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Forrest Lee Wagner

Family Attorney at OLYMPIA, WA

4.6   20 reviews
  • Licensed for 37 years
    State WA
    Acquired 1986
    Active No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Forrest

Learn Forrest’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Family
    Forrest has presented at seminars on the subjects of child support and sexual abuse allegations in family law cases. He has written "The ABC's of Child Support" and "Defending Against Sexual Abuse Allegations." He recently completed a book entitled "Winning the Divorce Game in Washington" not yet published but which will be available online soon.

    37 years

  2. Divorce and separation

  3. Child custody

  4. Child support

  5. Domestic violence


Forrest Wagner grew up in Aberdeen, WA and got his undergraduate degree at Whitman College, where he graduated Cum Laude in 1983.  For his legal education, he went back east to historic Lexington Virginia where he attended Washington and Lee University, eventually becoming class president and Moot Court semi-finalist and team qualifier.


He has been practicing in Olympia for the past 32 years, emphasizing family law but also remaining active in the area of criminal defense. Forrest has presented at several CLE seminars and has written on family law subjects, including "The ABC's of Child Support" presented as part of a CLE seminar and "Defending Your Family Law Client Against Allegations of Sexual Abuse", presented as part of the 1995 Family Law Midyear.  He has finished a book, "Winning the Divorce Game in Washington", which is not yet published but which will be available soon online.


For several years Forrest also taught Family Law and Business Law at South Puget Sound Community College.


Forrest has been a mentor at the Thurston County Volunteer Legal Clinic for the last two years and occasionally presents CLE's at the Volunteer Legal Clinic. 


Client's Choice 2018
Client's Choice


Law Office of Forrest Wagner
1700 Cooper Point Rd. SW, Suite C4
OLYMPIA, WA, 98502


