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Neil M.E. Forester

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Family Law Attorney in El Dorado Hills, CA

Forester Family Law PC
5170 Golden Foothill Pkwy
El Dorado Hills, CA 95762
Phone: 916-234-6060
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2017 - 2021
Selected to Rising Stars: 2013 - 2014
Licensed in California Since: 2004
Practice Areas: Family Law
  • Virtual Appointments
Attorney Profile

Working as arbitrator, mediator, private judge, consulting attorney, and litigation strategist, NEIL FORESTER blends creative ADR methods with discrete advisory counseling to help clients resolve a divorce, parenting dispute, or other family law conflict — outside the courtroom confines whenever possible.

Over 17+ years, Neil's work has covered marriage dissolution, business valuations, property division, child custody orders, child support calculations, and spousal support awards. He also helps individuals with prenups, adoptions, cohabitation agreements, LGBTQ+ legalities, and pet parenting contracts. A portion of his time is donated to DV survivors with a focus on safety planning.

Neil is a Certified Arbitrator and Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML). He is also a Certified Family Law Specialist (CFLS) through the State Bar of California’s Board of Legal Specialization.

Because Neil spent much of his legal career negotiating and litigating complex divorce and custody disputes, he can offer expertise and real-world perspective informed by the realities of family court. His practice now emphasizes alternative dispute resolution options, including mediation, arbitration, and private judging.

In addition to his Super Lawyers recognition, Neil has been named on the Sacramento Business Journal’s “Best of the Bar” list and Sacramento Magazine’s “Top Lawyers” list. In 2014, Neil was presented with a Hero of Human Services Award by the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors, recognizing his role as a chief architect of WEAVE Legal, the redesigned program which ensures DV victims have access to free and discounted legal assistance. Neil's decade+ of service to WEAVE was further highlighted by the Placer County Bar Association's Annual Pro Bono Award, received in 2019.

Beyond his law practice, Neil is actively involved in his community. He is the Legal Committee Chair, a Director, and Past President (2019) for WEAVE, Sacramento County's safe house and nonprofit agency supporting victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Neil is also on the Executive Board for NorCal Boxer Rescue.

About Neil M.E. Forester

First Admitted: 2004, California

Professional Webpage:

Educational Background

  • University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, J.D., with Distinction, Anthony M. Kennedy Fellow (member of the first Fellowship class, and recipient of full tuition scholarship for all three years of law school), Chief Articles Editor, McGeorge Law Review, (2001 – 2004)
  • California State University, Sacramento, B.A., in English, Graduated Summa Cum Laude, 1999 – 2001

