Michael L. Forte

Michael L. Forte: Attorney with Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell Professional Association AV stamp icon
Attorney Awards

Biography

Michael Forte practices in the areas of casualty defense, retail and hospitality and product liability. He also has significant experience litigating construction defect, and Section 1983 matters.

Michael’s retail and hospitality clients include national retailers and property management companies. He and his team were recognized in 2012 as Sears Holdings Corporation’s Go-To Firm for Litigation in a survey conducted by American Lawyer and Corporate Counsel magazines. He has first-chaired trials in Hillsborough, Palm Beach, Pinellas and Polk Counties.

On many occasions, Michael has prevailed on summary judgment, obviating the need for a trial. One such case was Hall v. Sunjoy Industries Group, Inc., 764 F. Supp. 2d 1297 (M.D. Fla. 2011), which involved injuries from an allegedly defective product displayed within a retail store. The Hall opinion has been cited by more than 130 other courts and mentioned in more than 20 secondary sources.

Michael has defended law enforcement officers in both federal and state courts in cases involving 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 allegations and state law claims. In Henry v. Livingston, 2014 WL 5823229 (M.D. Fla. 2014), Michael defended two police officers in an issue of first impression within the Eleventh Circuit, which is whether the estoppel doctrine in Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994) applies to minor plaintiffs. The court agreed with Michael that the Heck doctrine applies to minors, and went on to dismiss the false arrest claims against the officers on that basis.

Honors

•Named a 40 under 40 Up & Comer by the Tampa Bay Business Journal, 2014
•Florida Defense Lawyers Association Trial Advocate Quarterly Award, 2014
•AV-Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
•Florida Super Lawyers Rising Star, Personal Injury Defense-General, 2009-2017

Articles & Presentations

•Author, Combating Permanency Without a Defense Medical Expert, Trial Advocate Quarterly, Vol. 37, No. 1, Winter 2018
•Co-Presenter, Defense Strategies Giving You the Most Bang for Your Buck, Claims Education Conference, May 2018, New Orleans
•Author, Removal: An Important Defense Tool in U.S. Lawsuits against Canadians, Ontario Insurance Adjusters Association, Without Prejudice, September 2017
•Co-Author, Punitive Damages: When Are They Available in Premises Liability Lawsuits?, Trial Advocate Quarterly, Vol. 33. No.1, Winter 2014
•Presenter, Public Records and Sunshine Law, Tampa Bay Area Chiefs of Police Association, September 2014
•Co-Author, “Rodriguez v. Miami-Dade County: The Florida Supreme Court Clarifies Certiorari Review in Sovereign Immunity Cases, Florida Bar Journal, Vol. 88, No. 1, January 2014
•Author, “Admissibility of High-low Agreements in Multi-defendant Litigation,” Florida Bar Journal, Vol. 87, No. 1, November 2013

Jurisdictions

•Florida
•Ohio

NEWS

•Rob Blank and Mike Forte Win Appeal Before Second DCA of Florida
•Attorneys Rob Blank and Mike Forte Win Defense Verdict in St. Petersburg
•Mike Forte and Jacey Kaps Featured on the Ontario Insurance Adjusters Association (OIAA) WP Radio Monthly Podcast
•Mike Forte & Suzanne Singer Talk Defense Strategies at Claims Education Conference
•Florida Super Lawyers Names Nine Rumberger Kirk & Caldwell Attorneys to 2017 List
•Rob Blank and Mike Forte Win at Trial in Polk County, Florida
•Florida Super Lawyers Names Ten Rumberger Kirk & Caldwell Attorneys to 2016 List
•Rumberger’s Mike Forte and Carie Hall Published in the Trial Advocate Quarterly
•Rumberger’s Mike Forte Named to Tampa Business Journal’s 2014 Up and Comers
•Florida Super Lawyers Names 11 RKC Attorneys to 2014 List; Ten Named Rising Stars
•Must Medical Treaters Be Paid for Their Testimony?
•Florida Super Lawyers Names 11 Rumberger Kirk & Caldwell Attorneys and 10 Rising Stars
•Twelve RKC Attorneys Named Florida Super Lawyers: Seven Named as Rising Stars
•Thirteen Rumberger Kirk & Caldwell Attorneys Named Florida Super Lawyers: Seven Named as Rising Stars
•Rob Blank and Mike Forte Convince Jury to Find No Permanent Injury
•Rumberger Kirk & Caldwell Names Two New Partners: LaShawnda K. Jackson And Michael L. Forte
•Twelve Rumberger Kirk & Caldwell Attorneys Named Florida Super Lawyers: Seven Named as Rising Stars
•Rumberger Kirk & Caldwell Attorney Mike Forte Wins Appeal for Kmart
•Fifteen Rumberger Attorneys Named Florida Super Lawyers: Seven Named as Rising Stars