4.6 / 5.0
  20 customer reviews
Client's Choice 2018
Client's Choice
Client's Choice is an Avvo award granted to attorneys with a significant number of client reviews over 4 stars in a given year.
Posted by anonymous | April 25, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Honest, smart, thorough
Forrest has been an incredible asset during a seemingly unending and wholly unpleasant divorce and custody battle. His knowledge of the law and how the system works is unparalleled. He is trustworthy and hardworking and has gone above and beyond for my case over the years. I’m very grateful to have had him on my side.
Posted by Leif | April 23, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
you couldn’t be in better hands!
In a brutally messy and difficult divorce, you couldn’t hope for better council! His way with the written and spoken word can’t be matched. His ability to strategize and win the long game is what really sets him apart! I had to go in front of a judge numerous times...and his opponent never had a chance, and although no one can win every time...we did!! As nasty as my ex’s attorney was...I never would have made it out the other side, while still having custody of my kids without Forrest representing me! Thank you!!
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Posted by Frank | February 17, 2024
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Impeccable honesty and integrity
After my first attorney pushed me to file an ill advised motion that he lost, I was so lucky to find Mr Wagner through a friend’s referral. Mr Wagner was patient with my many detailed questions, was prompt to respond to my Emails, and advised me as to how to avoid prolonging the divorce process. He composed compelling letters to opposing counsel. He works alone with just one paralegal who is extremely knowledgeable and efficient. Mr. Wagner would often reply same day to my weekend inquiries and even converse with me via Zoom or WhatsApp while he was on vacation! I can’t say enough good things about him.
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Posted by anonymous | February 16, 2024
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Amazing attorney!
Forrest and his assistant are amazing! They were very patient for me even though my first language is not English, they listened to me well, answered a lot of my questions and explained everything very well. I couldn't done anything to go through divorce process without their help. I really appreciate both of them for taking care of my case and I highly recommend him if you are looking for a great attorney!
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Posted by anonymous | December 24, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Wonderful man and attorney!
Forrest and Dawn were a blessing. Forrest is honest, firm, and has children’s best interest at heart. He fights for what is right passionately. Fees are very reasonable. Always available to answer questions and concerns. We can’t say enough good things about Forrest. Thanks to him, our modification went through perfectly and our children are now safe under our roof. Thank you, Forrest!
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Posted by Kristina | October 17, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
A million thanks
I cannot thank Forrest and his team enough for their efforts and diligence in my case. Forrest doesn’t just take cases and go through the motions, he fights for what he believes to be right. He is passionate, knowledgeable, experienced, and provides the guidance one needs to get through one of the most stressful times a parent can go through. He is genuine and caring and truly cared for the well being of my child. It is also clear Forrest has a reputation that precedes him and he is well respected in the legal community. He is sharp, focused, and the ultimate professional. He is straightforward with exactly what is on the table. Yet there is such a human side to him that makes you feel reassured that he is fighting for all the right reasons. It’s not just a business for Forrest. He truly truly cares about the best interests of all parties and I am grateful for his services.
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Posted by Thad | September 27, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Best attorney EVER!!!!
Mr Wagner has represented me a few times He is the best of the best If you need real help Forrest is the guy you want sharp,doesn't back down ,expert at case law Home run hitter everytime
Posted by Chris | June 19, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Good honest lawyer
Well, after having to fire my first lawyer in my divorce case Forrest was a breath of fresh air. He was easy to talk with and he gets the job done. He also has a top notch assistant too and that also make the whole experience a little better. Divorces are a horrible thing to go through. It was very helpful to have Forrest on my side smoothing the waters as much as he could. My only complaint was the cost but I'm sure there is no such thing as a discount lawyer and as most things go, you get what you pay for.
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Posted by Meagan | May 15, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
If five stars are an excellent review, Forrest deserves ten
Forrest works harder than almost anyone else I’ve ever met. He always made me feel like my case was his highest priority, and showed me that just because the opposing counsel was busy mud-slinging and being downright nasty, he could persevere by acting with integrity - and he did! Don’t get me wrong, Forrest is a lion when you need him to be, but i was continually impressed by commitment to honesty, respect and professionalism. Forrest guided me through the most stressful and difficult two years of my life, and because of him every single thing that mattered to me went in our favor. I could not imagine putting such important matters in anyone else’s hands. I will forever be grateful to Forrest and his team (Dawn) for all they’ve done- and there’s no one else i would recommend higher.
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Posted by Stephen | May 11, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
A Smart, Thoughtful, VERY Patient Advocate
Forrest helped me navigate a divorce, which even though relatively amicable and uncontested, is a *huge* and lengthy bureaucratic process which could have gone sideways several times. He presented himself very forthrightly, asked very thoughtful and cogent questions, and made very sure I was both hearing and understanding his answers and the information I needed as we moved through the process, from hiring/retaining his practice, through initial response to the petition for dissolution, and all the way through finalizing negotiated agreements and asset divisions. He and his paralegal were as responsive as the situation allowed, and if I needed urgent information or to be talked down from a stressful point in the negotiations, they were extremely responsive. Let's face it, few of us are seasoned professionals when it comes to dissolving a long-term relationship as cleanly as possible. Forrest understands that, and he is more than able and willing to continue discussion until the client is satisfied and agreed to a next course of action. When you get down to it, that's really about all you can realistically hope for in such an unfamiliar situation. From an administrative point of view, I was very pleased with the accounting and consistency of how my retainer was charged and for what, and I feel that I absolutely got my money's worth throughout the process. Take the time, listen to him, and make your decisions. He supports you and will make sure you see things clearly, even when you don't necessarily want to participate. While I hope I won't need Forrest's services again, I highly recommend him and will retain his contact information should I need a lawyer in the Great NorthWet again.
