Hal "Corky" Kessler, Esq.
Mr. Kessler has extensive entertainment law, corporate and entertainment industry experience. He regularly speaks on the business and legal aspects of feature film development and tax incentives in connection with the entertainment industry. Corky is actively involved in film fund transactions and counseling, and film funding source development in North America, and is expanding his practice internationally.
Corky represents several authors and negotiates publishing deals with several major publishers. He has assembled and built winning teams for more than thirty entertainment and other business ventures. Corky has also developed, packaged, and executive produced feature films, theater and television projects starring major celebrities, including one that won the Australian Academy Award for Best Film. In 2012, he signed a Memorandum of Understanding with private investors from China for a substantial co-production deal with the United States.
Corky has authored a reference book covering federal and state tax incentives applicable to the entertainment industry, and has worked with Governors and U.S. Congressmen in several states to implement new laws and federal tax incentives for investment in qualifying film and television projects which led to Sections 181 and 199 of the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004. As an Adjunct Professor at the John Marshall Law School, Corky teaches an entertainment and transactional law course, and previously taught a similar course at Northwestern Law School and at Columbia College's film department.
Corky has written several articles for Screen Magazine, and other film entertainment magazines and periodicals. In 2016, he was named the top entertainment lawyer in the United States by an entertainment industry trade magazine. He has been actively instrumental in conducting "Biz Sessions," a seminar dealing with the business and legal aspects of feature film development. His engagements as speaker or moderator of panel discussions and seminars throughout North America and China include the Sundance Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, China US Summit, Beijing International Film Festival, among others.
Corky has a B.S./B.A. degree from Ohio State University and a J.D., summa cum laude, from John Marshall Law School, is admitted to practice in Illinois, is a member of the Trial Bar of the U. S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, is admitted to the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and is a member of the American and Chicago Bar Associations.