“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
For 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.
I also want to take this opportunity to thank you for investing in me back in 2005. In 2005, you met me in an advanced mediation training you offered at LACBA. On the second day, you asked me to be an aide for a mediation course you were offering at your home. I later had the privilege to serve as an aide in a course you offered at UCLA School of Law. We would walk from your home to the campus together each day before class, as I would pick your brain and you would share your wisdom. I fondly remember those days. Thank you for encouraging me, for helping me develop my giftedness in this area and for guiding me. (I find myself with tears in my eyes as I write this.)
Since that time, I've been mediating employment disputes for various federal agencies and teaching mediation for various LA area organizations. Fifteen years later, I absolutely LOVE what I do, am continually amazed by the power of mediation, and try to instill my passion for the transformative work of mediation to my students.
It all started from you, believing in me, seeing the spark in my eyes, mentoring and encouraging me. I speak of you fondly in each and every class I teach (now spanning over 2000 students) … sharing how you are one of LA's mediation gurus and premier mediation providers … and of course always pointing them to Mediation Career Guide. :) Thank you for all you do for our mediation community.
Talin Bahadarian, Mediator
Santa Clarita, CA
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.
“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
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
“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.”
Mediator, Los Angeles
“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
“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.”
Davis Mediation, El Segundo, California
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.
Reflective Case Consultation and Study Group with Woody and Michael
In the spirit of other great duos such as Calvin and Hobbes, Ben and Jerry, Kirk and Spock—Michael Lang and Woody Mosten are starting a new supervision/case consultation group for mediators. These monthly online sessions will begin September 2, 2020 and the first Wednesday of each month from 5PM-6:30PM EDT (2-3:30 PM PDT).
Tentative Schedule of Mosten-Lang Consultation Group September 2020- August 2021
Sep 2 — Woody and Michael, Joint Facilitators
Oct 7 — Woody, Sole Facilitator
Nov 4 — Michael, Sole Facilitator
Dec 2 — Woody, Sole Facilitator
Jan 6 — Michael, Sole Facilitator
Feb 3 — Woody and Michael, Joint Facilitators
Mar 3 — Woody, Sole Facilitator
Apr 7 — Michael, Sole Facilitator
May 5 — Woody and Michael, Joint Facilitators
Jun 2 — Michael, Sole Facilitator
Jul 7 — Woody, Sole Facilitator
Aug 4 — Woody and Michael, Joint Facilitators
How does it work?
The group will meet monthly via Zoom for a 90-minute conversation. Participants will bring mediation practice problems—those that arose because of a success or frustration or it could be something you are currently grappling with. Dealing with intense emotions and complex issues will be the focus of discussion Michael and Woody will clarify the problem and discover new approaches for dealing with the situation.
Woody and Michael will also share their years of experience, offering advice and recommendations for solving seemingly intractable practice situations.
The goal is for you to become a more adept, resourceful and effective mediator. Even the most basic issues can lead to insight for new and experienced mediators alike.
What can I learn?
The following are some questions asked that we will ask seeking to improve the quality and effectiveness of your skills and craft round their mediator table:
- What is it about the parties, issues, or other challenges of this case that motivates me to share it with the group?
- How do I know that I am doing the best I can?
- What interventions were truly helpful, and which were off the mark?
- How do I learn from difficult and frustrating experiences and how can I duplicate my successes?
- What will I do different the next time similar issues or parties challenge me?
There will be no more than 12 people selected for this group. Our group will go forward regardless of the number of participants.
The fee to participate will be $75/month—minimum 3 months ($225). At the end of the 90-day period, if the group is full, a new member will replace you. However, you may secure your place in the group, by signing up for 12 months ($900); you will then have option to participate for the full year—and first right to be in the group starting in September 2021.
Michael D. Lang:
- The Making of a Mediator: Developing Artistry in Practice (with Allison Taylor, 2000)
- The Guide to Reflective Practice in Conflict Resolution (2019)
Forrest S. Mosten:
For more information, contact Michael (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Woody (email@example.com)
Online Study Group with Woody Mosten
Woody conducts online study groups for mediators and collaborative professionals throughout the world.
Groups are formed in different ways. Some are geographical, others develop from a professional organization, and others are individuals who band together just to meet regularly with me. The group can be interdisciplinary or just from one profession.
Groups can meet regularly (monthly or bi-monthly) or ad hoc. Group members can sign on for a series of groups or just for one session.
Some groups meet for one hour, others for 2, and his LA group meets for 3 hours on a bi-monthly basis. His Rising Star Peacemaker Group (under 35) meets for 1.5 hours.
Woody meets with the group each session—sometimes he brings in a guest co-facilitator.
The group sometimes meets on its own for planning and networking.
Woody’s fee is $500 per hour, allocated pro rata among group members. If there are 10 group members, fee is $50 per member per hour. If there are 5 group members, fee is $100 per member per hour. If IWoody brings in a co-facilitator, her or his fee is paid by Woody at no extra cost to group members. I t is recommended that groups not be more than 12 members.
