Vincent Napoleon, former Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer for Fincantieri Marine Group, LLC, a former partner in the firm of Nixon Peabody, LLP, serving as chair of the Government Contracts group, retired U.S. Air Force Reserve Colonel and author of several publications including a book exploring Pan-African Infrastructure Development and Public-Private Partnerships, is a highly experienced arbitrator/mediator with expertise in high-stakes litigation. Vincent shares his insights below.
Expertise in High Stakes Litigation
My Passion For ADR
I have a passion for and am driven by the prospect of helping people and resolving and solving problems for others. Being able to take an issue, especially a complex issue, and driving it to the right result through a fair and equitable process provides me with a significant sense of achievement and fulfillment.
Expertise in The Context of ADR
Having expertise in certain areas can be beneficial in arbitration. It is certainly not the single most important factor for an arbitrator to effectively discharge his or her duties. In fact, having exposure to a broad spectrum of practice areas and industries creates a greater opportunity for arbitrators to draw on different experiences and allow arbitrators to more effectively and judiciously decide matters presented by claimants. In addition, an arbitrator’s effectiveness is driven by his or her ability to derive respect from the parties. Typically, this respect emanates from the arbitrator’s ability to be consistent, diplomatic, fair, prompt, and efficient in administering the matter before them.
How my “System” to Resolution Varies From my Counterparts
My approach to ADR is multifaceted. It starts with having a passion for ADR which includes being business-focused, fair, judicious, and being able to think outside of the box. In addition, my approach to the resolution of matters through ADR includes the following:
- understanding the subject matter of the dispute.
- understanding the claimant’s business/industry and how it works.
- obtaining a solid grasp of the applicable law.
- being a good listener and possessing the intellectual capacity to process information.
- acting with superior integrity.
- being able to make tough decisions.
- holding the parties accountable.
- possessing empathy and an appreciation for the parties, their issues, and their values.
I Believe Diversity Improves ADR as a Conflict-Resolution Tool
As outlined by the American Arbitration Association Section Alternative Dispute Resolution, diversity in the ADR process brings vigor to the deliberative process, allows for different perspectives to be heard, and potentially disrupts group think and impedes cognitive and implicit biases.
Other ways in which diversity leads to better results include:
- claimants having an opportunity to choose arbitrators who are similar to themselves and have had similar experiences.
- claimants are more likely to trust an arbitration panel that reflects their identity.
- parties are able to overcome a lack of equality or significant risk of bias against minority clients and practitioners due to the lack of oversight and regulation in the ADR process.
- parties have an increasing pool of arbitrators from which to choose, creating greater choice for claimants, encouraging better performance among ADR practitioners, and reducing the likelihood of repeat appointments that may disadvantage inexperienced claimants. In short, diversity serves to break the monotony and ensure a range of voices in the process.
A Proud Moment
As counsel for a claimant, I led an effort to preclude the respondent in an arbitration from engaging in a major breach of an agreement with the claimant. The agreement called for the respondent to engage in marketing activity which would lead to an award of a significant contract to the claimant. The breach, if it were to occur, would have resulted in an adverse impact on the claimant in the billions of dollars. By filing a demand for arbitration and a motion for a preliminary injunction, the claimant was able to stop the respondent’s breach and compel discovery which was beneficial to the claimant in its hearing on the merits. As an end result, the respondent was compelled into a negotiation with the claimant resulting in the award to the claimant of a multibillion-dollar contract. Great result for all involved!
Getting You a Better Outcome
With expertise in the areas of Aerospace and Defense, Commercial Transactions, Franchise, Government Contracts, Life Sciences, Litigation, Professional Services, Shipbuilding, and Marine Construction, I am prepared to offer you a better outcome to resolve your dispute. If you are in need of expert arbitration and mediation, do not hesitate to check my schedule for availability.