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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Experience & Credentials Ratings & Reviews

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

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 became the President of the of the Transportation Lawyers Association in May 2013. 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. He actively participates in each of these organizations, 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.

Representative 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.

Speaking Engagements

· 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

· Shipper's Duty to Mitigate Its Losses When Goods Are Damaged, Transportation Loss Prevention & Security Association, April 23, 2012

· What Every Motor Carrier Should Know about Defending Cargo Claims, Michigan Trucking Association's 2012 Truck Exposition and Safety Symposium, February 14, 2012

· E-Discovery, Electronically Stored Information (ESI), and Evidence Preservation: Key Considerations and Defense Strategies Specific to Trucking Litigation, American Conference Institute's 2nd National Forum on Defending and Managing Trucking Litigation, December 5, 2011


· 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

· What are the Rules of the Road for Farm Vehicles?, October 2013 Agricultural Law Update, October 7, 2013

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, President

· Association of Transportation Law Professionals

Industry & Professional Associations:

· Trucking Insurance Defense Association

· Transportation Loss Prevention and Security Association

· Conference of Freight Counsel

Honors & Recognitions

AV® Preeminent™ Martindale-Hubbell

Best Lawyers® in America 2014 (Construction Law)

Michigan Super Lawyers 2013 (Business Litigation)

Exemplary Service Award, Association of Transportation Law Professionals, 2007


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.

Frost Law: Are you complying with Spring Weight Restrictions?
Dirk H. Beckwith, April 30, 2014
As the ground begins to thaw, the surface of our roads becomes unstable, buckling and heaving. It is the warming and cooling of the ground that weakens the roads creating potholes and broken pavement. To address this issue, Michigan state law designates the months of March, April and May as reduced...

Spring Brings Weight Restrictions on Michigan Roads
Dirk H. Beckwith, March 31, 2014
It may not seem possible, but spring will come to Michigan after this long, cold and snowy winter. When it does, it brings its own set of problems, particularly to Michigan roads. As the ground begins to thaw, the surface of our roads becomes unstable, buckling and heaving.

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Office Information

Dirk H. Beckwith

32300 Northwestern Highway, Suite 230
Farmington HillsMI 48334


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