W. Jesse Forbes

Jesse Forbes is an attorney representing victims of violent crimes and serious injuries. His cases have been featured in the national news including the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC News, MSNBC, Viceland, and others.

Jesse has represented victims of abuse against perpetrators in churches, schools, and other groups; the State of West Virginia in cases against the credit card industry; West Virginia’s largest local government entities during a chemical spill affecting the region’s water supply; and in claims against the opioid industry. In 2020, Jesse was part of the legal team that recovered a record $52 million dollars for child victims of the Miracle Meadows boarding school in Salem, WV. Before turning 30, Jesse obtained a jury verdict of $3 million dollars.

Jesse has also handled serious and complex criminal cases including first degree murder and other serious felonies. Among his successes, Jesse was a special assistant attorney general recovering more than $18 million dollars for West Virginia consumers. Jesse previously served as Mental Hygiene Commissioner for West Virginia’s largest County, and as Guardian Ad Litem for abused children in hundreds of cases. Jesse currently serves as a member of the West Virginia Supreme Court’s Juvenile Justice Commission focusing on the rights of children in state custody; the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Advisory Board; The Kanawha County Deputy Sheriffs Civil Service Commission; Kanawha County Community Corrections Board (Chair); and also on the WV State Bar’s character committee conducting character interviews of West Virginia attorney applicants.

Jesse has been selected for inclusion in the SuperLawyers list for West Virginia, recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as a top 100 trial lawyer, selected in 2015 as one of the top 40 individuals in the State of West Virginia under the age of 40 by the State Journal, selected as one of the top 10 personal injury attorneys in West Virginia by the National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys, and maintains an AV Preeminent Peer Rating from Martindale-Hubbell.

Jesse resides in Charleston, WV with his wife and two children.


  • West Virginia State Bar
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of West Virginia


  • B.S., West Virginia University, Morgantown, W.Va.
  • J.D., Wake Forest University School of Law, Winston Salem, N.C.


  • Charleston Municipal Planning Commission Commissioner
  • West Virginia Medical Cannabis Advisory Board
  • Kanawha County Mental Hygiene Commissioner
  • Kanawha County Deputy Sheriff’s Civil Service Commission Commissioner
  • Chair, West Virginia State Bar Elder Law Committee
  • West Virginia State Bar Criminal Law Committee
  • Kanawha County Community Corrections Board, Member
  • West Virginia State Bar, Member
  • American Association for Justice, Member
  • Criminal Law Section, American Association for Justice, Member
  • West Virginia Association for Justice, Board Member
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Member
  • Public Justice Foundation, Member
  • United States Supreme Court Historical Society
  • Top 40 Under 40, The National Trial Lawyers
  • Generation Next, Top 40 Under 40, West Virginia State Journal