Each group has an organizer who works with Woody to set topics, dates, and collects payment from group members. Generally, the group organizer’s fees are waived by the other group members.
There are 3 distinct areas that study groups can explore:
Some groups focus on one area; others integrate two or three areas.
Based on preferences of the group, Woody selects the readings (5-20 pages) or prepare materials from a topic chosen by the group. The readings could be from books, journal articles, research, reports, or blogs. Materials could be checklists, power points, or brief written handouts Woody creates or copies of the work of others.
Case Consultation and Feedback
Group members take turns in presenting challenging cases per a protocol that stimulates group discussion that is safe and productive for the presenter.
The group as a whole serves as business practice consultants for other group members who present current practice development issues.
Forrest (Woody) Mosten
Based on his experience as a law professor and trainer, Woody has been facilitating professional study groups for over 25 years. When Academy of Family Mediators (AFM) was in existence, Woody was Chair of the AFM Consultant’s Training Institute. This means that he designed curricula and conducted trainings of Advanced Practitioner Members so that they could consult with other AFM members to improve their skills. He has done similar group work for the Academy of Professional Family Mediators and other mediation and collaborative organizations worldwide.
An author of six books and numerous articles, Woody is a Master Trainer who is passionate about helping peacemakers gain high level of skills in their client work and develop strategies to successfully build their practices.
Woody has received the ABA Lawyer as Problem Solver Award and ABA Lifetime Award for Legal Access. He has received the LA County Bar Association Conflict Prevention Award and was honored with lifetime achievement awards by the Academy of Professional Family Mediators and New York State Council of Mediators. The Southern California Mediation Association named as Peacemaker of the Year, its President’s Award, and in 2020 established the SCMA Forrest (Woody) Mosten Star Award for Excellence and Innovation in Family Mediation.
(available only to APFM members)
This is an opportunity for APFM members to have extended face time with Woody Mosten, one of the most recognized family mediators and trainers in our field.
How will it work?
This group will be limited to 12 participants who will meet on Zoom for 4 one-hour sessions. As a bonus, each member of the group will have the opportunity for a half hour individual consultation with Woody at no extra charge. Just so you know: Woody provides this same service for mediators and collaborative professionals worldwide at his reduced colleague training rate of $400 per hour.
Each session will have materials sent out by Woody in advance. The session will be divided as follows: 30 minutes of discussion regarding the selected topic and 30 minutes of case consultation with group members.
Woody has been teaching a similar group in Los Angeles for the past 10 years. When Academy of Family Mediators (AFM) was in existence, Woody was Chair of the Consultant’s Training Institute. This means that he designed curricula and conducted trainings of Advanced Practitioner Members so that they could consult with other AFM members!
An author of five books and numerous articles, Woody is known as a Master Trainer who is passionate about helping peacemakers gain high level skills and strategies to successfully build their practices. Some rave reviews of his trainings can be found here. They include reviews by APFM Presidents Virginia Colin and Stacey Langenbahn.
CME and CLE credits
Woody is a CLE provider for lawyers, social workers and marriage therapists who practice in California. Members of those groups can get one hour of credit for each session. APFM members elsewhere who want credit will need to apply for reciprocal approval from the relevant organizations in their own states or provinces.
When: The first session will be on Wednesday, May 9. The other three sessions will be on Fridays, namely June 8, July 13, and Sept. 14, 2018. Each session will take place from 11 AM to noon Pacific (2 PM – 3 PM Eastern). There will be no meeting in August.
Where: Online, via Zoom conference.
Cost: The fee for participating in this study group and case consultation group with Woody Mosten is $400. This includes materials for each session. The bonus 30-minute private consultation with Woody for each participant is free.
A maximum of 12 people may participate. The program will occur only if at least 7 people register for it.
How to Register
You must be logged in as an APFM member to register for this group. Login help is available here.
To be sure that you receive confirmation of registration, add these addresses to your safe senders list: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
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
- 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
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?
Real Estate Appraisers:
g. Children, Extended Family Members:
How does my retainer contract inform and educate clients as to:
Rules of my practice?
How does my contract protect me:
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:
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:
What role do I play in:
Session summary letters?
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
- What are my goals, timeline, and budget for areas in which I need training?
- 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?
- What format should my training be in: Conference workshops, additional basic courses, advanced courses, study group, individual or group supervision?
- On what areas of my financial practice development do I wish to concentrate?
- On which skills do I wish to focus on in training?
- What role will I play in training?
- What role will the supervisor play in training?
- What type of supervisory style do you believe would be most effective in my training?
- What will I do to overcome these obstacles?
- What do I want the supervisor to do in helping me overcome obstacles?
- What issues or techniques do you wish to focus on in your training?
Adapted from Forrest S. Mosten, Mediation Career Guide (2001, Jossey-Bass)