Vince Fornias is a bilingual Cuban-American, who participated in almost 4,000 mediations spanning six states and scores of arbitrations and insurance umpire proceedings. For almost 30 years, he was engaged in an active litigation practice (over 100 trials) as a partner in a major Baton Rouge law firm where he specialized in the areas of casualty, products liability, governmental liability, and insurance law. He was one of five Louisiana neutrals chosen on a bipartisan basis to serve on the appeal panel of “In Re Deepwater Horizon,” the largest environmental liability settlement in U.S. history. In that role, he personally authored over 1,000 arbitration decisions.
Mr. Fornias has literally “written the book” on mediating, authoring “Now You Sue Them Now You Don’t: The Magic of Mediating,” and "Advocacy in Mediations: Don't Look Down, Look Around," published internationally by Full Court Press. He offers his mediation expertise as a consultant to individual parties before and during mediations in preparation, strategizing, and settlement evaluation.
He has also written in numerous legal publications, including authoring a chapter in “Louisiana Civil Trial Procedure.” He has lectured extensively in the fields of litigation, mediation, arbitration, negotiation, ethics and professionalism in numerous Continuing Legal Education programs and law school settings, including the LSBA, LSU Law Center, Tulane University Law Center, Southern University Law Center, Baton Rouge Bar Association, and National Business Institute, Inc. He has been an award-winning humor writer in both the Baton Rouge Bar Journal and the Louisiana Bar Journal.
He was elected to the inaugural LSU Law Center Alumni Board of Directors, and now serves on the Louisiana Civil Law Institute's Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee. He was on the Louisiana State Bar Association House of Delegates, 19th Judicial District (1992-2007); LSBA Lawyer Dispute Resolution Program (1999-2007); and chaired a hearing committee of the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board (2000-2005). Mr. Fornias was selected to both Super Lawyers® and The Best Lawyers in America®, as chosen by his peers, in the field of Alternative Dispute Resolution. He achieved the highest rating (“AV”) by Martindale-Hubbell legal directory, as evaluated by his peers; received the LSBA’s Stephen T. Victory Award, 1996; Baton Rouge Bar Association President’s Award, 1998 and 2006; and LSU Law Center Hall of Fame.