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Posted by Chris | April 23, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent Attorney, excellent results
Forrest Wagner has represented me a handful of times for a family law case, after first being hired in 2009. I highly recommend him. He has always been nothing but professional and fair while handling my case. He comes across as down to earth and approachable, and is quite smart and savvy. Mr Wagner comes to court prepared and ready to fight for you interests. For me, his results are a testament to his skill as an Attorney. One of the Olympia areas best for family law representation.
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Posted by Jill | April 23, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Educated patience
From day one Forrest was helpful and kind. He has been my advocate in what was the longest two years of my life. He has a good reputation with the court and that really showed up every time we had to go. I am very thankful for all of his help and insight and for the results.
Posted by anonymous | March 15, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Cannot recommend enough
Wonderful to work with. Works very hard to represent my best interests.
Posted by anonymous | June 4, 2015
Forrest is wonderful! He is very nice to work with and extremely smart. He is attentive to detail and is an amazing orator. He represented me well in court. I highly recommend Forrest Wagner.
Posted by anonymous | February 26, 2014
Amazing memory - great attention to detail! Amazing oral argument!
Have been using Forrest for several years for ongoing custody issues. After things had settled down for a couple years, the ex had begun again, and I was in need of his services. I called his office, was able to speak with him and he remembered very detailed things from the prior issues and we picked up right where we left off. In court he gets up there and just starts going, you're just amazed to hear the things he presents to the court, his oral argument is outstanding every time! I saw someone write that when he starts presenting, all the other attorneys stop to listen, that is very true!
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Posted by James | January 13, 2011
Cleaned up my mess from bad prior atty, kept me on high road, didn't waste my time or money, THE BEST!!
As a man on the receiving end of an all-out attack divorce in Thurston County, Forrest got me out of a huge mess I never should have been in, and didn't waste my time and money in in the process. Before I started having Forrest represent me, it felt like family court was biased against me just for being male. I swear the family court motto must be, "Women never lie, and the man is always wrong". Forrest helped me stay involved with my kids, and deflected the constant attacks and attempted procedural tricks from my ex's attorney, without spending a lot of money in the process. As Forrest pointed out, why spend time and money responding to attacks that don't contain legal issues the court will consider and rule on? Forrest kept me focused on the big picture issues and corrected me when I got off track, and kept me on the high road. In six months, he cleaned up a mess for me that my prior attorney got me into. Forrest knows all the key players and how they will act and gave me amazingly on-target legal and personal advice and representation. As I learned more about the family court system, it made me appreciate Forrest's expert insight and guidance and how he helped me prevent problems and get issues resolved in the most favorable way possible. I still feel there is extensive bias against men and fathers in Family Court, and that this especially true in Thurston County. I do know he also does excellent work representing women also from speaking with his female clients. If you are a man in a divorce case on the receiving end of constant and emotionally-charged legal atttacks from your ex, Forrest is pretty much the best there is. Also, if your case is less contentious, Forrest will get that handled without wasting your time and money on unnecessary bickering and will help you get the best outcome for everyone.
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Posted by Lisa | June 21, 2010
Your search stops here. Forrest is the best!!
Forrest is professional, thorough and compassionate. He embodies ethics, credibility, and stewardship. Forrest advocated my best interests at all times. I never felt I was just one more in a stack of other files. He gives his full attention to your case, wastes no time, cuts no corners, and brings his education, experience, skills, and peer respect to the courtroom. When extraneous and egregious behaviors were consistent from the opposing party, Forrest stayed the course, stayed focused and transcended gutter tactics calmly with law and reason. I will be forever grateful to him and his support staff for exceeding my expectations. I have already, and will continue to recommend Forrest Wagner whenever possible as the attorney of choice to all prospective clients. I welcome any opportunity to personally speak to anyone who is searching a good divorce attorney concerning this matter and direct them to Forrest's office for my contact information.
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Posted by Ben | June 15, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Would recommend
Forrest and his team worked diligently to expedite my case. Forrest provided strong advice and used his broad and deep knowledge of local, state and national precedence to manage expeditions and enable negotiations. Billing was always fair and any issues were always quickly resolved.
Posted by anonymous | March 17, 2015
Would not recommend
Hired for a family law case. Had to correct simple errors repeatedly which resulted in frequent rewrites that I was charged for. Never answered questions directly but would supply lengthy, rambling and ultimately expensive responses. Thanks to multiple errors and poor advice on a parenting plan I have been in court trying to clarify and fix what was left undone. Due to an error on his secretary and his part (he said he reviewed the plan) a lengthy and expensive case was lost. Not worth the money.
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Posted by anonymous | December 1, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Mfer looks like the Colonel
He never responded to me in a timely manner. Truly awful. He wrote court documents on wide rule paper. He dresses like Reba McEntire dressed as the kfc colonel.
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  • Hourly Rates $ 350-350 per hour
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 8.3 (Excellent)

