Michael A. Valenti
- Founding Member
Mr. Valenti concentrates his practice in the business law arena, with a heavy emphasis on securities law and litigation and business tort litigation of all kinds. Mr. Valenti's securities law practice is national in scope. He has represented investors and companies in securities and investor fraud related matters in jurisdictions and arbitration forums located throughout the country. Mr. Valenti and his team have also represented individuals and companies in criminal matters involving securities related issues. Mr. Valenti also regularly handles most other types of business/commercial disputes, such as breach of contract actions, intellectual property litigation, and employment law litigation.
During the course of his career, Mr. Valenti has successfully represented clients in many jury and bench trials, acting as the first chair attorney in most of these cases. All told, Mr. Valenti has litigated hundreds of cases, including cases seeking preliminary or injunctive relief.
Achievements Mr. Valenti has over 33 years of practice experience in a wide array of matters including:
• Mr. Valenti has helped investors who have been victimized by fraudsters, unscrupulous financial advisors, and broker-dealers recover millions of dollars in damages by way of trial, hearing, or settlement. A representative case includes: In February of 2018, Mr. Valenti obtained an Arbitration Award from FINRA Arbitration Panel in the amount of $445,000 on behalf of an elderly client based upon improper activity in her account by a large regional brokerage firm and its agent who was serving as her financial advisor. This award was heavily publicized in the local media and the national press covering the financial services industry. A link from one of these publications appears below. https://onwallstreet.finan cial-planning.com/news/hilliard-lyons-loses-445k-case-to-elderly-client
• In February of 2016, he successfully represented a Financial Advisor who was being sued under by a large Wall Street Bank to recover over $215,000 allegedly owed under a promissory note in an arbitration proceeding before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority("FINRA"). Mr. Valenti asserted a Counterclaim in that FINRA proceeding relating to false and misleading recruitment practices engaged in by the Wall Street firm towards his client. The Arbitration Panel ruled that Mr. Valenti's client did not have to re-pay any money under the promissory note and that the Wall Street firm owed the Financial Advisor $300,000 plus interest based upon its wrongful recruiting practices. This case attracted national and local media attention, with articles about the case appearing in the Wall Street Journal, Louisville Business First, and trade publications concerning the financial services industry. The Wall Street Journal article about the case described the result as a "rare win" for a Financial Advisor against a Wall Street Bank in a promissory note case. During the course of his national securities law practice, Mr. Valenti has represented clients in securities-related matters in FINRA, AAA, and other arbitration proceedings, and civil cases in several jurisdictions around the country. Articles about Mr. Valenti's cases have appeared in numerous publications, and he has been
Invited to speak at academic institutions on securities law matters. Links to some of the articles in which Mr. Valenti is quoted appear below:
• Successfully defending the chief financial officer of an oil company against claims of defamation and tortious interference with contract seeking over $30 million in damages during a three-week long multi-party jury trial which resulted in a jury verdict in favor of the chief financial officer.
• Successfully defending a national religious organization based in Louisville against claims of sexual harassment which resulted in a verdict of zero damages against the religious organization following a jury trial.
• Successfully defending a developer of medical software against claims alleging defective software design and inadequate support during a jury trial which resulted in a verdict of zero damages against the software developer.
• Successfully representing companies and executives in preliminary injunction hearings involving the enforcement of covenants not to compete. Representing companies in connection with claims of trademark infringement and unfair competition under the Lanham Act. Briefing and arguing cases before federal and state appellate courts resulting in published opinions.
• Successfully representing a physician in a breach of contract case that led to a jury trial in excess of $400,000 was rendered in the physician's favor on his breach of contract claims against the medical professional service corporation by which he was formerly employed, on the grounds that the physician was not paid the proper amounts due and owing him under the contract upon termination.
• Successfully representing a widow who received a financial settlement as the result of the death of her husband in a coal mining accident in a securities arbitration involving claims that her money was placed in unsuitable investments.
• Successfully representing the former Chairman and CEO of a health care company for claims involving breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and the wrongful conversion of his stock.
• Successfully representing a regional drywall company in a breach of fiduciary duty and aiding and abetting a breach of fiduciary duty case, which involved a jury trial in federal court and resulted in a verdict of over $800,000 in favor of the client.
• Negotiating a settlement on behalf of a surgeon who was sued under a physician recruitment agreement for a claim in excess of $1 million.
• Representing numerous energy companies and individuals in proceedings brought by or before securities regulatory bodies regarding claims arising from the offering of oil and gas investments.
• Representing patent holders in enforcing their rights under patents.
