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.”
“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.”
“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.”
Rick is the litigation half of Aaron & Sanders, PLLC; and, from 2012 to 2014, an adjunct professor at Vanderbilt University Law School, where he was teaching Copyright Law. Vandy also happens to be where he got his law degree in 2000. After graduation, he practiced at a major intellectual-property law firm in Silicon Valley for a few years. He returned to Nashville in 2004, where he worked for a large Nashville firm, practicing as much intellectual-property law as he could, but also a lot of commercial law. He left that firm in 2011 to start Aaron & Sanders with Tara Aaron, so he could practice intellectual-property law full time and work with start-ups and other non-institutional clients.
Rick has been hooked on intellectual property, and especially the Internet, for as long as he’s been a lawyer. He graduated from Vanderbilt University Law School in 2000 into the midst of the “dot-com” boom—and bust. His practice started with a well-known Silicon Valley law firm in 2000, and his first two cases involved downloading music over the Internet. Since then, he has handled matters involving VOIP telephony, encryption software, online bidding systems, a certain hit song and a certain local solar-panel plant, among other things. Of course, he’s also handled just-as-important but less sexy matters involving corporate divorces, breached sales contracts, backbiting among VAR salespeople, poorly drafted software licenses, a wayward yellow-pages advertisement and building materials (twice). These matters covered copyright, trademark, patent, trade secrets, the Stored Communications Act, state privacy laws and internet privacy issues, among others.
Rick is a litigator, which means he handles lawsuits (and arbitrations and whatnot)—not necessarily just for intellectual property. He’ll advise you when you feel that your rights have been violated and when you’re being threatened with a lawsuit. More important, he’ll help you before a legal dispute is on the horizon, because the best lawsuit is the one that never happens. Rick will help you steer clear of unprofitable legal disputes while shoring up your rights to discourage lawsuits.
When a legal dispute is on the horizon, you’ll need frank advice about how and when to cut a deal, fold or go all in. And when a lawsuit is necessary or unavoidable, Rick is there to build your case, navigate the intricacies of the rules of procedure and the rules of evidence and just plain fight hard—all with one eye on the “meter.” Although Aaron | Sanders is a small firm, our cases don’t have to be small, thanks to the magic of technology and outsourcing.
As you might expect, Rick writes and speaks frequently about intellectual-property, internet and free-expression issues. A list of his more significant articles and speaking engagements may be found in his curriculum vitae. Rick taught copyright law at Vanderbilt University Law School (you can read one of his exams, annotated, starting here) from 2012 to 2014.
Rick was born and raised in Silicon Valley (Mountain View, to be precise), and while he doesn’t understand why anyone would voluntarily move there (given the cost of living), he loves his hometown. He recommends Red Rock for coffee and Amber for Indian food.
Still, Rick can’t believe his good fortune that he lives in Nashville now, and his even better fortune that he and his family live in the Belmont-Hillsboro neighborhood near Sevier Park, 12South commercial district, and Belmont University. You can also find him once or twice a week at West End United Methodist Church.
Before becoming a lawyer, Rick was a collegiate instructor (a “lecturer,” which is a full rung below “assistant professor”) in English composition, literature and western civilization, mostly at Lawrence Technological University. Ironically, in composition, he used to teach his students “not to write like a lawyer.” He taught a lot of Shakespeare, but his favorite class to teach was “Literature and Science,”, which posited that science (together with its ally, technology) and literature (together with its ally, religion) had a lot to teach each other if they’d only listen.
If you’ve read this far, you’ll be completely unsurprised to learn that Rick’s tastes run toward the geeky: science fiction (The Left Hand of Darkness is the best ever), fantasy (thought Lord of the Rings was cool before Peter Jackson did), satire (from Jonathan Swift to Sir Terry Pratchett), Studio Ghibli movies (top three, in order: My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away), Pixar movies (top three, in order: The Incredibles, Toy Story 3, Up), graphic novels you have to keep away from your kids (e.g., Sandman), graphic novels you let your kids read (e.g., Bone, Amulet), lots and lots of webcomics (e.g., Girl Genius, Gunnerkrigg Court, The Order of the Stick) and computer games (to be honest, the only one he’s finished since becoming a lawyer is Portal because it’s so short). He also can quote almost the entirety of Monty Python, Star Wars, Star Trek (original and Next Generation), The Princess Bride and Indiana Jones (well, the two that didn’t suck).
Rick also enjoys listening to Lightning 100; reading whatever YA fiction his daughters make him read (which aren’t all about young heroines in dystopic futures, just most of them). Rick listens to most of his music via a purple click-wheel iPod nano, which he regards as the height of modern product design.
Rick’s wife is an archaeologist, and he has two daughters who attend Hillsboro High School (Go Burros!) and J.T. Moore Middle School (Go Matadors!), and who are both alumnae of the wonderful Glendale Spanish Immersion Elementary School (¡Vamos Los Ponis!).
You can read Rick’s full curriculum vitae here.