Work Experience

  • President and founder
  • Law Office of Forrest Wagner
  • 1995 - Present
  • Parttime Professor
  • Capitol Business College
  • 1993 - 1994
  • Professor
  • South Puget Sound Community College
  • 1989 - 2002
  • Associate Attorney
  • William B. Pope & Associates
  • 1988 - 1995
  • Associate Attorney
  • Barckley, Kopp, Lutes & Mitchell
  • 1987 - 1989
  • Associate Attorney
  • Morgan & Bartholomew
  • 1986 - 1987
View all work experience


  • Washington and Lee University
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1986
  • Whitman College
  • BA
  • 1983

Sample of Legal Cases

  • Marriage of Jennings
  • Supreme Court unanimous opinion in our favor.
  • State v. Ladson
  • Dismissal of charges and Supreme Court approval
  • State v. Greenland
  • Acquittal and State payment of attorney fees


  • Family Law Section, Washington State Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2001 - Present
  • Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Member
  • 1997 - 2003
  • Thurston County Volunteer Legal Clinic
  • Volunteer
  • 1995 - 1997
  • Washington Young Lawyers Division
  • 1988 - 1990
  • South Puget Sound Community College
  • Part-time professor family law and business law
  • 1988 - 2001
  • Toastmasters
  • Member
  • 1988 - 1991
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • Portuguese

Honors and Awards

  • AM-JUR Award for Evidence
  • Washington & Lee University
  • 1985
  • Moot Court Team Qualifier
  • Washington & Lee University
  • 1985
  • Cum Laude
  • Whitman College
  • 1983
  • Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society
  • Member of Phi Beta Kappa
  • 1982
View all awards


  • Trial News
  • Relocation in Family Law
  • 1996
  • Washington State Bar Association
  • Defending Against Sex Abuse Allegations in Family Law Cases
  • 1995
  • CLE sponsored by local bar association
  • The ABC's ov Child Support
  • 1993

Speaking Engagements

  • Family Law Midyear Seminar
  • Sexual Abuse Allegations in Family Law
  • 1995
  • Washington State Bar Association Speakers Bureau
  • Various Legal Subjects
  • 1990

Attorney endorsements

Received (3)
Given (8)
Endorse Forrest
Family Attorney | Jun 09
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I consider myself fortunate to have known Forrest for over 20 years. He is one of the most knowledgeable people I have ever known and his skills in the courtroom make him one of the finest attorneys against whom I have ever practiced. Knowing the law is only useful if one can apply it instantly to the facts and Forrest is exceptional in this regard. His honesty and integrity is beyond reproach. He is a zealous advocate and if I ever needed legal representation, I would hire him."
Family Attorney | Jan 15
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Forrest is one of my first referrals for a client who is looking for a zealous advocate. His skills at oral argument are unsurpassed in Thurston County, and his legal positions are always well researched and creative. When he is arguing a case in the courtroom, the other attorneys stop to listen."
Family Attorney | Nov 29
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"Forrest Wagner is well known in the South Puget Sound area as being among the very best practitioners of family law in the community. He has exceptional advocacy and analytical skills and is a first-call "Go-To" guy when I need a advice or feedback on a complex case. He is highly regarded by other lawyers and judicial officers. Always well-prepared and knowledgeable about the law, he would be an excellent choice for anyone seeking representation in a family law matter."