Forrest (Woody) Mosten

Mediator and Collaborative Attorney

Certified Family Law Specialist

Effectively Representing Clients
in Family Mediation

Effectively Representing Clients
in Family Mediation
Forrest S Mosten, Elizabeth Potter Scully, Lara Traum

2023 ABA Book Publishing (432 Pages)

Buy Now

Click to Save 25% on select books from the ABA website

This book provides lawyers with advice about selecting a mediator, preparing clients for mediation, and coaching the clients through the negotiation process to a settlement. It offers wise perspectives, examples from cases, and bullet-point practice tips.

Praised as an “essential resource for lawyers who want to develop a thriving and satisfying practice representing mediation clients,” Effectively Representing Clients in Family Mediation, published this month by the American Bar Association, showcases the critical importance of a lawyer’s role as a peacemaker in family law disputes.

Read the overview of contents below.

What industry leaders are saying about Effectively Representing Clients in Family Mediation …

“As a psychologist, I’ve found this book invaluable for both my own mediation practice and working with lawyers. This book makes an enormous contribution to the field of family mediation.”


Robin M. Deutsch, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist and Mediator, Professor William James College (ret.), Associate Clinical Professor Harvard Medical School (ret.), Newton, MA

“A masterpiece—a simply stunning case for creating a lucrative, honorable, and sustainable practice representing clients in family mediation. The authors dazzle us with the massive benefits for attorneys and clients and chart out an unprecedented step-by-step manual chock-full of the precise concepts, skills, and practice tips that can change attorney life as we know it and create a more peaceful world. If the authors’ approach to family lawyering becomes widespread, the profession will become what we dreamed it could be when we decided to go to law school—a world where attorneys are peacemakers who profoundly help people and family law attorneys support parents and their children’s brightest future.”

Michael Aurit
Co-Founder of The Aurit Center for Divorce Mediation, President of The Academy of Professional Family Mediators (2019-2022), and Adjunct Professor at The Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University School of Law

“As mediation for family disputes grows in popularity it is essential to have a comprehensive guide for family lawyers on how to effectively advise and represent their clients throughout the resolution process. This incredibly helpful and insightful book, by three legends in the field, distills the essential insights into an accessible and well-designed volume. The “bonus chapter” on online mediation from Susan Guthrie (itself growing rapidly) is icing on the cake.”

Colin Rule

“Effectively Representing Clients in Family Mediation is essential reading for every attorney who wants to help clients resolve their family law disputes without availing the court system. The authors have pulled together both the theoretical and practical into one book, answering every question about how to effectively practice law as a Peacemaker. The world needs more Peacemakers and this amazing book will help us do our best work.”

Brian Galbraith
Collaborative Attorney, Mediator, Trainer, President of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, Barrie, Ontario (Canada)

“With this book Mosten, Scully, and Traum provide everything legal practitioners need to expand the legal services they offer while at the same time improving their job satisfaction and financial bottom line. A fabulous resource.”


Kevin R. Scudder, JD
Secretary, International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, Chair, Collaborative Law Committee, ABA Section of Dispute Resolution, Seattle, WA

“In Effectively Representing Clients in Family Mediation, Woody ‘Forrest’ Mosten, Hon. Elizabeth Potter Scully and Lara Traum draw on over a century and half of combined professional experience to offer an extraordinarily generous gift to the peacemakers (and future peacemakers) of the family law community. This book is leading-edge treatise on both the art and science of enlightened family mediation… There’s something for everyone here: Seasoned professionals will gain increased clarity and renewed professional energy; greener practitioners will be affected in career-altering ways. Whether you’re a curious skeptic or are already passionately aware that when human relationships falter court will (almost) always make things exponentially worse, this book has the potential to transform your practice. Read it today and put it to work at your mediation table tomorrow.”

Kate Scharff, LICSW, LCSW-C, LCSW
Psychotherapist, family mediator, Collaborative Divorce Coach and Child Specialist, Author, Therapy Demystified: An Insider’s Guide to Getting the Right Help, Washington, DC

“A magnificent contribution: comprehensive and clear, inspirational and practical, firmly grounded in experience and wisdom. An essential guide for any lawyer who even considers representing a client in family mediation.”


Leonard L. Riskin, Author
Managing Conflict Mindfully: Don’t Believe Everything You Think (2023), Visiting Professor, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law

“This book is an essential resource for lawyers who want to develop a thriving and satisfying practice representing mediation clients.”


Ron Ousky
Past President, International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, Minneapolis, MN

“This book provides a model of the lawyer as peacemaker. It offers rich perspectives, resources and examples of how lawyers can incorporate mediation into their practices to help both parents and their children.”


