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Kent Piacenti
Kent Piacenti
Senior Associate — Commercial & Business Litigation
Senior Associate — Commercial & Business Litigation

Kent Piacenti

Kent Piacenti

Trammell Crow Center
2001 Ross Avenue
Suite 3900
Dallas, TX 75201

Kent Piacenti

Kent’s principal areas of practice are complex commercial litigation and appellate litigation, and his clients include private equity, financial, technology, and energy companies, as well as several major religious denominations. Kent has experience with allegations of insider trading and has handled inquiries from FINRA and defended clients against demands and litigation arising from alleged violations of Section 16(b) of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934. In addition, Kent has represented clients in disputes concerning real property, purchase and sale agreements, professional liability, and alleged securities fraud. Kent has also worked on constitutional litigation involving the Commerce Clause, First Amendment, and Equal Protection Clause.

Kent is actively involved in pro bono work, having represented media organizations as amici curiae in the Supreme Court of Texas and a social justice organization as amicus curiae in the Supreme Court of the United States. He is also active in the community, serving as co-chair of the Dallas Leadership Committee of Lambda Legal and sitting on the board of the Turtle Creek Chorale. He was recently named one of the Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40 by the National LGBT Bar Association.

Experience Highlights

  • (Tex. App. – Waco) – Favorably settled litigation with a county appraisal district over the value of a major generator’s nuclear power plant, after joining the case as appellate counsel subsequent to an unfavorable trial court judgment that valued the plant at over $2 billion 

  • (Tex. Dist. – Rusk Cnty.) – Favorably settled litigation with a county appraisal district over the value of a major generator’s coal-fired power plant (lead associate)

  • (S.D. Tex.) – Settled litigation asserting a claim under Section 16(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 for alleged insider trading against former officer of a publicly traded company for approximately 7% of the profits alleged (lead counsel)

  • (Tex. Dist. – Hood Cnty.) – Successfully prevented distribution of funds from a trust established by a prominent artist to non-beneficiaries (lead author; argued)

  • (W.D. Tex.) – Obtained dismissal for lack of jurisdiction based on amended legislation that mooted constitutional claims at issue in the case 

  • (Bankr. D. Nev.) – Obtained for Fortune 100 company a voluntary complete dismissal of all claims against it with prejudice on the eve of filing a motion to dismiss 

  • (Tex. Dist. – Dallas Cnty.) — Successfully defended a historic religious denomination sued by a breakaway faction in a church property case in Texas state court; obtained a $7.8 million (net) settlement payment from the breakaway plaintiffs to client and dismissal of all plaintiffs’ claims

  • Represented the Audit Committee of a multinational tech company to conduct an independent investigation into conduct in China involving distributors and partners; scope of work involved data collection and review, and assistance with interviews

  • Represented publicly traded consumer retailer in SEC investigation related to alleged securities fraud 

  • (Tex. App.—Dallas); (Tex. Dist. Dallas Cnty.) – Obtained dismissal of lawsuit challenging the eligibility of a candidate for Trustee of Dallas Independent School District days before an election (lead associate)

  • (Immigration Ct. – Dallas) – Obtained withholding of removal of a Sudanese citizen persecuted for his participation in anti­government protests during the Arab Spring (lead counsel)

  • (U.S.) – Represented social justice organization in amicus briefing in the Supreme Court of the United States regarding the legal effect of attorney abandonment on a petitioner for habeas corpus

  • (Tex.) – Represented numerous media companies in amicus briefing in the Supreme Court of Texas regarding the proper measure of damages for defamation (principal drafter)

  • Successfully tried numerous misdemeanor offenses in the municipal court of the city of Grand Prairie, Texas (lead counsel)


  • University of Virginia School of Law, J.D., 2012 (Editor in Chief, Virginia Law Review; Order of the Coif)
  • University of California–Irvine, B.A., Music magna cum laude, 2003
  • Judicial clerk to The Honorable Susan P. Graber, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 2012–2013
  • Member: Dallas Leadership Committee, Lambda Legal
  • Coach: SMU Williams Institute Moot Court Team
  • Board Member: Turtle Creek Chorale
  • Texas
  • College Instructors’ Guide to Teaching Speak Now: Marriage Equality on Trial by Kenji Yoshino, Penguin Random House (forthcoming 2015) (co-author)
  • “Immigration’s Family Values,” Virginia Law Review, 2014 (co-author)
  • “Texas Court Affirms in Part Jury Verdict for ‘Talking Trash’ About Corporate Competitor,” MLRC MediaLawLetter, May 2014
  • “Texas Court Strictly Construes SLAPP Statute’s Commercial Speech Exemption,” MLRC MediaLawLetter, April 2014
  • “Citizenship, Immigration, and Parentage,” Association for Law, Culture, and the Humanities, March 16, 2012 (co-presenter)
  • “Toward a Meaningful Response to the Problem of Anti-Gay Bullying in American Public Schools,” Virginia Journal of Social Policy and the Law, 2011