Rick Sanders

5 Star Reviews

“Rick worked with me for over a year to defend a case filed by a multi-billion dollar company. Financial drain from drawn-out litigation was a primary concern. Rick was always open to discussing alternative approaches along with educated estimates of the risks, benefits, timing, and costs. We had a very respectful relationship including few times when I was outraged by the process. As we went through discovery, Rick worked with me to come up with strategies to keeps costs manageable. Rick was consistently able to explain the applicable legal principles at the desired level comprehension with reasonable efficiency/cost. He also worked with me to develop strategies and contingencies based on different possible scenarios, with the goal of achieving core goals as cost-efficiently as possible. I would hire him again for IP matters on either side of a case.”

Bruce H.


“Going through a lawsuit is a roller coaster ride at best and Rick Sanders knows that all too well! Without a doubt, his knowledge of the law is extensive and his legal skills are superb both of which gave me the confidence that we were on the right track. However, it is his sensitivity to the highs and lows of the roller coaster ride and supportive relationship that made my personal situation manageable and tolerable. His compassionate support during the process was vital as it is what kept me focused and clear headed, a necessary state of mind when making critical decisions. I always believed he was in my corner for all the right reasons and am grateful that he was there for me, legally and emotionally for when all is said and done, you need both. I highly recommend Rick Sanders.”

Maria W.


“EXCELLENT ATTORNEY that looks out for the client’s best interest! Great and thorough advice that kept me out of getting in trouble. I can summarize our relationship in 1 event. Our insurance company required that we use their assigned attorney. I maintained Rick as my personal counsel to make sure my best interests were looked out for. However, Rick would check with me before responding to or offering his opinion on anything because he new I was paying for his services out of my our pocket. Extremely responsive when asked to be, but conscious to not run up the bill on his client! I will continue to use and trust him for all future issues.”

Matt L.


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5 Star Reviews

Rick is an intellectual-property litigator. If you’re in a dispute, or afraid you’re getting into a dispute, about copyright, trademark, domain names, or technology, he’s the one to call.

Intellectual-property litigation is doubly disorienting. Lawsuits (and similar proceedings, like arbitrations and oppositions) put the parties at the mercy of unfamiliar rules that don’t always fit the particular case. The result is a profound sense of loss of control. Intellectual-property laws are counter-intuitive and unsettled, with surprisingly high risks for the litigants. Rick will explain what’s going every at every step, so you retain some sense of control, while working with you on a litigation strategy that acknowledges your budgetary constraints and business realities.

His career started at a large Silicon Valley firm before moving to Nashville, where he practiced at one of the leading big law firms. He also taught Copyright Law at Vanderbilt University Law School for three years. He started Aaron | Sanders with Tara Aaron in 2011. They saw a need for small businesses to get the same legal counseling and assistance about intellectual property and technology issues usually reserved for big companies.

Rick is annually recognized as a “Super Lawyer” and a “Best Lawyer,” for intellectual property litigation, copyright law and trademark law, among others.

Rick tweets regularly about developments in trademark, copyright, internet and technology law (and some other stuff): @RickSandersLaw.

Practice Areas

Education

  • Vanderbilt University School of Law, Nashville, Tenn.
    • Juris Doctor, 2000
    • Recipient: “Vanderbilt Scholastic Excellence Award” (for highest grade in course) for Copyright and Federal Taxation
    • Professional Authorities Editor: Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law
    • Member: Entertainment and Intellectual Property Law Society
    • Internship: for the Honorable Walter C. Kurtz, Fifth Circuit Court for Davidson County
  • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.
    • Master of Arts (English), 1992
  • University of California, Berkeley, Calif.
    • Bachelor of Arts (English), 1990
    • Graduated summa cum laude, honors thesis
    • Overseas Study: Junior year at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland

Professional

  • Aaron & Sanders, PLLC, Nashville, Tenn.
    • Founding and Managing Partner, 2011–present
  • Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP, Nashville, Tenn.
    • Partner in Litigation and Intellectual-Property Practice Groups, 2009–2011
    • Associate in Litigation and Intellectual-Property Practice Groups, 2004–2008
  • Fenwick & West, LLP, Silicon Valley, Calif.
    • Associate in Intellectual-Property Litigation 2000–2003

Teaching

Productions

  • Co-Producer, The Copyright Office Comes to Music City (annual law conference in Nashville, featuring members of the U.S. Copyright Office and a panel on matters of local copyright interest, April 2007–2010 & 2012.

