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

Kent Piacenti

Kent Piacenti
Dallas

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 defended against claims for securities fraud and insider trading and has handled numerous inquiries from FINRA’s Office of Fraud Detection and Market Intelligence. Kent has represented clients in disputes concerning real property, alleged breaches of fiduciary duty, and professional liability. Kent has also worked on constitutional litigation involving the First Amendment, the Equal Protection Clause, and the Commerce Clause.

Kent is actively involved in pro bono work, serving as General Counsel to the Turtle Creek Chorale. He has 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 has obtained withholding of removal for a political refugee and special immigrant juvenile status for an abandoned minor. Kent also serves on the National Leadership Committee of Lambda Legal and was recently named one of the Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40 by the National LGBT Bar Association.

Securities Litigation

  • (S.D. Tex.) – Obtained dismissal with prejudice of securities fraud claims against the former directors of an independent exploration and production company for allegedly misleading investors about an ultra-deepwater drilling program, a speculative derivative trading strategy, and impairments to the company’s assets (lead associate)

  • (S.D. Tex.) – Obtained dismissal with prejudice of securities fraud claims against a manufacturer of fiber optic networking products and its officers for allegedly misleading investors about its sales to its largest customer

  • (E.D. Pa.); (3d Cir.) – Obtained affirmance of dismissal with prejudice of securities fraud claims against a deathcare company and its officers and directors for allegedly misleading investors by concealing risks to its ability to pay distributions

  • (S.D. Tex.) – Represented CEO of midstream energy company, obtaining dismissal with prejudice of insider-trading claim under Section 16(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (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 associate)

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

  • (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)

  • (AAA – Dallas, Tex.) – Defended $25 million claim against accounting firm by bankruptcy litigation trust alleging audit malpractice; client won a take nothing arbitration award after full hearing on the merits

  • (Tex.) – Represented prominent New York law firm, obtaining denial of petition for review upon reversal of trial court’s denial of special appearance and rendition of dismissal by the Dallas Court of Appeals

  • (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

  • (USCIS) – Obtained approval of petition for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status on behalf of abandoned minor from El Salvador

  • (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)

Credentials

  • 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
  • General Counsel, Turtle Creek Chorale (Present)
  • Judicial clerk to The Honorable Susan P. Graber, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 2012–2013
  • The Best Lawyers in America© (BL Rankings, LLC), “Ones to Watch,” 2021
  • National Leadership Committee, Lambda Legal
  • Texas
  • U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Southern and Western Districts of Texas
  • College Instructors’ Guide to Teaching Speak Now: Marriage Equality on Trial by Kenji Yoshino, Penguin Random House (2016) (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