Mr. Valenti also has substantial experience in representing clients of varying sizes with respect to business transaction matters, particularly in the securities law area. His experience includes preparation of private placement memoranda, subscription agreements and other offering documents in connection with the raising of capital for organic farming companies, restaurant concepts and other businesses. Mr. Valenti has also prepared operating agreements, buy/sell agreements, employment agreements, license agreements, and other types of agreements for both newly formed and established businesses, ranging from the most basic to much more complex agreements in order to suit the needs of each particular client. Finally, Mr. Valenti has counseled numerous clients in connection with the acquisition of several types of businesses, including medical practices and home health care companies. Mr. Valenti believes that he brings a unique perspective to the practice of law in the business arena because his substantial litigation experience helps him anticipate issues that may arise in the transactional documents which he often prepares for clients.
Mr. Valenti has received a Diploma in Trial Advocacy Skills from the National Institute of Trial Advocacy in March of 1992. Mr. Valenti also received the Continuing Legal Education Award from the Kentucky Bar Association in July of 1994 and the Donated Legal Services Award from The Kentucky Bar Association in June of 1996.
Mr. Valenti has received the 2020 AV Preeminent Judicial Rating, denoting the highest rating by both his Peers and the Judiciary.
*CV, BV, and AV are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards, and policies.
Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell ratings fall into two categories - legal ability and general ethical standards.
Michael Valenti is a native of Cleveland, Ohio, where he attended St. Ignatius High School. He obtained his undergraduate degree from the College of the Holy Cross, and obtained his law degree from the American University, Washington College of Law. Mr. Valenti began his legal career with Greenebaum Doll & McDonald, PLLC, then one of the largest, most well-respected firms in Kentucky and the surrounding region. He later joined a medium sized firm, founded by former partners of the Greenebaum firm consisting of some of the most well-respected attorneys in the Louisville community. He remained with that firm for ten years where he became a partner. In 1997, Mr. Valenti teamed with John E. Hanley to form the law firm which eventually became Valenti Hanley PLLC.
Mr. Valenti is also active in the community. He has coached football and lacrosse on a variety of levels over a ten year period. He has served as the President of the Board of Directors of Harbor House in 2012 and 2013. Harbor House is a non-profit organization serving needs of adults suffering from a variety of disabilities and those of their families. Mr. Valenti is an outdoor sports enthusiast who enjoys skiing, hiking, mountain climbing and biking, running, travel and reading.
Areas Of Practice
- Investor Fraud Litigation
- Securities Litigation and Offerings
- Business Tort Litigation
- White Collar Criminal Defense
- Commercial Litigation
- Business and Commercial Law
- Business Organizations
- Corporate Law
- Employment Law
- Insurance Defense
- Intellectual Property Litigation
- Litigation and Appeals
- Personal Injury
- U.S. District Court Western District of Kentucky
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of Kentucky
- U.S. District Court District of Colorado
- U.S. District Court Southern District of Indiana
- U.S. District Court Northern District of Indiana, 2015
- U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals Federal Circuit
- American University, Washington College of Law, Washington, District of Columbia
- J.D. - 1986
- College of the Holy Cross
- B.A. - 1982
- St. Ignatius High School
- National Institute of Trial Advocacy
- Diploma in Trial Advocacy Skills - 03/1992
- Hodge Business Computer Sys. v. U.S.A. Mobile Com., 910 F. 2d 367, 1990, 6th Cir.
- Kaufman Co., Inc. v. Lantech, Inc., 926 F. 2d 1136, 1991, Fed. Cir.
- Brown v. Wigginton, 981 F. 2d 913, 1992, 6th Cir.
- Maddox v. University of Tennessee, 62 F. 3d 843, 1995, 6th Cir.
- Flint v. Kentucky Dept. of Corrections, 270 F.3d 340, et. al, 2001, 6th Cir.
- Maker's Mark Distillery, Inc. v. Diageo North America, Inc., et al., --F.3d--, WL1605755, 2012, 6th Cir.
- Lautzenhiser Technologies, LLC v. Sunrise Medical HHG, Inc., CIVIL ACTION NO. 4:07-CV-0084-DFH-WGH, 2011, USDC
- Kentucky Lottery Corporation
- Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation
- Great American Insurance Company
- Harbor House of Louisville (non-profit)
- PPM Fulfillment LLC
- Apex Aircraft Detailing Global Appearance Partners
- Stearns Bank, NA BioAg Group, Inc.
Honors and Awards
- Continuing Legal Education Award, Kentucky Bar Association, July 1994
- Donated Legal Services Award from The Kentucky Bar Association, June 1996
- Designated as a Top Lawyer in Louisville in various legal categories for several years in Louisville Magazine’s Annual Poll
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Kentucky Super Lawyers
- AV Rating from Martindale Hubbell - Firm and Attorney
- Louisville Bar Association, Member
- Kentucky Bar Association, Member
- American Bar Association, Member
- Harbor House of Louisville, Past Chairman, Board of Directors
- St. Albert the Great, Parish, Member
- Colorado Bar Association, Member
- Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association, Member
Past Employment Positions
- Greenebaum Doll & McDonald, PLLC (nka Bingham Greenebaum Doll, LLP)
- Hirn Reed & Harper, Partner
Pro Bono Activities
- Harbor House of Louisville, President of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee, 2012 and 2013