ARTICLES

•Combating Permanency Without a Defense Medical Expert
•Removal: An Important Defense Tool in U.S. Lawsuits against Canadians
•Surveillance of the Incident: What Time Is the Right Time for Production?
•How The Misuse Of DAVID Can Bankrupt An Officer’s Career
•When and How Should a Lawyer Withdraw as Counsel
•Sliding Glass Doors: Defending against Claims of Excessive Pull Forces
•DUI Crashes: Officer Liability
• Are Sales People Responsible for Their Customers’ Injuries?
• Corporate Clients in Explaining Excusable Neglect
•The Expanding Safety Responsibilities of Crane Operators, Constructor Magazine
• Exception to Rule Allows Employees to Sue in Tort, National Law Journal, vol. 25 no. 48
•Safeguarding Against Litigation for Property Management Companies

Beyond My Bio

•Getting to Know Mike Forte

ShopTalk

•Safeguarding against Litigation for Property Management Companies

Areas of Practice (10)

  • Casualty Litigation
  • Product Liability
  • Construction
  • Governmental and Administrative
  • Class Actions
  • Trucking Litigation
  • Retail & Hospitality
  • Government
  • Healthcare
  • Transportation

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
813.472.7521  Phone
813.221.4752  Fax
www.rumberger.com
University Attended:
University of Florida, B.A., English and Political Science, with high honors, 1999
Law School Attended:
Stetson University, College of Law, J.D., cum laude, Notes and Comments Editor, Stetson Law Review, Intern to the Honorable Magistrate Jenkins, Middle District of Florida, Stetson University Teaching Fellow, Stetson University Research Assistant, Elizabeth M. LeemanAward for best student article published in the Stetson Law Review, 2001-2002, First place in Stetson Law Review Write-On Competition for "Zadvydas v. Underwood: How to Ignore Substantive Due Process Rights in Two Easy Steps," 2001, 2002
Year of First Admission:
2002
Admission:
U.S. District Courts of Florida (Middle); 2008, Ohio; U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit; 2002, Florida
Memberships:

Professional & Civic Activities

•Risk Insurance Management Society, Executive Board Member
•Florida Defense Lawyers Association, Trial Advocate Quarterly Chair of Editorial Board
•The Florida Bar
Florida Bar Journal, Past Editorial Board Member
•Thirteenth Circuit Unlicensed Practice of Law Committee A, Past Chairperson
•Small Claims Rules Committee, Past Member
•Trial Lawyers Section
•Hillsborough County Bar Association
•Young Lawers Division Professionalism and Ethics Committee, Past Member
•Trial Lawyers Section

Birth Information:
Smithtown, New York, April 27, 1977
Reported Cases:
Notable Cases: Dorman v. Mid-State Plumbing, Inc. and Gregory Taylor; Jennifer Anderson v. Amy Schroth and Patricia Weimer; Dorman v. Mid-State Plumbing, Inc.; Thorne v. Temples; Messing v. Mazda Motor of America, Inc.; Ciporkin v. Irwin Contracting, Inc. v. Mark 1 Contracting, Inc.; Austin v. Sears Home Improvement Products, Inc.
ISLN:
917047785

Peer Reviews

5.0/5.0 (14 reviews)
High ethical standing icon
A Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rating reflects a combination of achieving a Very High General Ethical Standards rating and a Legal Ability numerical rating.
  • Legal Knowledge

    4.9/5.0
  • Analytical Capability

    5.0/5.0
  • Judgment

    5.0/5.0
  • Communication

    4.9/5.0
  • Legal Experience

    4.9/5.0
  • 4.8/5.0 Rated by a Associate on 09/30/13 in Personal Injury Defense

    Mike Forte is one of the most hard-working and proactive attorneys I know. If I was sued, I would trust him to represent me.

    Mike Forte is one of the most hard-working and proactive attorneys I know. If I was sued, I would trust him to represent me. Read less

    Read less
  • 5.0/5.0 Rated by a Staff Lawyer on 09/30/13 in Civil Litigation

    Mr. Forte was a pleasure to deal with in any circumstance. For example, he was always professional even when we were representing co-defendants whose interests were not aligned. He is an asset to the legal profession. I wish more attorneys behaved li... Read more

    Read more

    Mr. Forte was a pleasure to deal with in any circumstance. For example, he was always professional even when we were representing co-defendants whose interests were not aligned. He is an asset to the legal profession. I wish more attorneys behaved like him. Read less

    Read less

*Peer Reviews provided before April 15, 2008 are not displayed.

Documents (4)

Documents by this lawyer on Martindale.com

Tampa, Florida

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