Forrest (Woody) Mosten has been involved in training law students in the field of client interviewing and counseling for over 50 years.
After graduating law school at UCLA in 1972, Woody immediately began teaching client counseling at the University of Southern California and UCLA. In 1977, Woody was appointed Assistant Professor of Law and Director of Clinical Education at Mercer University School of Law in Macon Georgia. In 1978, he served as host professor of the Southeastern Regional Competition.
In 1976, Professor Louis M. Brown invited Woody to serve on the ABA Client Counseling Committee and Woody succeeded Professor Brown as Chair of this Committee in 1983. In 1989, Woody was named Chair of the Louis M. Brown International Client Counseling Competition. The Competition was affiliated with the International Bar Association. The Competition was later renamed the Louis M. Brown and Forrest S. Mosten International Client Consultation Competition to recognize and honour their contributions.
Woody has continued to serve as Chair until the present day, supporting the operational efforts of Steven Austermiller, President and Selene Mize, Vice President. Each year, Woody serves as Chair of the Judging Panel for the Competition Finals. Woody’s wife, Dr. Jody Mosten, served as Secretary, Treasurer and Administrator of the Competition for 30 years. She recently passed on these tasks to Brett Stohs. An expert counselor, Jody also has often served as a judge at the ICCC.
When Woody began serving as Chair of ICCC, there were three charter countries: United Kingdom/Wales, Canada, and the United States. Today there are over 25 countries from throughout the world. Woody has attended inaugural competitions in India, Australia and Northern Ireland, and has played a major role in the expansion of the competition.
In addition to his involvement and devotion to the ICCC, Woody
has spent his entire career as a tireless peacemaker working for increased legal access and dispute resolution for the underserved and diverse members of our society.
Woody is a professional mediator helping families, businesses, and organizations resolve disputes. He has mediated conflicts involving schools, community boards. churches and synagogues, and non-profit organizations.
He is the co-founder of Mosten Guthrie Mediation Academy for online Mediation Training which offers courses throughout the world.
Woody serves clients throughout the world exclusively through Zoom. Prior to converting to an online practice, he had offices in San Diego and Los Angeles and was named an Honorary Member of the Orange County Collaborative Practice Group. Woody and his wife, Dr. Jody Mosten, live in La Jolla.
Woody is in constant demand worldwide as a conference keynote speaker and expert witness on mediation. He is on the faculty at the UCLA School of Law (Mediation and Lawyer as Peacemaker) and he previously taught at Cal Western School of Law (Innovative Law Practice), University of San Diego School of Law (Legal Ethics), University of Southern California (Client Counseling), Pepperdine Law School (Mediation) and Hamline Law School (Mediation) and other educational institutions.
In 1972, with his partners Len Jacoby and Steve Meyers, Woody opened the first private legal clinic in the United States. It is still in operation 49 years later following a California Supreme Court ruling permitting an expansion of consumer information by lawyers.
Woody was Director of Clinical Education at Mercer Law School in Macon, Georgia where he traveled the Southern US recruiting black law students as Faculty Sponsor for Black Law Students Association.
Early in his career, Woody was a lawyer for the Oglala Sioux Nation following the Wounded Knee Occupation. He also served as a lawyer working with the United Farm workers and has trained Asian-America mediators to better serve their community and as ACLU Counsel in cases involving civil rights.
Woody served as Director of Consumer Protection as the Assistant Regional Director of the Federal Trade Commission. In this position, he led an investigation against real estate brokers who harassed consumer-oriented brokers who tried to help consumers. This experience led 13 years later to Woody inventing Limited Scope Legal Services for which he is recognized as the “Father of Unbundled Legal Services”.
Woody is a founding member of the Southern California Mediation Association and was named by SCMA as Peacemaker of the Year and has twice served as keynote speaker at the SCMA Annual Conference. Woody is the recipient of the 2017 SCMA President’s Award. In 2020, SCMA presented Woody with its Inaugural Forrest S. Mosten Star Award for Innovation and Achievement in Mediation.
Woody has chaired many committees and projects in the Conflict Resolution Field. In 2008, the Association of Conflict Resolution appointed Woody to Chair its Task Force to establish a National Peacemaker Museum. He currently serves as a conflict resolution consultant and facilitator for the Burnham Center for Community Advancement in San Diego
In 2019, Woody received a Life Career Achievement Award from the
Academy of Professional Family Mediators. In 2020, APFM established the Forrest (Woody) Mosten Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion Training Scholarship.
Woody was awarded the Lifetime Career Award by the New York State Mediation Association and has been recipient of the ABA Lawyer as Problem Solver Award, ABA Lifetime Legal Access Award, and the Los Angeles County Bar Louis M. Brown Conflict Prevention Award.
Woody has served as consultant and trainer for the Hopi Dispute Resolution Council and has conducted Basic and Advanced Mediation trainings on the Hopi Tribal Grounds. In addition, he was named to neutral and impartial mediator for major political and public policy tribal disputes
Woody is the author of eight books) and numerous articles on mediation and other dispute resolution topics. In 2022, Woody was named as honoree of Who's Who in ADR. He has served as Editor of four special issues for the Family Court Review. In 2020, he was named Chair of the Mediate.com Task Force on Online Mediation Training, and is the co-author of the Task Force’s Final Report.
A selected list of Woody's publications can be found here.