Professor Forell joined the UO law faculty in 1978 right after law school, where she served on the staff of Iowa Law Review. She is currently semi-retired, participating in the UO’s tenure reduction program and teaching one semester a year.
Forell's research focuses on legal issues affecting women. She co-authored, with Donna Matthews, the book: "A Law of Her Own: The Reasonable Woman as a Measure of Man" (NYU Press, 2000) (paperback 2001). "A Law of Her Own" received national attention, including positive reviews from Gloria Steinem, Anna Quindlen, and Susan Estrich. It was cited in the stalking case of Bryant v. Walker, 190 Or App 253, 257 n.1 (2003). On appeal of this case to the Oregon Supreme Court, Forell presented oral argument on the issue of incorporating gender into the standard of care for assessing a stalking victim's alarm.
Forell has written extensively about the legal and ethical standards appropriate for intimate relationships involving various professionals and those they are responsible for, including attorney-client, faculty-student and doctor-patient. Her articles about attorney-client sex have spurred law reform and revision of codes of ethical conduct.
Tort issues have also been the basis for much of Forell's scholarship. A particular expertise involves how statutes affect common law claims and standards of care. Her article, "The Tort of Betrayal of Trust" (coauthored with Anna Sortun) proposes that state legislatures create a tort claim for betrayals of trust by professionals. It was published in 2009 in the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform and can be downloaded at http://ssrn.com/abstract=1112073. Forell's more recent article, "McTorts: The Social and Legal Impact of McDonald's Role in Tort Suits" can be downloaded at http://ssrn.com/abstract=1112073.
Forell has developed an expertise in Animal Law and teaches this course in alternating years. Her 2009 essay “Using A Jury of Her Peers to Teach About the Connection Between Domestic Violence and Animal Abuse,” http://www.ssrn.com/abstract=1131528 examines how Glaspell’s story and play are as relevant to Animal Law as they are to Criminal Law and Women & the Law.
Recently Forell’s scholarship has focused on domestic homicide and the problems with the provocation defense. She has examined and critiqued how the United States, Canada and Australia have struggled with reforms. Her 2006 article, “Gender Equality, Social Values and Provocation Law in Australia, Canada and the United States,” http://ssrn.com/abstract=883725, was well-received in all three countries. She revisited domestic homicide and provocation in her 2017 article “Domestic Homicide: The Continuing Search for Justice” http://ssrn.com/abstract=2820329.
Forell holds dual American/Australian citizenship. She grew up on Australia's Gold Coast and has written an article and screenplay about how the law treated women such as her great-great-grandmother Ellen Murphy who, at age 12, was transported for 14 years from London to Hobart, Tasmania for stealing four books and a bolt of jeans material. The article can be downloaded at http://ssrn.com/abstract=2080526.
Horse-riding, biking, travel, and her family (husband, Dick; children, Ian and Emily; and grandchildren, Julia and Joachim) are Forell's nonacademic passions. She was a founding member of Lane County Domestic Violence Council and is past President of the Boards of Directors for Sexual Assault Support Services (SASS) and Breaking Free. She is currently on the Board of Directors for the Eugene Masonic Cemetery Association (EMCA).