Father & Daughter Film Report



Hal "Corky" Kessler


Entertainment Law

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"summa cum laude"

You've probably heard that expression.  Probably around graduation time, usually announced for some of the kids in caps & gowns who did well during the course of their educational career. 

"with the highest distinction"

  Is the literal translation, and this term may certainly be applied to one Hal "Corky" Kessler, who was in fact a summa cum laude at John Marshall Law School, and has shown to take this level of distinction in his work around the entertainment industry.

Hal "Corky" Kessler comments on a Legal issue at the International Family Film Festival.

We ran into Corky at the 2016 International Family Film Festival on one of their many, many excellent panels, in this case one on Fiance & Legal panel.

It was obvious only into a few minutes into the panel discussion who was summa cum laude in this group, for Corky not only had answers, but the legal "hows" & "whys", as well as the name and year the law was passed on whatever issue was being discussed.

In other words, this man knew his stuff.

His resume is pretty impressive as well.  He is currently working on 38 film projects, has been associated with such films as Driving Miss Daisy, Steel Magnolias, and The Sum of Us, worked with the likes of Russell Crowe, Jonathan Winters, Jimmu Kimmel, Robin Williams, Howie Mandel, Rob Reiner, Sara Silver, Jim Carrey and many others.

But let's not just name drop here.  The name of this game is knowledge...knowledge about the world most film makers know very little about, and quite often have the most difficulty in.

Check out a few notes here:

Corky teaches entertainment law as an Adjunct Professor at Northwestern Law School and John Marshall Law School. He previously developed a syllabus for - and taught - a similar course at Columbia College in its Film Department. He has also written articles for Screen Magazine and other film and entertainment periodicals.

He has successfully worked with governors and United States Congressmen in several states to implement new laws and federal tax incentives for investments in qualifying film and television projects, which led to Sections 181 and 199 of The American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 and its 2008 extension and amendment. Corky has also authored a reference book covering federal and state tax incentives for films.

Of course he has participated in seminars throughout the United States & Canada on legal issues - that's how we met him as we told you - but we didn't tell you he does this for some of the biggest ones in the industry, like Sundance.

At a point in your film where you need some legal advice?  Now you have a name of one of the best in the business for your Rolodex.