Practice Areas

At Hansel Law, we focus on the art of advocacy instead of limiting our practice to one narrow subject matter.  Our clients benefit from the breadth of experience this approach has built over the past 15 years.  We offer the personal attention from our founding lawyer available only in the most exclusive boutique law firms coupled with the demonstrated success across a wide spectrum of subject areas that is often only available from the largest practices.  When subject matter expertise is required, we work with top professionals in the relevant fields -- doctors, certified public accountants, engineers and others who are at the peak of their game and ready to keep up with the fast pace at which we practice law.

Civil Rights and Constitutional Law

Cary Hansel is a leader in civil rights litigation, with a strong focus on police misconduct.  He has won awards from the ACLU and the Maryland Association for Justice for his ground-breaking advocacy for our liberties.

After ten years of hard-fought litigation, Cary obtained a civil rights verdict the Washington Post called the highest in history against Prince George's County.  The case involved an innocent man deprived of sleep and sufficient food for almost two days, periodically chained to a wall and threatened by police -- all because he wouldn't falsely confess to the murder of his wife, a crime he did not commit.  Despite recording in his police log that the citizen had continued to maintain his innocence, an officer moments later falsely swore that he had obtained a confession and filed charges that cost his victim 8 months in jail.  During this time, the falsely accused man missed his wife's funeral and was evicted from his apartment.  All of his belongings were strewn out on the curb and taken by looters.

The jury found that the officers acted with malice when, three months into the incarceration, they ignored DNA evidence clearing the accused of the crime.  Only when another detective insisted on testing the DNA against a serial rapist she had helped apprehend were the officers forced to slowly admit their mistake.  The long toiling 48 year-old iron worker they had wrongly imprisoned was released, but had lost literally every possession except for the clothes on his back despite half a lifetime of hard labor.  To make matters even worse, there was evidence which officers ignored early in the investigation that should have lead them to the true killer.  When police stopped investigating based in the false claim that they had their man, the real killer went on, while no one was watching, to rape six other women for which he was convicted.  This case shows the true victims of police misconduct are often not just those immediately suffering the abuse, but all of us.

Cary has handled dozens of civil rights matters all over Maryland and the District resulting in justice for his clients, but always with an eye toward protecting and expanding civil liberties for all.
To read newspaper articles about some of our civil rights cases, click here:
To read an article by Cary Hansel in Trial Reporter magazine, click here:


Cary Hansel's appellate work has successfully protected more than  $30 Million in verdicts.   He has  persuaded our appellate courts to set aside damages caps in certain cases, including the cap on claims against local governments and the egregious $7,500 cap on injuries to pets.  

His appellate career also includes  a case in which the Court of Appeals accepted  Cary's request to adopt a new cause of action in Maryland for government patterns of constitutional misconduct.

In addition, Cary has handled cases making it easier to recover from insurance companies, easier for consumers to defeat  draconian arbitration provisions, and harder for bad cops to hide behind the public duty doctrine as a defense to blatant misconduct.
For more information about our appellate practice, just click this button:

Wrongful Death

When the worst tragedies strike, having a lawyer you believe in and depend upon will help you weather the storm.  Wrongful death cases are brought in the memory of the victim to make sure that no one else ever suffers the same fate.  In this way, family members brave enough to take a stand in the courtroom can make the world a better place and see to it that at least some glimmer of hope for a better future comes out of the tragedy.

Cary Hansel has handled wrongful death matters related to defective products, dangerous conditions on premises, excessive force by the police and medical malpractice.

Medical Malpractice

From chronic diseases misdiagnosed and untreated to breast cancer and birth injuries, Cary Hansel has helped his clients and their loved ones through tragic and preventable medical mistakes.  Care is taken at Hansel Law to first be good friends and neighbors and then good lawyers to those dealing with the life-altering effects of medical malpractice.

Employment Discrimination

Cary Hansel has helped people suffering discrimination due to race, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation and the exercise of their constitutional rights.  While many prefer to believe that our struggles for equality were all won in the 1960's, the lawyers at Hansel Law know that real discrimination -- the kind that cuts to the core -- not only still exists, but is rampant in certain environments.  Cary has helped fight discrimination against people from all walks of life, from high-ranking government lawyers to waitresses putting themselves through school.  If you have been discriminated against or harassed, please help stop the abuser before someone else falls prey.  Take a stand and call Hansel Law today.

Whistleblower Protection

Cary Hansel represents whistleblowers in the private and public sectors who expose corruption both inside and outside our government.  The law provides powerful protection for whistleblowers -- especially those who retain competent counsel as early in the process as possible.

One such case Cary handled resulted in the third-highest settlement in history to a former federal employee subjected to whistleblower retaliation.  A former assistant inspector general for the Securities and Exchange Commission represented by Cary obtained not just financial justice, but the SEC's complete retraction of its retaliatory allegations against the former employee, a fully cleared record and reinstatement.      

