Theodore J. "Ted" Fogliani, Esq. joins JAMS following a 43-year career as a highly regarded and respected family law attorney/mediator. Mr. Fogliani incorporated mediation into his litigation practice in 1978 and has continued to develop his mediation/arbitration skills through ongoing coursework and specialized training. Mr. Fogliani also practiced in the areas of civil, business and real estate matters from 1974 to 1985 in addition to his family law cases, which provided him with a diversified background in his work as a family litigator/mediator. During his long career, Mr. Fogliani handled and resolved a broad spectrum of complex, difficult and unique family law matters along with many simple and routine cases. All of this extensive experience and training as a litigator/mediator will now be focused on providing mediation/arbitration/referee services for JAMS. Mr. Fogliani believes it is important to resolve disputes as expeditiously as is reasonably and prudently possible. He understands that change is inevitable and can often serve as a positive force in our lives. As a mediator/arbitrator, Mr. Fogliani believes the key to successful outcomes in family-centered disputes is to consider the family history and interpersonal dynamics in the dispute resolution process to allow the participants to craft their own framework for settlement. He believes his role is to listen carefully to each participant to gain an appreciation of why they have been unable to reach a resolution; to carefully read, review and digest the written records, reports, prepared statements, etc. with a view to understanding the content and source of this information. Further, to ask pertinent and probing questions to ascertain what truly is in play in the family or partners' relationships and develop, over a reasonable period of time, equitable and workable solutions to all issues presented to him.
As an Arbitrator/Referee, Mr. Fogliani brings over 40 years of trial experience to JAMS. Mr. Fogliani has participated in over 1500 hearings and trials in Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, San Bernardino, Riverside, and San Diego Counties. He has also participated in extensive substantive family law review courses and trial skills training during his entire career.
Q&A with Theodore J. "Ted" Fogliani, Esq.
Q: In which types of cases is mediation least effective?
-- John Hueston, Hueston Hennigan LLP
A: The process of resolving disputes outside of a courtroom frequently referred to as "mediation" is not for everyone! As a litigator and mediator of family law disputes for over forty years, I believe the single most important factor that prevents an effective mediation process to occur is the mental and emotional health of one or more of the participants.
Generally, when two individuals meet, spend significant time together, share their inner most thoughts and feelings and eventually fall in love, it is difficult to know the current status and history of their partner's physical, let alone mental health.
Fortunately, a person's physical appearance, daily habits and activities will give a future spouse or life partner indicators of the physical health of that person. Unfortunately, that same person's mental and emotional state may take months, sometimes years, to fully be disclosed or understood (if ever).
And so it is that an effective mediation with a highly skilled and experienced mediator will likely never be successful where there are serious and long term psychosis or social disorders which were in place during the relationship and which will continue long after the parties separate.
Q: How important is a trial date to a successful mediation?
-- Paul Kiesel, Kiesel Law LLP
A: The words "trial date" are somewhat illusory and misleading in today's current Family Court system. With the Court's crowded calendars and the increase in filings, the actual setting of a case for trail can be delayed. As a litigator and mediator for the past forty years, I believe in order to truly get parties to be realistic about settlement alternatives, the process of preparing for trial is critical.
In most, if not all of my 3,500 plus cases, the process of trial preparation begins at the first client meeting. It begins by sitting and listening to your client tell his or her life story and what has occurred that brought them to you. It involves becoming immersed (not enmeshed) in the family dynamics and the role each member of the family has played to bring about a separation between the parents and, in all likelihood, the disruption of the parent/child relationship(s).
The Court system is very attentive to the progress of each case on its docket(s). The purpose of preparing for trial, conducting discovery, preparing forensic reports (if needed) etc. is to educate both the parties and their attorneys on the characteristics and value of community and separate property claims, spousal and child support issues, parenting plans and a multitude of related issues.
Once both parties are on the same level playing field, the process of settlement and/or mediation can begin. Most experienced and enlightened lawyers will (or should) study, learn about and use mediation techniques in negotiating fair resolutions of their cases.
It is true that the setting of a Mandatory Settlement Conference ("MSC") or a Trial date will exert pressure on the parties and counsel to accelerate their efforts to complete discovery, assess the merits and flaws in their case and "meet and confer". The actual trial of a contested family law matter is generally the last and least effective alternative to a negotiated settlement.