Hickory, North Carolina
Forrest was born in Greensboro, North Carolina. He attended public schools and graduated from High Point University and the Law School at the University of North Carolina.
Forrest practiced law in Hickory until elected as a Superior Court Judge. He served as a Superior Court Judge for twenty-four years and presided over hundreds of complicated civil and criminal trials. He was appointed to several state commissions by Chief Justices of the North Carolina Supreme Court. He has served as President of the Conference of Superior Court Judges; Vice President of the North Carolina Bar Association, and on several committees of the North Carolina Bar Association.