Experience & Education

Professional Experience

After a distinguished career as a trial lawyer and Superior Court judge, since 2003 Mr. Stapleton has concentrated his practice in acting as an arbitrator and mediator. He is a fellow and past regent of the American College of Trial Lawyers, a fellow of the College of Commercial Arbitrators and an International Mediation Institute Certified Mediator.

Other Experience

* State of Connecticut Superior Court, judge, 1973-1978

* U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut, counsel, Grievance Committee, 1984-1988

* U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut, special master

* Superior Court, attorney trial referee

* City of Bridgeport, Corporation Counsel, 1971-1973

* U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut, chair, Merit Selection Committee for Bankruptcy Judge, 1993, and chief probation officer, 1988

* Sacred Heart University, adjunct associate professor, Department of Philosophy, 1976-1977

* Connecticut Bankers Association, legislative counsel, 1971-1973


* Georgetown University Law Center, LL.M.

* Boston College Law School, LL.B.

* Fairfield University, B.S.S., cum laude


* State of Connecticut

* U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

* U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut

* U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York

* U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York

* U.S. Supreme Court

Professional Affiliations

* Connecticut Bar Association, president, 1988-1989

* Federal Bar Council for the Second Circuit, trustee; vice president; vice chair, 1980-1992

* Federal Bar Council Foundation, chair, 1992-1995

* Federal Bar Council Foundation, director, 1996-2002

* American Bar Association, House of Delegates, 1987-1991

* New England Bar Association, director, 1989-1992

* Connecticut Bar Foundation, director, 1987-1991

* New England Bar Foundation, director, 1987-1991

* American Arbitration Association, Commercial and Employment Arbitrators Panel, Mediator Panel and Member, Advisory Committee for the AAA Large Case Management Program

* CPR International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution, judicial panel member

* ICC International Court of Arbitration, panelist

* The American Dispute Resolution Center, Inc., panelist

* Mediation Consultants, Inc., panelist

* International Mediation Institute, certified mediator

Outside Interests

* The Business Council of Fairfield County, Inc. (formerly SACIA), director, 1998-2005

* Statewide Legal Services, Inc., director and treasurer, 1996-2005

* State of Connecticut, chairman, Criminal Justice Commission, 1991-1995

* Fairfield University: trustee, 1976-1984; president, alumni association

* St. Vincent’s Medical Center Foundation, trustee, 1985-1994 and 2001-present and chair, 2010-present

* St. Vincent’s Special Needs Center, chair, 1987-1996

* City of Bridgeport, Corporation Counsel, 1971-1973

* City of Bridgeport, Board of Education, 1960-1969

Representative Matters

* The defense of numerous class-action securities cases against two Connecticut banking institutions, the senior officers and directors of a large international document processing company, a national public utilities company, and a major accounting firm, among others

* The successful dismissal of a lawsuit challenging a corporate acquisition in the cable television industry

* The defeat of a hostile takeover bid for a New York Stock Exchange company headquartered in Connecticut

* The defense of lawsuits against two different international banking institutions alleging bad-faith refusal to finance business ventures and/or commercial real estate

* Acting as an arbitrator, Mr. Stapleton’s recent awards include a dispute about the termination of a nursing home management contract; a $20 million dispute over reinsurance between two insurance carriers; a son’s claim to succeed to his father’s partnership interest in a financial services company; a claim to terminate an $8.5 billion worldwide outsourcing contract for telecommunications services with damage claims in excess of $25 million; a damage claim of $5 million for termination of a marketing contract by a national floor covering manufacturer; disputes arising out of the spin-off of a major subsidiary of a diversified international healthcare company; and claims over the amendment and termination of a contract for long distance telephone service to a wireless carrier. The first four matters were handled as a sole arbitrator and the last three as a neutral or chair in three-member panels.

News & Presentations

* Featured, “75 Day Pitney Partners Named Among The Best Lawyers in America® 2009 Ranked #1 in New Jersey and #2 in Connecticut,” Day Pitney Press Release, December 11, 2008

* Panelist and lecturer at various seminars on trial practice and alternative dispute resolution sponsored by the American Bar Association, Connecticut Bar Association, Connecticut Bar Foundation, Federal Bar Council and Connecticut Defense Lawyers Association

* Panelist on arbitration issues at the New York State Commercial Division Judges’ Judicial Institute at Pace University Law School, June 2008

* Panelist on the Advantages and Disadvantages of Arbitration vs. Court Litigation at the 2008 Spring Meeting at the American College of Trial Lawyers in Tucson, AZ and the 2008 Federal Bar Council Winter Bench/Bar Conference in Nevis, British West Indies

* Lecturer, Connecticut Trial Advocacy Institute, 1994-1996

Awards and Achievements

* The Federal Bar Council Whitney North Seymour Award for outstanding public service, 2004

* The Connecticut Bar Association’s John Eldred Shields Distinguished Professional Service Award, 2007

* College of Commercial Arbitrators, fellow

* International Mediation Institute, Certified Mediator

* American College of Trial Lawyers, fellow, former regent, 1996-2000, and Connecticut state chair

* American Board of Trial Advocates

* American and Connecticut Bar Foundations, fellow

* Chambers USA – America’s Leading Lawyers for Business

* Marquis Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in the World

* United States Attorney General’s Honor Law Graduate Recruitment Program, 1957

* Annual Survey of Massachusetts Law, board of editors, 1956-1957

* Chosen for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America, Alternative Dispute Resolution and Commercial Litigation, 2011 and for over 15 years

* Recognized as a Connecticut and New England Super Lawyer, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 (Alternative Dispute Resolution)

* Best Lawyers, Westchester Magazine (Alternative Dispute Resolution)

– Contact James F. Stapleton –

Mailing Address:

6 Winding Way

Trumbull, CT 06611

Office Phone: (203) 268-8507

E-mail: adr@jamesfstapleton.com