Forrest H. Roles


Forrest is a partner in the firm’s Labor and Employment Department. For more than 40 years, Forrest has represented employers in labor and employment matters both in West Virginia and in twenty-eight other states. While he is experienced in employment law, he particularly enjoys helping employers deal with unions, including avoiding union disputes, settling those which can be settled and prevailing in those where settlement cannot be achieved.

In that long practice, he has litigated many significant cases, including Carbon Fuel Co. v. UMWA, 444 U.S. 212 (1979), which decided the standard by which an international union is responsible for conduct of its subordinate locals; UMWA (Bronzite Mining Co.), 280 NLRB 587 (1986), in which it was decided if unions picketing for work performed by union-free employees can be a jurisdictional dispute; Rum Creek Coal Sales v. Caperton, 971 F.2d 1148 (4th Cir. 1992), which dealt with holding state police policies of tolerating union strike violence unconstitutional; and Muffley v. Spartan Mining Co., 570 F.3d 434 (4th Cir. 2009), which established a new standard for granting 10(j) injunctions.

Forrest has been active in damage actions by employers against unions because of illegally called or conducted strikes. He has tried two cases to million dollar verdicts. He has also been active representing employers in seeking injunctive and National Labor Relations Board relief from union misconduct.

In recent years, Forrest has concentrated his practice in helping clients deal with labor organizations. In doing so, he looks for the fastest, most efficient solution to the problem at hand using the lessons taught by his experience dealing with labor organizations and the authorities adjudicating labor disputes. His goal is that the resolution takes into account the long-term interests of the client and leaves the client able to manage a prosperous future.


  • West Virginia University College of Law  (LL.B., 1967)
  • Davidson College  (B.A., 1964)

Bar Admissions

  • West Virginia

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • Third Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit


  • West Virginia Bar Association. First Chair of Labor Division
  • Member, Board of Directors, Kanawha County Public Defender Corp: Concord Univ. Foundation


  • Named the Best Lawyers'® 2014 Charleston-WV Mining Law "Lawyer of the Year"
  • Named the Best Lawyers'® 2012 Charleston-WV Labor Law-Management "Lawyer of the Year"
  • Peer Review Rated AV in Martindale-Hubbell
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© for Labor and Employment, Mining and Natural Resources Law since 1989
  • Listed in Chambers USA®: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, Labor & Employment 
  • Selected for the West Virginia Super Lawyers® List
  • Selected to ALM’s “Top Rated Lawyers in Labor and Employment” Edition