On October 31, 2012, the Securities and Exchange Commission terminated its assistant inspector general for investigations after he disclosed allegations of serious agency misconduct to his superiors and to members of Senate and House oversight committees.  The termination came despite an independent report by the Inspector General for United States Postal Service clearing him of any wrongdoing.  
In addition to clearing the whistleblower, the USPS IG also substantiated the concerns he raised with his superiors and legislative committees, including what the report labeled “flirtatious communications” a “personal relationship” and an “inappropriate relationship” between the former SEC IG and women he worked with on the Bernard L. Madoff and R. Allen Stanford Ponzi schemes.  The report found that these relationships involved conflicts of interest and violations of the applicable standards of conduct.  
The September 17, 2012 report also found that the whistleblower did not mischaracterize evidence when he discussed a matter of potential “national security” and “possible espionage” by possible “foreign nationals” related to a case he was investigating that “involved unencrypted computer hard drives that contained sensitive stock exchange information.”  These issues were raised by the whistleblower in great detail immediately prior to   his being placed on leave and, eventually, terminated.  The USPS IG report is widely available on the internet.
On November 15, 2012, after the SEC remained recalcitrant despite weeks of negotiations and fair warning, Cary filed a lawsuit the Courthouse News Service characterized as "scorching."    Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone wrote that the details released in the lawsuit "rocked" the SEC.  

Mere days after Cary’s whistleblower suit was filed, the SEC announced that its chairwoman was resigning.  Despite SEC protestations to the contrary, there was wide speculation in the media that the sudden resignation -- just months shy of the completion of her term -- was a direct result of the lawsuit.

The parties entered a settlement agreement on May 22, 2013 resolving the Merit Systems Protection Board and United States District Court cases.

At the time, Cary was quoted in hundreds of newspapers nationwide.  His official statement read, in part, “The SEC’s job is to protect Wall Street whistleblowers and investigate the misconduct they report.  When [the assistant IG] blew the whistle on wrongdoing in the SEC’s own ranks, the SEC engaged in a retaliatory cover up.”  Mr. Hansel went on to say, “This case is a reminder that there are grave consequences for retaliation against whistleblowers.    American law favors the free disclosure of government waste, fraud and abuse.  Nothing cures these problems like the light of day.”
Please click this button to review newspaper articles about the case:

Intellectual Property & Trade Secret Infringement Litigation

Cary Hansel has represented a wide range of diverse clients in matters related to IP and trade secret infringement.  As one example, Cary worked with a child star from the Spiderman series of films to defend his intellectual property rights in a book he had written.  Cary also represented two of the original founders of the Ledo's Pizza restaurant in College Park in a successful defense of their rights to the Ledo name and marks.

Land Development Litigation

Cary Hansel has successfully represented some of the Baltimore/DC region's top land developers in a wide variety of contract and development-related litigation.  When a deal sours and the parties turn to litigation, Hansel Law has the experience you need.

Construction Litigation

Cary Hansel has represented owners, general contractors, sub-contractors and buyers in all phases of construction litigation from arbitration to full-blown trials.  Hansel Law understands construction and has the capacity to carefully analyze alleged defects to build your best case.

Commercial & Business Litigation

He calls them "business divorces" because they can be every bit as arduous, but Cary Hansel has experience helping clients not just survive but thrive after a business venture fails to meet expectations and former partners end up at odds.  Mr. Hansel has also shepherded clients through battles for control over successful businesses.  He has handled these and other business disputes related to gas stations, convenience stores, electrical companies, doctors' practices, health clubs, homeowners associations and many other businesses.

Professional License Regulation

Oversights happen to even the best of professionals.  If your license is threatened, Cary Hansel can help.  He has successfully protected the licenses of doctors, lawyers, real estate agents and even harness track drivers from regulatory authorities. 

Law Enforcement Officers' Bill of Rights Defense

Cary Hansel has more than a dozen years' experience defending law enforcement officers in administrative disciplinary hearings.  Officers often retain Mr. Hansel if their careers are at stake.  Mr. Hansel has saved many officers from termination.  Provided that there is no civilian victim involved, Hansel Law can help officers save their jobs.

High Impact Political Cases

Cary Hansel has privately advised and, when appropriate, publicly filed suit on behalf of individuals whose concerns carried great political ramifications.  Whether you find yourself in the public or private sector, if your situation requires political calculation - whether to maximize or minimize your impact, Cary can help.  As one example, Cary represented a former Maryland Public Service Commission employee fired solely for her political affiliation in a case that led to justice for his client, but became a wedge issue in a governor's race and ultimately resulted in legislative hearings and the passage of greater protections for our civil servants.  He also represented a top-level SEC whistleblower in a case widely speculated in the media to have resulted in the sudden resignation of the SEC's chairwoman.  Of course, the best political advice often involves keeping matters private.