Meet Forrest Merithew

Forrest Merithew is the founder and principal of Conatus Counsel. He is an avid outdoors-person with great interest in his Clients and their passion and social impact endeavors.  He has a competitive background as a litigator and business attorney, and believes in a myriad of potential solutions and strategies.  Forrest has lived and practiced around the country (holding California, Colorado, and North Carolina bar licenses) and applies that diversity of experiences and knowledge to Conatus Counsel.  Forrest focuses on working with brands, businesses and entrepreneurs that have a passion for what they do.  He applies his multitude of experiences for greater efficiency, cost savings, and results.

Through his work with Conatus Counsel (previously Merithew Law), Forrest has represented a range of businesses as general and retained counsel, from startups to established national and international companies, including, but not limited to, recreation, sport, gear, and lifestyle, food and beverage, manufacturing and product, clothing and apparel, breweries and restaurants, startups and tech endeavors, and other services and product companies and brands. Forrest appreciates helping others make their goals and dreams come to fruition while protecting them and their families through upfront legal counseling, risk management, and market strategies.

For his undergraduate studies, Forrest attended Tulane University in New Orleans, where he received a dual degree in Political Science and Environmental Studies while playing for Tulane’s Men’s Club Soccer team and earning Dean’s List Scholar accreditation. Forrest then moved out West and attended the University of San Diego School of Law (USD), where he graduated with scholastic and pro bono honors in 2009. Throughout law school, Forrest regularly held internships and firm clerkships, performed work study research and analysis for professors and policy institutes, and earned practical legal experience through a number of different opportunities.

Following his graduation from law school, and over the course of his subsequent four years in San Diego, Forrest worked for two medium sized firms, specializing in business law and complex commercial and civil litigation in a range of practice areas.  Through Forrest’s firm practice he was heavily involved in minor and multi-million dollar matters involving business disputes, collections, construction and real estate matters, personal injury, product liability, premises liability, and insurance coverage and defense.  Because of the medium size and nature of the firms Forrest previously worked with he had ample hands-on experience handling matters from inception through trial.  He applies his prior experience, and skills gained, to his current practice and clients, along with creative problem solving and an appreciation for social impact goals and planning.

Forrest started his own practice in 2013 as “Merithew Law” and has since provided value and valuable services, strategies and implementation to a wide range of clients and industries.  He is fortunate to work with people who share a passion for business and commercial endeavors and excited to operate under the brand “Conatus Counsel” as it speaks more to the holistic services provided by his practice.

In his free time, Forrest enjoys travel and the outdoors any way he can, including: mountain biking, snowboarding, running, climbing, surfing, soccer, beach volleyball, tennis, SUP, swimming, camping, hiking, and spending time with his young family.  He believes in a sustainable balance of responsible outdoor use for all recreational and development activities in the hopes of providing future generations with the same opportunities.

Phone: (828) 230-2822

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  • Professional Memberships
  • Colorado Bar License # 50632
  • North Carolina Bar License # 42517
  • California Bar License # 265556
  • University of San Diego School of Law – J.D. 2009
  • Vis Moot International Arbitration Competition – Participant and Subsequent Coach
  • High Pass Trial Advocacy Course
  • National Conflict Resolution Center – Mediation Clinic, Certificate, and Small Claims Court Internship
  • USD Journal on Climate and Energy Law – Founding Member and Articles Editor
  • CALI Award – International Environmental Law
  • USD Environmental Legal Clinic
  • National Conflict Resolution Center – Mediation Clinic, Certificate, and Small Claims Court Internship
  • Graduation Honors for Pro Bono work with Pisgah Legal and Wild South
  • UNC Chapel Hill School of Law – Study Abroad in Sydney, Australia
  • Tulane University – B.A. 2004
  • Dean’s List Scholar

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