Michael Forrester has practiced with the firm since 1984. Since becoming a partner in 1990, he has enjoyed a varied and challenging state and federal court civil law practice. His primary emphasis has been on employment-related litigation, particularly workers’ compensation and civil actions brought under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). He is certified by the Tennessee Supreme Court Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee as a Rule 31 Listed General Civil Mediator.

Mr. Forrester has been fortunate to represent and work with some of the most respected and dynamic employers in Northeast Tennessee on a wide variety of issues, including employer representation in court and administrative trials and hearings, workplace training and investigations, discipline and termination matters, benefits and leave issues, accommodation and disability disputes, and drafting and enforcement of company policies and procedures.


AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell

Access to Justice Award for Extraordinary Service, recipient (2013-2022)

Legal Aid of East Tennessee, Volunteer Attorney

Legal Aid Hall of Fame, 2019

University of Tennessee Knoxville Alumni Board of Directors, inaugural member (2009-2013)

Selected to Best Lawyers, 2020-2022


American Bar Foundation, Fellow 

Tennessee Bar Foundation, Fellow since 2016

Tennessee Bar Association, Member since 1984

Kingsport Bar Association, former President

Tennessee Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission, 2018-2020

Coordinator, Kingsport Bar Association Free Legal Clinic, 2013 to present


J.D., University of Tennessee College of Law, 1984

B.A., high honors, Political Science, University of Tennessee, 1981

A.A., magna cum laude, Martin College (now University of Tennessee Southern), 1979


Tennessee, 1984

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee, 1986

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, 1992

Supreme Court of the United States, 2006

Michael L. Forrester