Publications

Presentations

  • Panelist, First Sale, The Right of Reproduction, and Redigi: Where Are We Now? And Where Do We Go From Here?, The Copyright Society of the USA, Annual Meeting, June 11, 2019.
  • Panelist, Copyright Law, John Marshall Law School 62nd Annual Intellectual Property Conference, Nov. 2, 2018 (Center for Intellectual Property, Information and Privacy Law).
  • Presenter, Transformative Fair Use, TBA Intellectual Property Spring Institute, April 17, 2015 (Tenn. Bar Ass’n).
  • Panelist, Is that Domain .Yours or .Mine? Practical Considerations for In-house Counsel, ABA webinar, Jan. 31, 2014 (Am. Bar Ass’n).
  • Co-Presenter, Current Litigation of a Case of Internet Copyright Infringement, Annual Entertainment Law in ReviewAnnual Entertainment Law in Review, Nashville, Tenn., Dec. 4, 2013 (Nashville Bar Ass’n).
  • Presenter, [Internet 101] (https://www.tnbaru.com/CLE/catalog_course_details.php?course=7838), Cyber Monday: Old Law, New Technology, Nashville, TN, Dec. 2, 2013 (Tenn. Bar Ass’n).
  • Moderator, Is that Domain .Yours or .Mine? Coping with the New Top Level Domain Names28th Annual Intellectual Property Law Conference, Arlington, Va., Apr. 4, 2013 (Am. Bar Ass’n).
  • Presenter, Cloud Computing and Privacy IssuesScary Things in Intellectual Property, Tennessee Bar Center, Nashville, Tenn., Apr. 13, 2012 (TennBarU).
  • Presenter, Introduction to the Internet and Constitutional Issues, Internet and the Law, Nashville School of Law, Nashville, TN, Dec. 30, 2011 (Barristers).
  • Lecturer, Will Consumers Ever Get What They Want from Online Music Services? How Copyright Law Enables and Impedes Five Types of Online Music Services, University of Colorado School of Law, Boulder, Colo., Oct. 26, 2011 (JDCLE).
  • Co-Presenter, Legal Strategies for Dealing with Anonymous Internet Infringers, 2010 ABA Annual Conference (Seminar), San Francisco, Calif. (Am. Bar Ass’n).
  • Co-Presenter, Legal Strategies for Dealing with Anonymous Internet Infringers, 2009 ABA Annual Conference (Mock Hearing), 2009 ABA Annual Conference, Chicago, IL (Am. Bar Ass’n).

Community

  • Co-Presenter, Legal Basics for the Arts: Copyrights and Contracts, Arts and Business Council of Greater Nashville, Feb. 13, 2012.
  • Created, scripted and played “the Nerdy Expert,” in Who Really Wrote Shakespeare? (a mock trial in which the Earl of Oxford sued William Shakespeare), Nashville Shakespeare Festival, summer 2011.
  • Co-presenter, Much Ado About Ethics, with the Nashville Shakespeare Festival and the Arts and Business Council, Winter 2009 & 2010.
  • Member, Online Media Network (Berkman Society for Law and the Internet at Harvard University)
  • Judge, National First Amentment Moot Court (2009–present).
  • Judge and Scorer, Davidson County Mock Trial Competition (2007-present).

Blog

Offices

  • Chair, Trademarks and the Internet, Intellection Property Section, American Bar Association, 2014–15.
  • Vice-Chair, Trademarks and the Internet, Intellectual Property Section, ABA, 2012–14.
  • Chair, Intellectual Property Section, Nashville Bar Association, 2008.
  • Treasurer, Federal Bar Association–Nashville Chapter, 2007–2011.

Admissions

  • State of Tennessee
  • State of California
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Western, Middle and Eastern Districts of Tennessee
  • United States District Court for the Northern, Central, Southern and Eastern Districts of California