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February 08, 2023

New book showcases lawyer’s role in family law disputes

CHICAGO, Feb. 8, 2023 — A new book from the American Bar Association, “Effectively Representing Clients in Family Mediation,” showcases the critical importance of a lawyer’s role as a peacemaker in family law disputes.

Family lawyers are in a unique position to defuse conflicts and manage disputes through the use of collaborative strategies and tools, active communication and a positive healing approach. This book guides lawyers on selecting a mediator, preparing clients for mediation and coaching the clients through the negotiation to a settlement.

About the authors

Forrest “Woody” Mosten, who has been in private mediation practice since 1979, is an international master trainer in mediation and collaborative practice, and is recognized as “The Father of Unbundling.”

Mosten is certified as a specialist in family law by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization and handles family law matters involving substantial assets and high‑conflict parenting matters both as a lawyer representing clients and as a neutral mediator — and he never goes to court. Mosten is the co-founder of the Mosten Guthrie Online Training Academy for Mediation and Collaborative Practice and is the author of six other books, “Collaborative Divorce

Handbook” (2009), “Building a Successful Collaborative Practice” (2018 with Adam Cordover), “Complete Guide to Mediation, 2nd edition” (2015 with Elizabeth Potter Scully), “Unbundled Legal Services” (2017 with Elizabeth Potter Scully), “Mediation Career Guide,” (2001) and “Unbundling Legal Services” (2000), as well as numerous articles.

Elizabeth Potter Scully is a family law judge on the Los Angeles Superior Court. Prior to taking the bench in December 2020, she was a certified family law specialist in private practice and a founding partner of Jacobson Scully LLP, providing mediation, collaborative and minor’s counsel services, in addition to traditional litigation representation. As an attorney, she was also vice president of the board of directors of Levitt Quinn, a nonprofit law firm serving the working poor and a member of A Better Divorce, a collaborative practice group in Los Angeles. She has taught experiential courses in mediation and negotiation theory and practice at UCLA School of Law and has co-authored numerous books and articles on topics relating to consensual dispute resolution in the family law context. She received her bachelor’s degree magna cum laude from Harvard in 1993 and her law degree from the University of California Hastings College of the Law in 1996.

Lara Traum is a partner at Roytberg Traum Law and Mediation P.C. She practices matrimonial and family law in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, and practices as a family and matrimonial mediator throughout the United States and internationally, in English and in Russian. Traum serves on the board of directors of the New York State Council on Divorce Mediation and is an active member of Long Island Collaborative Divorce Professionals. Outside her practice, she lectures on matrimonial and conflict resolution matters, publishes academic works on mediation and family law and performs as a musician throughout New York City. Traum received her bachelor’s degree from New York University in music, literature and Judaic studies in 2010 and her law degree from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in 2016, where she graduated cum laude with a concentration in family and matrimonial law and a Jacob Burns Medal for Scholastic Achievement after serving as editor in chief of the Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution.

Title:                      Effectively Representing Clients in Family Mediation
Publisher:         ABA Book Publishing
Pages:                   420
Product Code:       5130257
ISBN:                      9781639052134
Size:                        7 x 10 inches
Binding:              Softcover
Price:                    $89.95

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, clinical psychologist and mediator, professor, William James College (ret.), associate clinical professor, Harvard Medical School (ret.), Newton, Mass.

“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 (itself growing rapidly) from Susan Guthrie is icing on the cake.”

— Colin Rule, CEO of

“Forrest S. Mosten, Hon. Elizabeth Potter Scully and Lara Traum come together to create a book 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 and president of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, Barrie, Ontario (Canada)

“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 of “Managing Conflict Mindfully: Don’t Believe Everything You Think” (2023), visiting professor, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, Chicago.

Editor’s noteReview copies are available by sending an email to Jeffrey Salyards at [email protected]. If you publish a review of this book, please send tear sheets or a copy for our files to Jeffrey Salyards, ABA Publishing, 321 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60654.

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.