

How much professional time have I invested to develop my mediation business?

What is the value of that time in foregone income?

What is my budget for professional time in the next 12 months?

What is the rate of economic return on my capital and professional time investment?

What is my record for being paid fairly, adequately and on time for my services?

How do I collect my unpaid fees?

What is the rate and timing of collection?

What are my practices in respect to my willingness to arbitrate or litigate to collect fees?

What are my criteria for arbitrating or litigating fee collection?

If I do not arbitrate or litigate, what corrective steps am I making to reduce unpaid fees?

What are my criteria for writing off a fee?

IV. Management of Practice

Do I want to have a lawyer-mediator partner? (Or steady co-lawyer-mediator?) If so, why? If not, why not?

What is my contribution to the growth of mediation through training?

What is my contribution to the growth of mediation through articles?

What is my contribution to the growth of mediation through development of materials?

In what roles do I work with the following family professionals?

Forensic Accountants:

Actuaries:

Real Estate Appraisers:

Business Appraisers:

"Industry" Specialists:

Individual Therapists

Couple Therapists

System Therapists

Children’s therapists

Vocational therapists

g. Children, Extended Family Members:

How does my retainer contract inform and educate clients as to:

My services?

Rules of my practice?

Financial requirements?

How does my contract protect me:

Financially?

From malpractice and professional disciplinary claims?

V. Client Education

What do I or my staff do to educate (potential) clients about my services?

Do I have a separate client library? How does it work

What procedures have I developed in the office for providing clients with information to educate them to better achieve their goals:

Mailing:

Display:

Showing DVD’s and videos:

Helping clients prepare and succeed at solving their problems?

What is my policy in helping other parties spouses engage counsel and other professionals?

Will I have meetings and sessions mediate by telephone or video conference call? If so, what is my procedure?

How do I communicate outside of sessions with:

Parties?

Counsel?

Experts?

What role do I play in:

Session summary letters?

Drafting agreements?

Interim court orders?

Filing legal documents?

What is my signature as to joint sessions or separate meetings? What criteria and strategies do I employ?

Do I build in preliminary planning sessions?

Once the presenting problem is resolved, what preventive planning do I conduct for the spouses?

What follow-up do I perform in monitoring compliance with signed agreements?

What type of tickle system have I set up to to follow up on future developments?

How do I stay in contact with clients?

What procedures do I have for initiating wellness (annual) check-ups for and with my clients?

How do I engage in preventive professional services?

VI. Training to Improve my Skills and Practice

  1. What are my goals, timeline, and budget for areas in which I need training?
  2. Who are the trainers I most wish to learn from? What does each of these trainers offer me for my practice growth and skill development?
  3. What format should my training be in: Conference workshops, additional basic courses, advanced courses, study group, individual or group supervision?
  4. On what areas of my financial practice development do I wish to concentrate?
  5. On which skills do I wish to focus on in training?
    1. What role will I play in training?
    2. What role will the supervisor play in training?
    3. What type of supervisory style do you believe would be most effective in my training?
    4. What will I do to overcome these obstacles?
    5. What do I want the supervisor to do in helping me overcome obstacles?
  6. What issues or techniques do you wish to focus on in your training?

Adapted from Forrest S. Mosten, Mediation Career Guide (2001, Jossey-Bass)

© Forrest S. Mosten

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