Michael Forte is a litigator who practices in the areas of retail and hospitality, government, and products liability. He also has significant experience litigating construction defect and casualty cases.
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, Pinellas and Palm Beach 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 30 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. He also has litigated appeals hearings resulting from internal affairs investigations. He has lectured and written extensively on these issues, and several of his articles have been published in Florida Police Chief magazine.
In his construction law practice, Michael represents contractors and subcontractors sued for commercial and residential construction products. He has defended against claims of alleged construction defects, as well as related mold claims allegedly resulting from water intrusion.
His product liability work includes the defense of automobile and aviation manufacturers, as well as the defense of automobile and boat manufacturers in breach of warranty matters. His written work appears in national and regional publications such as the National Law Journal, the Stetson Law Review and Trial Advocate Quarterly.