Andrew I. Schepard
Sidney & Walter Siben Distinguished Professor of Family Law and Director of the Center for Children, Families and the Law, Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University

“A MUST READ for Mediators and all Family Law Attorneys. This book provides consulting attorneys and mediators the necessary framework so that the mediation can succeed from the beginning.”


Patricia Van Haren
Collaborative Attorney and Mediator, President, Collaborative Solutions of Orange County, Irvine, CA

“Having practiced family law for 47 years, I find that this book is a brilliant, comprehensive, wise and practical roadmap for lawyers navigating family law mediation.”


William J. Howe, Gevurtz Menashe, Portland, OR
Former Chair of Oregon Statewide Family Law Advisory Committee

“As a mental health professional who has met with far too many children and families emotionally scarred by the adversarial family court system, it gives me pleasure and relief to see the American Bar Association promoting greater awareness among family lawyers of the huge role they can play as peacemakers.”

Robert A. Horwitz, Ph.D.
Psychologist / Mediator, New Haven, CT, Former President, Connecticut Psychological Association and Connecticut Council for Divorce Mediation, Former Secretary, Academy of Professional Family Mediators

“The book describes family lawyers as dispute resolution managers. It discusses representing clients in court-ordered and online mediations, unbundling, using a collaborative lawyering approach, and setting up mediations, among other topics. Peacemaking is the heart of Woody’s philosophy, and the book includes a chapter on being a peacemaker. Take a look.”

John M. Lande
Isidor Loeb Professor Emeritus, University of Missouri School of Law, Publications // John Lande (
Originally published at and reprinted with permission.

“As a practicing divorce attorney in New York, primarily focusing on the Collaborative process, I am in awe of the information in this book. From the discussion of the fallout due to career dissatisfaction of litigation family law attorneys to the mediation and Collaborative alternatives, this book spans such a wide range of options on how we professionals can do better. And in doing better by the clients, who entrust us with their matters, we are doing better for ourselves and for the overall profession… This book takes a deep dive into these benefits and I strongly believe this should be a required read by all professionals in the family law arena.”

Elizabeth Vaz, Esq.
Collaborative Attorney, founder of The Long Island Collaborative Divorce Professionals, Inc. and CEO of



Forward by David A. Hoffman

About the Authors

Chapter 1: Expanding Your Practice by Representing Clients in Mediation
Chapter 2: Family Lawyer as Dispute Resolution Manager
Chapter 3: Mediation Confidentiality
Chapter 4: Representing Clients in Court-Ordered Mediation
Chapter 4.5: Representing Clients in Online Mediations
Chapter 5: Using a Limited Scope Approach (Unbundling) to Represent Clients Outside and Inside the Mediation Room
Chapter 6: Representing Clients in Mediation with a Collaborative Lawyering Approach
Chapter 7: Setting Up the Mediation
Chapter 8: Building an Agreement Your Client Can Live With
Chapter 9: Reaching Agreement
Chapter 10: Reviewing and Drafting Mediated Agreements
Chapter 11: Preventing Future Conflict
Chapter 12: Be a Peacemaker


Appendix A: Model Standards of Practice for Family and Divorce Mediation
Appendix B: Phrases for Active Listening and to Prevent Miscommunication
Appendix C: Divorce Mission Statement
Appendix D: Sample Agreement for Consulting Attorney Services
Appendix E: Sample Estimate of Consulting Lawyer Fees
Appendix F: Law and Mediation Office of Forrest S. Mosten
Appendix G: Limited Scope Agreement
Appendix H: Factors Affecting Appropriateness of Mediation, Collaborative Law, and Cooperative Law Procedures
Appendix I: Client Information about Collaborative Representation
Appendix J: Sample Letter to Client Discussing Risks of Going into Mediation / Mediation Disclosure Notification and Acknowledgment
Appendix K: Sample Mediator’s Contract
Appendix L: Agreement to Mediate: New York
Appendix M: Sample Divorce Mediation
Appendix N: Sample Client Handout: My Role as Your Consulting Lawyer in Mediation
Appendix O: Sample Agreement for Attorney Disqualification in Mediation
Appendix P: Sample Dispute Resolution Protocol and Mediation Clause
Appendix Q: Personal Legal Wellness Checkup and Protocol
Appendix R: Recommended Statutory Forms for Financial Disclosure (New York)
Appendix S: Required Statutory Forms for Financial Disclosure (California)
Appendix T: Court Endorsement of ADR (San Mateo County)
Appendix U: Letter from Presiding Judge of Family Law Division Endorsing Mediation (English and Spanish)
Appendix V:
Appendix W: Making Your Office a Classroom for Client Education
Appendix X: Books and Articles




Order Now

© Forrest S. Mosten

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