Monday Profile: Rick Juckniess

Frederick R. Juckniess represents clients in complex litigation, focusing in intellectual property, trademark, trade secret, patent and antitrust. He is the former chair of the Antitrust Section for the State Bar of Michigan and is an adjunct professor of antitrust law for the Michigan State University College of Law.

Juckniess received his law degree cum laude from University of Michigan Law School and his BA in economics from University of Colorado, Boulder. He is admitted to practice in California, Colorado, Michigan, and Minnesota.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? A sunset over Lake Michigan, a Guinness, my guitar and warm summer weather--after winning a case.

What is your greatest fear?

Losing my mind. A mind is a terrible thing to lose.

Which living person do you most admire? Can I have three? Jared Diamond, for successfully synthesizing the broad patterns of human history; Steve Jobs for directing a creative and technological revolution, rejecting convention and caring deeply about the art of the design; and John Dingell. Whatever your politics, he's been working hard, for a very long time and maintains an incredibly service-oriented schedule.

If you suddenly had an extra room in your house, what would you do with it? Expand and reorganize the library, add a second level, add a media and a recording studio alcove, an art and statuary section, a collectibles section . .

What are your hopes for your six-year-old son, Thor?

That he learns enough to understand humankind, the history of the planet before and after the advent of humankind, and the universe from cosmological scales to quantum mechanics, and to make sense of it all, but becomes wise enough to still find beauty, wonder and mystery there.

What was your most memorable meal? More than a meal really--my wedding dinner at a private villa in Certaldo, Italy.

If you could take back one thing you did ...

Allowing my broker to talk me out of selling that Lehman Brothers stock.

What is your most treasured possession?

I admit that, much to my wife's chagrin, I treasure many souvenirs and treasures. I'll just name a few: My "Spy Card" made by my son, assigning me at the highest rank (higher than him or my wife); my wedding ring, purchased by my wife on the Ponte Vecchio; The Deerhart Award (engraved Bowie Knife provided by a client in thanks for successful litigation); the plaque commemorating my chairmanship of the SBM Antitrust Section; my antiquarian book collection; the tables, bench, chair, jewelry box and lamps I've built; my piece of the Berlin wall, and a host of things that will go in the expanded library.

If you could do one thing professionally ...

Represent Apple regarding antitrust--from the eBooks cases to changing technologies. Apple presents the most fertile ground for developing new law and requiring deep thought regarding the purposes of antitrust law.

What are your favorite websites? Sciencedaily.com; museumstorecompany.com; nytimes.com.

Your proudest moment(s) as a lawyer?

A toss up between obtaining an injunction against the MPAA in the SDNY in front of Judge Mukasey for violating the Sherman Act, and obtaining asylum for a tortured Ethiopian refugee at a trial in Minneapolis.

What would surprise people about your job? I actually love antitrust law. I teach it at MSU as an adjust professor, I tell my students it is perhaps the most important and powerful area of law for humankind in general, and I believe it.

Your wife, Angela Jackson, is a local attorney. Who wins the arguments in your house? Just between us? [ANSWER WITHHELD]?

What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Piety.

What's your greatest achievement? Completing a 5.8 Rock Climb in Joshua Tree National Park on a very cold day, and after, halfway up, it began to snow heavily and seemed impossible to make it to the top.?

What's the oddest thing you ever bought?

An exceedingly expensive detailed replica of Mechagodzilla--in my defense, I used Mechagodzilla as a theme for an upcoming Michigan Bar Journal article on antitrust and intellectual property.

What would be your ideal job? Controlling the Mars Opportunity rover.

What one thing do you wish people knew about your work?

The personal investment I make in my cases.

Favorite joke: Que hace un pez? Nada.

What is something most people don't know about you?

I camped in a tree for three days, 150 feet above the ground with a guitar, my best friend, and a bottle of Jack Daniels.

What do you wish more people understood?

Why the Large Hadron Collider is important, and why the cancellation of the Texas Supercollider Project was such a tragedy.?

If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would they be? Einstein, so I could share what we've learned and see if he can develop a Grand Unified Theory after all; Thomas Jefferson, to find out what the "founders" really meant, and all the freemason secrets; and Plato, mostly because my son is fascinated by Atlantis, and Plato's writing about it is the principal source of the legend.

Who is your favorite character of fiction? I'd like to say Werther, but it's probably James Tiberius Kirk.

Favorite words: Anticompetitive, Anthropomorphization.

Favorite movie: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Favorite place to spend money: Melrose Place, Los Angeles.

What is your motto? As you wish, Thor.

Where would you like to be when you're 90? On my way back from Mars, to spend time on the summer beaches of Lake Michigan.

Published: Mon, Oct 8, 2012

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