Yesterday, the Tennessee Supreme Court issued its ruling in the Funk v. Scripps Media case involving the fair report privilege and Tennessee’s statutory Shield Law. In a victory for speech advocates and the media, the Court held that the fair report privilege cannot be defeated by a showing of either express malice or actual malice, overturning precedent dating back to the 19th Century. The opinion also addressed whether an exception to Tennessee’s statutory Shield Law, Tenn. Code § 24-1-208(b) applied. In finding that the exception did apply, the Court limited what Scripps was required to disclose: “the exception to the shield law allows a court to
compel disclosure of the source of a media defendant’s information—how media defendant know something; it does not authorize a court to compel media defendants to disclose the information the source provided.”

Aaron & Sanders partner Paul McAdoo authored an amicus brief in the case on behalf of 14 national media organizations.

Rick Sanders

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.