Rumberger Kirk & Caldwell Names Two New Partners: LaShawnda K. Jackson And Michael L. Forte


ORLANDO, FL – February 2, 2011 –Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell is pleased to announce the election of two new partners: LaShawnda K. Jackson in Orlando and Michael L. Forte in Tampa.

“We are very proud to promote these two young lawyers. Both LaShawnda and Mike have more than demonstrated that they possess the core qualities that we look for in our partners,” says Managing Partner, Frank Sheppard.

Jackson practices in the areas of casualty defense, product liability and insurance coverage.

She currently serves as a member of The Florida Bar’s Young Lawyers Division Board of Governors and is the current president of the Orange County Bar Association Young Lawyers Section, as well as a member of that organization’s Board of Governors. Jackson is also a past president of the Paul C. Perkins Bar Association and an active member of the National Bar Association. Jackson’s honors include being named a Rising Star by Florida Super Lawyers in 2009 and 2010 and as the 2006 recipient of The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Diversity Award.

“LaShawnda is a highly motivated individual,” adds Sheppard. “Outside of the firm, she shows a strong commitment, through leadership, to maintaining integrity within the legal profession, as well as serving her community through her involvement as Co-Chair of Head Start Guest Readers Program Committee and Co-Chair of Great Oaks Village Committee.” 

Jackson earned her law degree, with honors, from the University of Florida Levin College of Law and a bachelor of arts degree in Political Science, with honors, from the University of Florida.

Forte practices in the areas of casualty defense, products liability and toxic torts. In his casualty defense practice, Forte represents national retailers as well as local apartment complexes. His products liability practice includes work for automobile and aviation manufacturers, as well as manufacturers of smaller consumer goods. Forte’s toxic tort practice includes defending companies against mold and asbestos claims. He also represents title companies sued over failed real estate transactions.

“Mike has always been one of our hardest working associates,” says Sheppard. “He is great with clients and the quality of his work is second to none. He has proven to be a leader by taking on additional responsibilities in the Tampa office and I know as a partner, he will continue to lead by example and become part of the future leadership of this firm.”

Forte is a member of The Florida Bar’s Small Claims Rules Committee and Trial Lawyers Section as well as the Hillsborough County Bar Association’s Trial Lawyers Section and Professionalism and Ethics Committee.

Forte was also named as a Rising Star by Florida Super Lawyers in 2009 and 2010, and is admitted to practice in Florida and Ohio. His community involvement includes being an advocate for Voice4AllKids at All Children's Hospital.

Forte earned his law degree, cum laude, from Stetson University College of Law and a bachelors degree in English and Political Science, with high honors, from the University of Florida.


Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell provides litigation and counseling services in a wide range of civil practice areas including products liability, commercial litigation, intellectual property, environmental, employment, insurance, professional liability, health care and administrative law. Offices are located in Orlando, Tampa, Miami, Tallahassee and Birmingham, Alabama.

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