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Brent A. Turman

Brent's commercial litigation practice covers a variety of matters including business disputes, intellectual property, complex arbitration and civil RICO actions. He represents clients ranging from startups to high net worth individuals to Fortune 50 companies. From 2017-2020, Brent has been recognized by his peers as a Super Lawyers "Rising Star" for business litigation. 

Before Brent’s legal career, he was an Associate Operations Producer for ESPN / ABC College Football. In addition, Brent produced commercials, industrial videos, in-arena entertainment, and music videos for clients throughout North America. Brent has continued to use this experience to assist clients in the Entertainment, Media and Sports industry by preparing and reviewing relevant contracts and navigating clients through business disputes. Outside of the office Brent produces short films and co-hosts Hilltop Hoops, the podcast for Southern Methodist University men’s basketball fans. He was also a Remote Producer for the XFL’s re-launch in 2020.


  • J.D., cum laude, Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, 2012
  • B.B.A. & B.A., cum laude, Southern Methodist University, 2007


  • State Bar of Texas
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Northern, Eastern, Western and Southern Districts of Texas

Related Industry

Representative Matters
  • Secured jury verdict finding that his client was a partner in the entity that initially published the "Fifty Shades of Grey" trilogy books. The jury found the client was entitled to over $13.2 million in royalties, interest and attorneys' fees.
  • Brent and a team of attorneys secured a unanimous defense verdict in favor of manufacturer of downhole sand and gas separation products in a $4.5 million dollar patent infringement suit.
  • Obtained $10.3 million summary judgment for entity that loaned funds for production of feature film distributed by a major studio.
  • As lead attorney in emergency expedited briefing, persuaded federal judge to quash notice of deposition for a Fortune 50 CEO.
  • Served as Production Counsel for films produced in Texas.
  • Represented multiple University Presses when approached to option film or television rights to books.
  • Brent and a team of attorneys represented an LLC and one of its members in claims against a large Chinese state-owned enterprise, as well as several of its "subsidiaries." In pursuing the arbitration claim, the team also defended its clients in two federal proceedings in the Northern District of Texas, one federal proceeding in the Northern District of California, one proceeding in the Delaware Court of Chancery, and one appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The panel awarded the claimants over $68 million (confirmed in 2018).
  • Developed biometrics policies for companies with a nationwide presence, with employees in states including Texas, California and Illinois.
  • As lead counsel, Brent obtained multiple favorable settlements on behalf of a campus safety and student conduct software provider against several public and private universities around the United States.
  • Obtained summary judgment for large residential developer in negligence action.
  • Obtained summary judgment for water park after oral argument, defeating the plaintiff's premises liability action.
  • Named to The Best Lawyers in America® "Ones to Watch" List, 2021
  • Selected by attorney peers for inclusion as Texas Rising Star® for Business Litigation, Thomson Reuters, 2017 – 2020
  • Eagle Scout
  • Best Short Film, 2018 AutomaCon Short Film Festival
  • Best Drama, 2018 Wildwood Film Festival
  • Best Director, 2014 Universal Film Festival
Activities & Memberships
  • Highland Park United Methodist Church Day School Advisory Board
  • Texas State Bar College
  • Texas Association of Motion Media Professionals, President
  • Dallas Bar Association, Sports & Entertainment Law Section, Former Chair (2016)
  • Women Texas Film Festival Advisory Board
  • Texas State Bar Entertainment Law Institute, Planning Committee Member (2018)
  • Texas Bar Association, Entertainment & Sports Law Section, Treasurer (2019)
  • D Magazine Young Leaders Network
  • Dallas Producers Association, Producer Member
  • SMU Meadows Alumni Advisory Council
