Forest has been a civil trial lawyer representing people for more than thirty years. He has been with Martin & Jones for more than 25 years. He spent the first six years of his career as a partner with a large defense law firm mainly defending large corporations in civil lawsuits. Seeing the inequalities that existed in the justice system between wealthy and powerful companies and regular people, Forest was motivated to change his law practice, join Martin & Jones, and help level the playing field for ordinary, hard-working men and women, and their families.
With the experience Forest gained from defending lawsuits, he now represents people who have been severely injured or families of those killed due to the negligence of others. Forest has tried lawsuits for his clients to successful jury verdicts in numerous states, including North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Texas. He has also successfully represented clients in lawsuits filed in other states including New Jersey, Tennessee, Ohio, Alabama, Minnesota, Florida, Utah and Illinois. Forest has argued appellate cases in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and the North Carolina Court of Appeals.
Forest has obtained verdicts or negotiated settlements for his clients from corporations in the manufacturing, pharmaceutical, medical, railroad, and trucking industries. He continues to represent clients in a wide variety of cases, including asbestos disease, defective drug, professional negligence, and the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA).
Forest was lead counsel in a case in which he won what was reported to be the single largest FELA asbestos disease verdict in the country on behalf of a CSX railroad worker who contracted the asbestos related lung cancer, mesothelioma. Forest has also obtained other verdicts or negotiated settlements for his railroad worker clients against various railroads in numerous states.
Forest has been chosen by his peers as a Best Lawyer in America for more than a decade and has the further honor of being named Lawyer of the Year in 2020 for Product Liability Litigation. Forest also received the distinction of Lawyer of the Year in 2018 and 2012. He has also been chosen by his peers annually for inclusion in North Carolina Super Lawyers since 2010. Forest has achieved the highest attorney rating, AV, by Martindale-Hubbell, an independent legal services company whose peer-review attorney ratings service is an objective indicator that an attorney has the highest ethical standards and professional ability. What these accolades and ratings do not show is Forest’s commitment to and compassion for his clients.
Forest has held leadership positions in the NC Advocates for Justice, and the NC Bar Association and has been a speaker at seminars sponsored by these and other legal organizations. He is a Senior Fellow of The Trial Lawyer Honorary Society of the Litigation Counsel of America. He was also recently inducted into the American Board of Trial Advocates.
Education Campbell University School of Law, Raleigh, NC, JD University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, BA
Bar Admissions North Carolina U.S. District Court Eastern District of North Carolina U.S. District Court Middle District of North Carolina U.S. District Court Western District of North Carolina U.S. Court of Appeals 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit
Classes Seminars Speaker, Practical Skills Course on Personal Injury Law, North Carolina Bar Association Speaker, Business Torts, North Carolina Advocates for Justice Speaker, Premises Liability, National Business Institute
Honors Awards Lawyer of the Year 2020, 2018 and 2012 Best Lawyer in America, 2008 to Present North Carolina Super Lawyers, 2010 to Present AV, by Martindale-Hubbell since 1998 Senior Fellow of The Trial Lawyer Honorary Society of the Litigation Counsel of America American Board of Trial Advocates
Professional Associations Memberships American Association for Justice North Carolina Advocates for Justice, Auto-Torts Co-Chair American Bar Association North Carolina Bar Association, Alternative Billing Commission Wake County Bar Association, Communications Committee NC Advocates for Justice Trial Lawyers Honorary Society of the Litigation Counsel of America, Fellow American Board of Trial Advocates
Past Employment Manning, Fulton & Skinner, PA, Partner Manning, Fulton & Skinner, PA, Associate Attorney General’s Office for the State of North Carolina, Department of Labor, Clerk