Section A First Assignments

Civil Procedure- Professor Kuckes

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For our first class on Wednesday, August 22, please complete the following two assignments:

(1) Assume that a group of thirty people has been shipwrecked on a remote island, with no way to contact the outside world.  Anticipating that disputes may arise, they decide to agree at the outset on a process they will use to resolve disputes.  Design a system for the group to use to resolve disputes, keeping in mind the need for the process to be perceived as fair, as well as the need to resolve disputes quickly and without taking too much time or energy of the islanders. Bring a page with your typed description of your system to class to turn in.  No more than one page please. 

(2). Purchase a “clicker” to bring to our first class.  You will need a Turning Technologies Response Card. Any model is fine, new or used, but it MUST be a model with “RF” in the product title or one that is otherwise labeled as compatible with radio frequency technology.  Often upper class students have them for sale.  Clickers will NOT be available in the bookstore, but are readily available online.  Used ones are cheapest. You do NOT need to purchase an online license, just the handheld device.  

I look forward to meeting you!

Contracts- Professor Chung

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Welcome to Contracts I.  The required casebook is Knapp, Crystal & Prince, Problems in Contract Law - Cases and Materials (8th ed.).

For the first week of class, please read the following pages from the casebook:  Pages 1 through 11 (skip Problem 1-1 and do not read "5. International Commercial Law"), and pages 12 through 26.

Please also consider the following, which is the definition of Contract from the Restatement (Second) of Contracts:

§ 1. Contract Defined:   A contract is a promise or a set of promises for the breach of which the law gives a remedy, or the performance of which the law in some way recognizes as a duty.

Please attempt to determine the meaning and consequences of this definition.

Prof. Chung

Criminal Law- Professor Allen

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Welcome to Criminal Law! The casebook for this course is Joshua Dressler &Stephen P. Garvey, Criminal Law Cases and Materials (West Academic Publishing,
7th ed. 2016).

The highly recommended, but optional, supplemental text is Joshua Dressler, Understanding Criminal Law (Carolina Press, 8th ed. 2018).

A partial syllabus will be posted on “Bridges,” the school’s electronic bulletin board, one week prior to the first day of class.
Before our first class:

  1. Read pages 31-35, 38-44, 46-49 of the casebook. (These pages discuss general principles and theories of punishment).
  2. Read pages 52-54 of the casebook (The Queen v. Dudley and Stephens and the accompanying notes and questions).
  3. Read pages 54-61 the casebook (People v. Superior Court and the accompany notes and questions through note 3).
  4. Read the attached handout: Michael Gonchar, What Should Be the Purpose of Prison, New York Times, Feb. 27, 2015.

Come to class prepared to discuss topics raised by the readings including: (1) Who should be punished? (2) How much (and what) punishment should be imposed? (3) What should be the purpose of prison?

I’m looking forward to our lively discussion!

Enrichment- Professor Thompson

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RWU Law’s Enrichment Course is a collaborative effort by faculty and academic success professionals to help first-semester students develop the critical skills necessary for success in their first-year courses. All full-time students must attend the 1L Enrichment Course. Part-time students are welcome to attend, but are not required to attend.

The first assignment for the Enrichment Course is due on Friday, August 24th during the first Enrichment class. Please read chapters 1 through 4 of “A Strategic Approach to Learning in Law School” published by Wolters-Kluwer. This customized book  is available only through the RWU Law bookstore, and should be available for purchase in mid-August. In the event that the publisher does not have the book available in the bookstore by August 15th, the first assignment’s reading will be posted in pdf form on the Enrichment Course Bridges site (RWU Law’s version of Blackboard).Feel free to do the exercises in the book, but it is not necessary. Professor Kathryn Thompson will be covering the material with you during the first Enrichment class on Friday, August 24th.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Prof. Thompson at kthompson@rwu.edu

Legal Practice- All Sections

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Dear 1L:  Welcome to Legal Practice (LP) I!  Attached, please find your reading assignment for your Orientation class and the readings we have assigned for that class (but not including Chapter 1 of the LP Handbook).  You may also pick up a hard copy of the readings at the faculty secretaries’ suite on the second floor of the law school.  Please note from the attached portion of the syllabus that you must purchase the following texts for LP I, all of which are or will be available at the RWUSOL Bookstore:

The Roger Williams University School of Law (“RWUSOL”) Legal Practice Handbook  (“Handbook”); The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (Columbia Law Review Ass’n et al. eds., 20th ed. 2015), (“Bluebook”);  and Linda J. Barris, Understanding and Mastering the Bluebook (Carolina Academic Press, 3rd ed. 2015) (“Barris”)

Enjoy the rest of your summer, and we all look forward to meeting you. 

On behalf of the Legal Practice faculty,

Elizabeth Colt

Professor of Legal Practice

Legal Practice Coordinator

RWU School of Law

(401)254-4639

Torts- Professor Logan

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Syllabus

The assignment for the first class is pp. 1-4 from the casebook; also be prepared to define the following terms, which provide the procedural context in which we will learn Torts doctrine:

Basic Torts Procedure

  1. Pleading Stage
    1. Complaint
    2. Motion to Dismiss for Failure To State a Claim (“MTD”)
    3. Answer
  2. Pre-Trial Discovery
    1. Depositions
    2. Interrogatories
    3. Motion for Summary Judgment (“SJ”)
  3. Trial
    1. Voir Dire
    2. Opening Statement
    3. Direct/Cross-examination of Witnesses (“fact witnesses” v. “expert witnesses”)
    4. Motion for a Directed Verdict (or “Judgment as a Matter of Law” or “Nonsuit”) (“DV”)
    5. Closing Argument
    6. Jury Instructions, including “Burden of Proof” and “Compensatory Damages”
    7. Verdict (liability/damages)
  4. Post-Trial
    1. “Judgment as a Matter of Law” (“JNOV”)
    2. Motion for a New Trial (“NT”)
    3. Issues appropriate for appeal:
      1. How the trial judge handled “dispositive motions” (MTD/SJ/DV/JNOV)
      2. The trial judge’s evidentiary rulings, including the requirement for “Contemporaneous Objection” and the “Harmless Error Rule”
      3. The trial judge’s jury instructions
Close Course Type Descriptions

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.