Robert B. Hopkins


  • Robert B. Hopkins
  • Phone: +1 410 949 2937

    Import to Address Book

  • Duane Morris LLP
    100 International Drive, Suite 700
    Baltimore, MD 21202-5184

Robert B. Hopkins is a partner in the firm's Baltimore office and a partner in the Trial Practice Group. He also serves as a team lead of the firm's Transportation, Automotive and Logistics industry group. Rob is a life-long resident of Baltimore with deep civic ties to the city. Rob served as Managing Partner of the firm's Baltimore office from 2015-2022. He practices in the area of complex litigation with a concentration on products safety, maritime, transportation and commercial litigation. Rob has also counseled clients in large-scale product recalls and reporting obligations under the laws enforced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. He is listed as one of Maryland's Super Lawyers and is listed in U.S. News/Best Lawyers in America. Rob is also listed as AV Preeminent® in Martindale-Hubbell® as rated by both peers and the judiciary.

Rob is a 1988 graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law and a graduate of Trinity College.

Representative Matters

    Product Safety Matters

  • CPSC Work . Advised and represented manufacturers, importers and retailers before the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in product hazard reporting, planning and implementing recalls, and compliance issues involving the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, Flammable Fabrics Act, Federal Hazardous Substances Act, Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, Poison Prevention Act and other state and federal regulatory schemes.
  • Product Recalls . Handled large range of product recalls including recalls related to lithium ion batteries, wearable technologies, electronics, clothing, furnaces, HVAC systems, solar equipment, sporting goods, toys, tools and child resistant packaging.
  • Vaccine Litigation . Defended international biotechnical firm with regard to its work on multibillion-dollar vaccine development.
  • Glyphosate a/k/a Round Up Litigation . Defended food seller in lawsuit dealing with allegations that its products contained trace amounts of Glyphosate a/k/a Round Up.
  • Product Liability Defense . Defense of manufacturers and sellers of products in various product liability actions.
  • Product Handling . Assisted some of the world’s largest retailers of consumer goods as to compliance issues associated with the handling, storage, disposal and transportation of product.
  • CPSC Penalty Matters . Defended various companies in CPSC penalty matters.
  • NRTL Compliance . Assisted product sellers/manufacturers as to compliance issues associated with certification by nationally recognized testing labs.

  • Maritime/Transportation Matters

  • CAPE ISTANBUL . Defended Turkish ship-owner, which had its vessel arrested. Vessel was released and arresting party issued letter of apology to owner.
  • Maritime Limitation Actions. Represented both vessel owners and claimants in various maritime limitation actions.
  • Maritime Personal Injury Matters . Represented both plaintiffs and defendants in numerous maritime personal injury lawsuits, recovering millions of dollars on behalf of various plaintiffs.
  • Jones Act Compliance . Represented various maritime businesses (including businesses involved with offshore wind farms, offshore construction and water transportation between U.S. points) as to Jones Act compliance issues.
  • Marine Commercial Contract Disputes . Litigated various marine commercial contract disputes including disputes related to vessel charters, transportation contracts, vessel builds, crewing contracts and maritime liens.
  • Capsizing of Passenger Vessel LADY D . Represented ship owner in various civil actions and before the National Transportation Safety Board with regard to the above capsizing, which received international media attention and resulted in significant maritime regulatory changes.
  • The Elk River Collision Proceedings . Represented major ship owner in one of the most serious marine collisions to occur in Maryland waters in last 30 years.
  • FLSA Maritime Dispute . Defended Jones Act employer in class action brought by crew as to overtime issues under the Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
  • Wallenius Lines North America, et al. v. U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, et al . Represented international transportation company in invalidating federal policy for dealing with stowaways. Case was influential in subsequent changes in U.S. immigration laws.
  • Complex Commercial Matters

  • Debarment Defense . Successfully overturned U.S. Army proposed debarment of major international biotechnical firm that restored the client to full contract eligibility.
  • REIT Defense . Obtained on behalf of the special committee of the Board of Directors of JAVELIN Mortgage Investment Corp. (NYSE: JMI) a denial of a motion for preliminary injunction during class action litigation in Maryland, which allowed the completion of the sale of all the shares of JAVELIN to ARMOUR Residential REIT, Inc. (NYSE: ARR).
  • Hoechst Celanese Corporation v. Aetna, et al. Lawsuit brought on behalf of international corporation against various insurance companies to recover multimillion-dollar environmental remediation claim.
  • Security Company Defense . Defended a security services company in litigation against a real estate developer's breach of contract and negligence claims.
  • Commercial Contract Disputes . Litigated various commercial contract disputes including disputes dealing with mergers and acquisitions, leases, royalties, construction and secured transactions.
  • Software Litigation . Defended software developer in dispute related to source code.
  • Securities Fraud Defense . Defended company accused of securities fraud by state regulators.


  • Maryland
  • Court of Appeals of Maryland
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland


  • University of Maryland School of Law, J.D., 1988
  • Trinity College, B.A., 1985


  • Duane Morris LLP
    - Partner, 2008-present
    - Managing Partner, Baltimore Office, 2015-2022

  • Ober, Kaler, Grimes & Shriver
    - Shareholder, 1988-2008

Professional Activities

  • American Bar Association
  • Baltimore City Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Maryland State Bar Association
  • Maritime Law Association of the United States
  • American Maritime Cases, Vice President

Honors and Awards

  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America, 2008-2024
  • Named a Best Lawyers "Lawyer of the Year" in Admiralty and Maritime Law, Baltimore, 2020 and 2022

  • AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®

Board Memberships

  • Maritime Law Association of the United States, Board Member (2008-2011)
  • Admiralty Law Institute, Board Member
  • American Maritime Cases, Vice President

Civic and Charitable Activities

  • Board of Living Classrooms
  • Baltimore City Planning Commission
    - Commissioner, 2008-2016

  • GBC Leadership Class of 2009

Selected Publications

Media Hits

  • Quoted, "Ocean City Wants Offshore Wind Turbines Built Farther from Shore. Is Their Request Possible?" Baltimore Business Journal, December 29, 2021

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • Presenter, "Consumer Fraud and Consumer Product Safety Commission Issues in the Pandemic," Duane Morris COVID-19: Navigating Forward Webinar Series, May 6, 2021
  • Speaker, "Hoverboards & Batteries," HarrisMartin Consumer Products Litigation Conference, San Francisco, October 3, 2016
  • Panelist, "Hot Topics in Maritime Litigation: Key Supreme Court and Circuit Court Cases, Emerging Trends and What to Expect in the Year Ahead," American Conference Institute's 2nd Annual Forum on Admiralty & Maritime Litigation, Houston, February 27, 2013
  • Speaker, "Damages: Assessing the Status of Punitive and Non-Pecuniary Damages in the Wake of Townsend and Defending Against Plaintiffs' Damages Claims," Houston, March 29, 2012
  • Speaker, "Complying With The New Canada Consumer Product Safety Act: The U.S. Perspective,” CPSC, March 29, 2012