Scholarly Lectures/Writings

  • Asset Protection through Marital Agreements (Presenter – 2011 State Family Law Conference, San Francisco), Presenter , Asset Protection through Marital Agreements, Continuing Education of the Bar (“CEB”), Continuing Education Of The Bar (“CEB”), 2011
  • California Child Custody and Practice (contributing author), Contributing Author, California Child Custody and Practice, Continuing Education of the Bar (“CEB”), Continuing Education Of The Bar (“CEB”), 2010
  • Family Law: Financial Discovery (contributing author), Contributing Author, Family Law: Financial Discovery, Continuing Education of the Bar (“CEB”), Continuing Education Of The Bar (“CEB”), 2010
  • Financial Discovery in Family Law Cases (Presenter – 2009 continuing education seminar, Sacramento Convention Center), Presenter , Financial Discovery in Family Law Cases, Continuing Education of the Bar (“CEB”), Continuing Education Of The Bar (“CEB”), 2009
  • Ethical Issues for Family Law Attorneys and Property and Financial Issues in Marital Dissolutions (Presenter – December 2012 “Family Law from A to Z,” Sacramento), Presenter, Ethical Issues for Family Law Attorneys and Property and Financial Issues in Marital Dissolutions , National Business Institute (“NBI”), National Business Institute (“NBI”), 2012
  • The Elephant in the Locker Room: Does the NFL Discriminate in the Hiring of Head Coaches (34 McGeorge L. Rev. 877), Author, The Elephant in the Locker Room: Does the NFL Discriminate in the Hiring of Head Coaches, McGeorge Law Review, McGeorge Law Review, 2008
  • Establishing, Modifying, and Enforcing contributing author,  California Child and Spousal Support
  • November 3, 2017 - CLE presentations covering the preparation of a domestic violence case, from both petitioner and respondent viewpoints. Additionally, speakers will conduct a mock DV trial for attendees. The program is designed for lawyers, judges, evaluators, CCRCs, mediators and other mental health professionals., Moderator and Presenter, Domestic Violence Trial Advocacy Workshop, Sacramento County Bar Association, 2017
  • March 8, 2016 Seminar, Sacramento, California Description: Filing a Request for Order is often the first action taken in a family law case and the first contact you will have with the judicial officer who will preside over your case for the duration. RFO outcomes are typically decided at brief short-cause hearings, but will affect the entire course of your case. Learn directly from a family court judge what the judicial officer is looking for from an RFO both in the file and at the hearing. Seasoned practitioners will share tips and demonstrate their techniques for making the most out of the “20 minute” hearing. Whether you are new to family law or an experienced practitioner, our program will provide you with practical advice on how to get the best possible results on the short-cause calendar., Speaker, Effective RFO Practice—Motions for Family Law Attorneys, 2016

Special Licenses/Certifications

  • Certified Arbitrator, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), 2020
  • Fellow, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), 2019
  • Mr. Forester has been recognized by the California State Bar’s Board of Legal Specialization as a Certified Family Law Specialist – a designation highlighting Neil’s dedication to the practice of family law, and his expertise in that field. He has more than a decade of experience representing clients in family law matters ranging through all aspects of domestic relations cases. (2012 - present), 2019


  • Recognized by attorney peers - 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, Top Lawyers List, Family Law, Sacramento Magazine, 2020
  • On January 17, 2019, during the Annual Installation Dinner, Neil was recognized by the PCBA for his pro bono service., Pro Bono Award, Placer County Bar Association, 2019
  • Recognized by attorney peers - 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, Best of the Bar, Family Law, Sacramento Business Journal, 2018
  • Mr. Forester was publically recognized by the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors as a "Hero of Human Services" at the televised Human Services Recognition Ceremony. The recognition is based on his committment of service to WEAVE., Hero of Human Services, Sacramento County Board of Supervisors, 2014

Bar/Professional Activity

  • Fellow, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers; Member, AAML Northern California Chapter (2019-Present), 2020
  • Member, Association of Certified Family Law Specialists (2012 to present), 2020
  • Recipient, Pro Bono Award, Placer County Bar Association, 2019
  • Member, Family Law Section, California State Bar
  • Member, Placer County Bar Association
  • Member, Sacramento County Bar Association

Pro bono/Community Service

  • Board of Directors, WEAVE: current Legal Committee Chair, Past President (2019) Board President (2017-2018), former Board Secretary, former Board Vice President, Board Member (as of 2011), started on Facilities Committee (2006) WEAVE works to build a community that does not tolerate sexual assault, domestic violence and sex trafficking and provides survivors with the support they need to be safe and thrive., 2021
  • President, Board of Directors, NorCal Boxer Rescue, 2015 – Present, 2021
  • Chair of Legal Committee assisting in the development of WEAVE’s legal services department, WEAVE, 2006 – Present
  • Served on Facilities Committee during construction of new WEAVE Safe House, WEAVE, 2006 – Present
  • Coach of the Speech & Debate Team, Mira Loma High School, 2007 – 2011
  • Represented several WEAVE clients on pro bono basis in Domestic Violence Restraining Order cases, WEAVE, 2006 – Present
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Office Location for Neil M.E. Forester

5170 Golden Foothill Pkwy
El Dorado Hills, CA 95762

Last Updated: 3/15/2021

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