Attorney Jonathon M. Forbes is an associate on our asbestos team, focusing his practice on helping individuals and families affected by mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.
In his role at SWMW Law, Jonathon will primarily work with the men and women of organized labor, nurturing relationships with them, educating them about asbestos exposures, and securing them the justice they deserve.
Jonathon knew as a child that he wanted to be an attorney, but it wasn’t until he was well into adulthood that he was able to make that dream a reality.
“My path to becoming an attorney isn’t a traditional one, but it’s one that makes me well-suited to serve our clients,” he said. “I always knew I wanted to stand up for the ‘little guy’ and make a difference for the working men and women who were treated unfairly. After being a minister for 24 years, it was time to serve them in a new capacity.”
Jonathon’s time as a minister made him incredibly empathetic to the struggles of others. Bringing that heart to his career as an attorney, Jonathon is deeply invested in his clients from the beginning.
“My clients will get my personal cell-phone number to use morning, noon or night,” he said. “I will always stand up for them, keeping them informed on every aspect of their case. I will fight for them like I would fight for my own family – because they deserve it. These companies that have harmed them deserve to be brought to justice for the lives they’ve shortened.”
For Jonathon, his empathy isn’t just all talk – he really does know what his clients are going through. In 2016, he was diagnosed with cancer shortly after graduating law school.
“It’s a battle I wouldn’t wish on anyone,” he said. “But it does give me a unique insight into what my clients and their families are going through.”
Jonathon has successfully written three laws in the State of Illinois to help protect children from drug dealers, assist rape victims, and offer financial procurement laws for burn victims. His tenacity extends from the courtroom to the community, where he is a fierce advocate in giving a voice to the voiceless. He is the founder and chairman of the Guidance of Hope Scholarship Committee, which provides scholarships for underprivileged children. He’s also helped to raise more than $10,000 for the Siteman Cancer Center, works on a pro-bono basis with the NAACP, and works with The Dream Center – a ministry that helps prisoners reacclimate to society and find them the resources to thrive. In 2007, he was awarded the Friend of Labor Award from the Madison County Federation of Labor.
Jonathon received his B.S. (magna cum laude) from Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville with a major in Political Science and a minor in History. He received his J.D. from the St. Louis University School of Law.