Niki Kuckes

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Niki KuckesProfessor of Law

Education

J.D., Yale
B.A., Cornell University

After a successful term at Yale Law School (where she served on the Yale Law Journal, the Yale Journal of Law and Policy, and the Yale Journal of International Law), Niki Kuckes won a coveted clerkship with Judge (now Justice) Antonin Scalia. She moved on to develop a sophisticated litigation practice in Washington, D.C, where for almost two decades she focused on white collar criminal matters, copyright and First Amendment, and legal malpractice cases. Professor Kuckes has used this expertise to develop a strong reputation in the areas of grand juries and prosecutorial ethics. Before coming to RWU, Professor Kuckes was "Distinguished Practitioner in Residence" at Cornell Law School.

Professor Kuckes was awarded tenure and promoted to Full Professor in 2009, and she brings her deep practice experience to her teaching of Civil Procedure, Intellectual Property, and Professional Responsibility.

Books

“Rewriting Grand Jury History,” in Grand Jury 2.0, edited by Roger Fairfax (Durham, North Carolina: Carolina Press, 2011)

Articles

The State of Rule 3.8: Prosecutorial Ethics Reform Since Ethics 2000, 22 Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics 427 (2009)

Civil Due Process, Criminal Due Process, 25 Yale Law and Policy Review 1 (2006)

The Democratic Prosecutor: Explaining the Constitutional Function of the Federal Grand Jury, 94 Georgetown Law Journal 1265 (2006)

The Useful, Dangerous Fiction of Grand Jury Independence¸ 41 American Criminal Law Review 1 (2004)

Courses Taught

LAW.600Civil Procedure I

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Course Description

This two-semester course provides an introduction to the adversary system and the historical basis and evolving functions of both the state and the federal systems of civil procedure. Topics include an introduction to claims and remedies, jurisdiction, venue, pleading, discovery, joinder of claims and parties, res judicata, collateral estoppel, disposition without trial, court selection, jury and non-jury trials, post-trial motions and appellate review. The drafting of pleadings for a case is included.

Course Type See Course Type Descriptions

Core Course

Course Credits

3.0

Course Degree

Juris DoctorMaster of Studies in Law

LAW.601Civil Procedure II

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Course Description

This two-semester course provides an introduction to the adversary system and the historical basis and evolving functions of both the state and the federal systems of civil procedure. Topics include an introduction to claims and remedies, jurisdiction, venue, pleading, discovery, joinder of claims and parties, res judicata, collateral estoppel, disposition without trial, court selection, jury and non-jury trials, post-trial motions and appellate review. The drafting of pleadings for a case is included.

Course Type See Course Type Descriptions

Core Course

Course Credits

3.0

Course Degree

Juris DoctorMaster of Studies in Law

Prerequisite

LAW.600 – Civil Procedure I

LSM.815Copyright

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Course Description

This class provides an in-depth study of copyright law, which grants a limited monopoly to authors of creative works, and related state law doctrines such as unfair competition law. The course will focus on the constitutional basis for copyright, the statutory requirements for copyright protection, the scope of rights granted to copyright owners, the elements of a copyright infringement action, related state law claims, and licensing issues related to copyright. Discussion and readings will encompass topics of current interest in copyright law, including the impact of the internet, digital copying capabilities, new technologies, and the information-based economy.

Course Type See Course Type Descriptions

Seminar

Course Credits

2.0

Course Degree

Juris DoctorMaster of Studies in Law

Faculty Associated

Jerry CohenNiki Kuckes

LAW.827Discovery: Unpacking Civil Pretrial Practice

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Course Description

This two-credit course will provide intensive, hands-on instruction in pretrial discovery practice in civil litigation. Working with a simulated case in the federal courts system, students will engage in each of the stages of civil discovery, from planning a discovery strategy, to submitting and arguing a discovery motion, to taking a mock deposition. The class will also include discussion of the policies and values reflected in American civil discovery approach, as well as key ethical issues that frequently arise in the discovery practice.

Course Type See Course Type Descriptions

Elective

Course Credits

2.0

Course Degree

Juris DoctorMaster of Studies in Law

LAW.740Intellectual Property

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Course Description

This course offers a broad survey of intellectual property law. The course focuses on the rights and obligations of those who possess and use property in the form of patents, copyrights, and trademarks. Depending on time constraints, the course also touches on subsidiary areas, such as trade secrets, the rights of publicity, and unfair competition. International as well as federal and state controls and policies will be studied.

Course Type See Course Type Descriptions

Elective

Course Credits

2.0

Course Degree

Juris DoctorMaster of Studies in Law

Faculty Associated

Jerry CohenNiki Kuckes

LAW.655Professional Responsibility

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Course Description

This course analyzes the responsibility of lawyers and judges from the perspectives of the rules and case law, the profession and the client/consumer. Topics include the historical, political, and sociological bases of legal ethics; conflicts of interests; attorney-client privilege; admission to the bar; disciplinary matters and procedures; unauthorized practice of law; attitudes toward bench and bar; professional liability; and canons of ethics and codes of professional responsibility.

Course Type See Course Type Descriptions

Core Course

Course Credits

2.0

Course Degree

Juris DoctorMaster of Studies in Law
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Course Types

We have classified RWU Law classes under the following headers. One of the following course types will be attached to each course which will allow students to narrow down their search while looking for classes.

Core Course

Students in the first and second year are required to take classes covering the following aspects of the law—contracts, torts, property, criminal law, civil procedure, and constitutional law, evidence, and professional responsibility.  Along with these aspects, the core curriculum will develop legal reasoning skills.

Elective

After finishing the core curriculum the remaining coursework toward the degree is completed through upper level elective courses.  Students can choose courses that peak their interests or courses that go along with the track they are following.

Seminar

Seminars are classes where teachers and small groups of students focus on a specific topic and the students complete a substantial research paper.

Clinics/Externships

Inhouse Clinics and Clinical Externships legal education is law school training in which students participate in client representation under the supervision of a practicing attorney or law professor.  RWU Law's Clinical Programs offer unique and effective learning opportunities and the opportunity for practical experience while still in law school.