Forrest (Woody) Mosten has been on the cutting edge of the law since the 1970s. He has been a pioneer in the fields of unbundled legal services, mediation, and collaborative practice, and he has also authored the following books on these topics (you can order them here):
- The Complete Guide to Mediation: The Cutting-Edge Approach to Family Law Practice (2d Edition, ABA, 2015) (with Elizabeth Scully)
- Collaborative Divorce Handbook: Effectively Helping Divorcing Families Without Going to Court (Jossey-Bass, 2009)
- The Mediation Career Guide (Jossey-Bass, 2001)
- Unbundling Legal Services (ABA, 2000)
In 2011, Woody keynoted at the Association of Conflict Resolution. You can find the video from part of the speech below:
In the speech, Woody discusses his hero, Senator George Mitchell, who helped mediate a peace in Northern Ireland. Woody shared two lessons he learned from Senator Mitchell: (i) Persistence may be the mediator’s key personal attribute; and (ii) Always listen to anyone who wants to speak.
Woody Mosten on Mediation and Peacemaking
Woody also discussed the difference between mediation and peacemaking, and how peacemaking can be incorporated into mediation. He asked the audience to consider the following three questions to help determine whether they are peacemakers:
- Do we create a sense of peace and mindfulness within our own lives and in our work by harnessing our core values and best personal attributes?
- Are we devoted to the improvement and healing of parties’ individual lives, the repair of their relationships, and the prevention of future conflicts?
- Have we made a commitment to use our skills to impact people and institutions with whom we work in our wider professional communities and beyond?
I am proud to call Woody a friend and a mentor. I hope to take his ideas of peacemaking into into my work with families. And, of course, I am honored to have Woody as a co-editor and co-author of an upcoming American Bar Association book on Building A Successful Collaborative Law Practice. In the book, we hope to show attorneys, forensic experts, and others that they do not need to tear families apart via the traditional litigation process to make a living. Our thesis is that we can help families peacefully, privately, respectfully, and cost-effectively transition to new lives.
Adam B. Cordover is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Law Mediator and a leading collaborative attorney. Adam also trains attorneys, mental health professionals, and financial professionals how to become collaborative professionals.