Laura A. Forbes

Phone: 949-450-4470

Ms. Forbes has been practicing litigation in Orange County since 1990 and recently joined Hodel Wilks.

For nearly 20 years she was a member of the litigation department in the Orange County office of Paul Hastings LLP. In 2010, she moved to a boutique litigation practice, where she became accomplished at providing large-firm quality legal services with a focus on efficiency and client-specific needs.

Throughout her 24 years of experience, Ms. Forbes has represented a wide array of clients, from Fortune 50 companies to small businesses and individuals. Her areas of specialty include consumer class actions, unfair business practices, trade secrets, trademark and copyright infringement, post-trial and appellate work, attorneys’ fees recovery/defense, commercial real estate litigation, franchise and partnership disputes, as well as breach of contract claims, fraud and business torts.

Professional Highlights

  • She filed a petition for writ of mandate with the California Court of Appeal involving a novel and cutting-edge issue of whether an out-of-state resident may be subjected to suit in California for defamation arising from a Facebook post. When the appellate court denied the petition, the matter was presented to the California Supreme Court, which granted review then vacated the Court of Appeal’s denial and ordered the appellate court to reconsider the issue.
  • She represented a Fortune 50 company in litigation over the sale of a business, which included preparation of a successful summary judgment motion that eliminated nine claims and reduced the client’s exposure from over $100 million to under $6 million.
  • She successfully moved to tax costs, resulting in a $1 million savings to the client.
  • She obtained a writ of mandamus to overturn a Superior Court ruling and reinstate a decision of New Motor Vehicle Board permitting the client to terminate a dealership. Thereafter, in appellate proceedings, she filed successful briefs that enabled the client to recover the vast majority of its attorney’s fees.
  • She has successfully defeated class certification on numerous occasions, as well as negotiated certification of structured classes for settlement-only purposes.
  • She has written scores of successful briefs, including summary judgment motions, motions to dismiss, writ petitions, appellate briefs, and various other motions at all procedural stages.


Ms. Forbes received her B.A. degree in Motion Picture/Television from UCLA, where she graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa.

She received her J.D. degree from USC Law School, where she received the American Jurisprudence award for her performance in Agency and was a Topic Editor for the Hale Moot Court Honors Program. During law school, she participated in the national Entertainment Law Moot Court Competition at Cardozo School of Law in New York City, where she received the Best Brief award and was a member of the Best Team.

Following law school, Ms. Forbes was an associate and attorney with Paul Hastings LLP (1990-2010) and of counsel with Stephens Friedland LLP (2010-2014). Her five children are all professional actors who have appeared in television commercials, short films, print ads and on stage, including numerous productions at South Coast Repertory Theatre.