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.
•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
•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
•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
•Safeguarding against Litigation for Property Management Companies