Dirk H. Beckwith: Lawyer with Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith, P.C.

Dirk H. Beckwith

Farmington Hills,  MI  U.S.A.

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AV® Preeminent

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Practice Areas

  • Commercial Litigation
  • Transportation Law
  • Public-Private Partnerships
  • Construction Law
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
University University of Michigan, B.A., 1980
Law SchoolWayne State University Law School, J.D., 1983
Admitted1983, Michigan; U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan; U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan; U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals; U.S. Supreme Court

Memberships & Affiliations

Legal Affiliations:

•American Bar Association
•State Bar of Michigan
•Michigan State Bar Foundation, fellow
•Oakland County Bar Association
•Oakland County Bar Foundation, fellow
•Transportation Lawyers Association, Past President
•Association of Transportation Law Professionals

Industry & Professional Associations:

•Trucking Insurance Defense Association
•Transportation Loss Prevention and Security Association
•Conference of Freight Counsel
•Defense Research Institute


Dirk Beckwith practices in the areas of commercial litigation, transportation and logistics, construction, and insurance defense. He represents clients in state and federal courts across Michigan and has successfully argued appeals in both Michigan and U.S. Appellate Courts. He also serves as a mediator, case evaluator in Michigan Circuit and District Courts, and is an arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association.

Known for his responsiveness and for immersing himself in understanding his clients' business, Dirk has a wealth of experience representing transportation companies, motor carriers and railroads. He has litigated cases involving the interpretation of transportation contracts, the application of tariffs, and shipments moved pursuant to bills of lading. He also vigorously defends trucking companies in cargo claim litigation and against claims for personal injury. He was recently involved in several landmark decisions for the trucking and railroad industries. In addition, he has handled both regulatory and administrative matters before the FMCSA and STB for those engaged in the transportation industry.

He also has significant success handling Uniform Commercial Code claims as well as representing owners, general contractors, and suppliers in disputes arising out of construction contracts.

Dirk is a Past President of the Transportation Lawyers Association. Dirk previously served as a Regional Vice President of the Association for Transportation Law Professionals. He is also a member of the Trucking Insurance Defense Association and the Defense Research Institute. He actively participates in each of these associations, as well as the Transportation Loss Prevention and Security Association and the Conference of Freight Counsel. Dirk is a frequent speaker and attendee at all of these organizations' meetings and attends DRI trucking seminars, and TIDA sponsored events, as well.


2014 Michigan Super Lawyers and Michigan Rising Stars, September 5, 2014
45 Foster Swift attorneys named to 2015 Best Lawyers in America roster, August 19, 2014
Thirty-one Foster Swift Attorneys included in Super Lawyers for 2013, September 6, 2013
Forty-five Foster Swift Attorneys included in Best Lawyers, August 15, 2013
Foster Swift attorneys selected as Michigan Super Lawyers and Michigan Rising Stars, September 6, 2012
47 Foster Swift attorneys named as 2013 Best Lawyers, September 4, 2012
Dirk Beckwith elected President-Elect of the Transportation Lawyers Association, May 24, 2012

Speaking Engagements

What Brokers, Carriers and Shippers Have to Know About the New Federal Legislation MAP-21, Transportation Loss Prevention & Security Association National Conference, April 21, 2015
Rapid Response Teams and On Site Investigations: The Front Line Defense, American Conference Institute, March 25, 2015
Road Laws for Farmers, Great Lakes Crop Summit, January 28-29, 2015
Cargo Claims, American Conference Institute's 4th National Forum, March 31, 2014
Liability for a Shipment of Food or Pharmaceuticals that Is or May Be Contaminated or Adulterated, Transportation Loss Prevention & Security Association Annual Conference, April 23, 2013
Preparing and Presenting Company Representatives and Truck Drivers for Depositions: How to Ensure that Testimony Does Not Inadvertently Sink Your Case, American Conference Institute's 3rd Annual Forum on Defending and Managing Trucking Litigation, November 29, 2012


Court of Appeals Holds Owner Can be Held Liable for Negligence Because of Defective Front-End Loader, Foster Swift Agricultural Law Update, August 21, 2014
Frost Law: Are you complying with Spring Weight Restrictions?, Foster Swift Commercial Litigation News, April 25, 2014
Spring Brings Weight Restrictions on Michigan Roads, Foster Swift Agricultural Law Update, March 14, 2014
When Trucks Spill Their Load, Foster Swift Agricultural Law Update, January 16, 2014
Smooth Sailing While on Michigan Highways, Foster Swift Agricultural Law Update, December 17, 2013
Top 10 Things to Do When You Are Involved In a Motor Vehicle Accident, Foster Swift Agricultural Law Update, November 26, 2013

Honors & Recognitions

AV Preeminent Martindale-Hubbell

Best Lawyers in America 2015 (Construction Law)

Michigan Super Lawyers 2013, 2014 (Business Litigation)

Exemplary Service Award, Association of Transportation Law Professionals, 2007

Reported CasesRepresentative Matters: Vigorously defends motor carriers in personal injury litigation and cargo claims; Provides 24/7 Emergency Response Team in fatal accidents involving motor carriers; Represents railroads before the Surface Transportation Board (STB) in a variety of matters including but not limited to freight railroad rate and service disputes, and abandonment proceedings; Represents motor carriers before the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in a variety of matters including but not limited to registration and licensing, regulatory compliance, safety and security, DOT audits, compliance reviews, administrative reviews, enforcement penalties, CSA, and other proceedings relating to safety ratings; Represents insurance companies in situations where there are competing beneficiaries to life insurance proceeds, and the insurance company wants to avoid the risk of paying twice; Represents clients in disputes to foreclose liens on private construction projects as well as suits against bonds furnished on connection with public projects; Represents both manufacturers and purchasers of sophisticated machinery involving claims arising under the Uniform Commercial Code, including matters involving disputes regarding express and implied warranties.

Documents by this lawyer on Martindale.com

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Court of Appeals Holds Owner Can be Held Liable for Negligence Because of Defective Front-End Loader
Dirk H. Beckwith,Rachel N. Gizicki, September 1, 2014
The Michigan Court of Appeals recently held that a plaintiff who fell from a front-end loader (also known as a pay loader or bucket loader) that was missing part of the ladder used to access the cabin, had a claim of ordinary negligence against the owner.

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Office Information

Dirk H. Beckwith

32300 Northwestern Highway, Suite 230
Farmington HillsMI 48334


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