James Hetzel concentrates his litigation practice in the area of liability defense with a focus on the transportation industry.  He has successfully represented both motor carriers and brokers in a variety of cargo loss scenarios in both state and federal court through all stages of the litigation process including taking and defending depositions, drafting and arguing motions, and taking matters through the conclusion of trial.  James also has experience representing transportation clients in catastrophic tort claims as well as independent contractors on employee status issues. He currently serves as co-editor of F&P’s transportation insights and blogs articles.

Before joining Franklin & Prokopik, James served as Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Paul J. Hanley in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County.  While attending law school, James was the Recent Developments Editor for the University of Baltimore Law Forum and gained trial experience as a Rule 16 student attorney for Saul Ewing Civil Advocacy Clinic.  Also during law school, James worked on sports-related class action litigation at Silverman, Thompson, Slutkin, and White, as well as working as a law clerk at Namanny, Byrne, and Owens in Laguna Hills, California.

Awards and Distinctions

  • The Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch, 2021-2024
  • Super Lawyers, Rising Stars 2024

F&P Blog and Insight Articles

Summer 2020 – Digital Freight Brokerages May Impact Liability for Shippers and Carriers


James is a member of the Maryland State Bar Association and a native of Harford County. In his free time, James enjoys spending time with family and friends as well as being involved in athletics by playing soccer and basketball and following the Ravens, Orioles, and Terps.