  • Texas UIL Young Filmmakers Festival and USA Film Festival, Judge
  • "The Effect of COVID-19 on Existing Litigation," May 20, 2020.
  • "Emerging COVID-Specific Business Interruption Litigation Issues in Texas," May 8, 2020.
  • "The Evolution of the Texas Anti-SLAPP Statue," Dallas Bar Association Headnotes, April 16, 2020.
  • "Brief Intermission: A Preview of the Theater Business After COVID-19," March 30, 2020.
  • "What Employers Need to Know About Using Biometric Technology," Dallas Business Journal, 2019.
  • "How Changes in Texas Anti-SLAPP Statute Affect the Entertainment Industry," Entertainment Law & Finance, 2019
  • "The Right to Tweet," DBA Headnotes, 2019
  • "Are Handshake Deals in the Entertainment Biz on Shaky Ground?" The Texas Lawbook, 2018
  • "Are You in a Business Partnership and Don’t Know It?" Dallas Business Journal, 2018
  • "Lifting the Veil on Sponsored Social Media Influencer Posts," DBA Headnotes, 2018
  • "Defamation Mitigation Act Can Extend Deadlines Under the Texas Anti-SLAPP Statute," Texas Entertainment & Sports Law Newsletter, 2018
  • "Texas Film Commission Director Chops Down Machete's Allegations," Texas Entertainment & Sports Law Newsletter, 2015
  • "DIY Media Distribution: Eliminating the Middleman," DBA Headnotes, 2014
  • "After Official Review, Fourth Circuit Rules No Unsportsmanlike Conduct in NFL's Use of Franchise Logo," Texas Entertainment & Sports Law Newsletter, 2014
  • "Guilds and Unions in a Right-to-Work State," Entertainment Law Institute, 2014
  • "Combatting Sexual Harassment on Film Sets," Women Texas Film Festival, August 14, 2020.
  • "Legal Issues Impacting the Live Event and Entertainment Industries in the Wake of COVID-19," State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting, Dallas Bar Association, Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association, 2020.
  • "What Kanye Can Teach Us About Litigation," District of Columbia Bar Litigation Community, Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association, State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting, State Bar of Nevada Entertainment Law Section, King County Bar Association, New Orleans Bar Association, Multnomah Bar Association, Dallas Association of Young Lawyers, various law firms, 2019-20.
  • “Litigating Partnership Disputes,” Oklahoma Bar Association Litigation Section, 2019.
  • "Using Social Media Evidence at Trial," SMU Dedman School of Law, Guest Lecture, 2019.
  • "Litigation in the Film and Media Industries," University of Texas Arlington, Guest Lecture, 2019.
  • "What Kanye Can Teach us About Litigation,” State Bar of Texas Podcast, 2019.
  • "The State of the Art Law in Dallas," Dallas Bar Association, Legal Panel, 2019.
  • “A Content Creator’s Guide to Staying out of the Courtroom: Defamation and Business Disparagement in Texas,” Entertainment Law Institute, 2018.
  • “Obeying Terms of Use When Conducting Business on Social Media,” SMU Dedman School of Law, Guest Lecture, 2018.
  • “Editing: Finding the Story and Editing Ethically,” Docu Fest, Legal Panel, 2018.
  • “Legal Issues in Filmmaking,” Women Texas Film Festival, Legal Panel, 2018.
  • “Top 10 Video Game Decisions: From Donkey Kong to eSports,” Texas State Bar Annual Meeting, 2018.
  • “After the Handshake Deal: Proving What’s Not in Writing,” Austin Bar Association: Business, Corporate, & Tax Law Section, 2018.
  • “Fifty Shades of Greed: A Case Study on Partnership by Conduct,” Houston Bar Association, 2017.
  • “Social Media Law,” SMU Dedman School of Law, Guest Lecturer, 2017.
  • “Art Law Roundtable,” Arts Counsel Texas, Legal Panel, 2017.
  • “Success in the Screenwriting Business,” The Dallas Screenwriters Association, Panel, 2017.
  • “Script to Screen: Legal Issues Relating to Filmmaking,” Arts Counsel Texas Lunch & Learn, 2017.
  • Entertainment Law Practitioners Panel, SMU Dedman School of Law SELA, 2017
  • “Fifty Shades of Greed: A Case Study on Partnership by Conduct,” Entertainment Law Institute, 2016.
  • “The Book of Sanctions: Enforcement of NCAA Bylaws,” Dallas Bar Association, Legal Panel, 2016.
  • “Lights, Camera, Action: Legal Issues Affecting Film Festivals,” Dallas Bar Association, Legal Panel, 2016.
  • “Why I Learned to Love Contracts,” Arts Counsel Texas Lunch & Learn, 2016.
  • Entertainment Law Panel, UNT Dallas College of Law, 2016.