With the major shift of both mediation practice and mediation training online over the past six months, Jim Melamed, Board Chair of, has announced the establishment of a blue-ribbon Online Mediation Training Task Force, to be headed by Forrest R. (Woody) Mosten, to make recommendations on best practices and possibilities for both generally training mediators online and training mediators to perform online mediation. This Online Mediation Training Task Force will work with leading mediation organizations, professional mediators, academics and researchers in formulating findings and recommendations to highlight best practices for the field. is convening the Online Mediation Training Task Force and is providing technical support, information distribution and publicity.

Forrest (Woody) Mosten ( has agreed to serve as Task Force Chair.  In addition to his own long-standing mediation practice and trainings, Woody has previously served as Chair of the Academy of Family Mediators (AFM) Consultation Institute and as Convener for the 1999 Symposium on Training Mediators for the 21st Century (as well as as Editor of the related Family Court Review Special Issue - January 2000).  The International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP) has also recently embarked on a joint venture with Woody to provide ongoing training to Collaborative Professional trainers in 2021.

The following people have agreed to serve on the Task Force Executive Committee:

An Online Mediation Training Advisory Board has also now been created:


Executive Committee - serves as the workhorse of the effort and is comprised of a small group of people who, ideally: get along; are response to the chair and each other; communicate regularly with one another; work in the spirit of collaboration; and, in so doing, laugh, have fun and get good work done!! EC members will be responsible for convening and chairing at least one, possibly two subcommittees (see below).

Advisory Board - will be a 30 person group of individuals who have experience as trainers and a diversity of experience in life, practice, geography, and wisdom. These people will serve as advisors to the project and will be active members of subcommittees.

Subcommittees - will focus on discrete areas and topics, do research and discussion (which may be one and the same) about those topics, and then draft reports about their findings and recommendations.  These reports will be sent to you (the chair) and Jim M (the godfather? What's his title in this?!!) for compilation into a final report/document

Draft List of Issues for Consideration

Among the issues that the Task Force may consider are:

  • Training new online technical capacities
  • New facilitative issues of the online environment
  • Assuring diversity and inclusion in our online future
  • Online role play exercises
  • Sufficiency of recorded trainings
  • Synergy between online and in-person trainings
  • Use of recorded trainee video for feedback
  • Online mediation ethics
  • Online co-mediation
  • Use of interdisciplinary consultants and evaluators
  • Online case consultation
  • Online practice building and career mentoring
  • Online innovation and staying current
  • Online mediation research
  • Training for online trainers
  • Other issues as determined by the Task Force

Download ABAMediationComm.pdf