“I love working with filmmakers, television producers and writers, authors, playwrights and other creative people to help them get their dream projects onto screen, stage or print.”—Kathleen Conkey
Kathleen is a New York City media and entertainment attorney in practice since 1992, with nearly 30 years of experience representing clients in the media and entertainment world, most specifically in the pre-broadcast and pre-publication review of film, television programming, scripts, plays and books. She started as a litigation associate at Debevoise and Plimpton before moving to Lankenau Kovner and Kurtz (now merged with Davis Wright Tremaine).
She then went in-house for 11 years as a Senior Counsel and Vice President for MTV Networks, CBS Television and King World Productions. As in-house counsel, she reviewed and supervised the review of hundreds of daily, weekly and one-off programs and films; advising producers regarding fair use, libel, privacy, right of publicity, copyright and trademark infringement and the myriad other torts that television shows, films and other news and entertainment content can involve. At MTV, she developed successful procedures and protocols for programs that relied heavily or entirely upon the fair use of video clips.
Since 2007 she has continued to work with television production companies, filmmakers, authors and other content creators in her practice, vetting documentaries, television programs, books, plays and movies. An important part of her practice is drafting fair use opinion letters and libel review letters needed by producers and writers to secure errors and omissions insurance.
She is a co-author and co-editor of Counseling Content Providers in the Digital Age, published by the New York State Bar Association, which grew out of a series of lectures she gave on the topic of pre-broadcast review. She wrote several of the chapters, including the one on Copyright, which focuses on fair use. She continues to lecture on media, entertainment and First Amendment issues. She is a long-time member of the Media Law Resource Center, a national organization of media lawyers, where she serves on the Entertainment Committee; and a member of the New York State Bar Association’s Media Law Committee and its Entertainment Arts and Sports Law Section, all of which regularly analyze new case law affecting the media and entertainment industries.
She received her J.D. with Highest Honors from Rutgers Law School-Newark in 1991, where she served on Law Review. She has a B.S. in Journalism and a B.A. in Theatre from the University of Kansas. Prior to law school, Ms. Conkey was Press Secretary to Manhattan Borough President David Dinkins and a staff writer for Ralph Nader.
She currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the William Allen White Foundation, a non-profit organization connected to the University of Kanas and dedicated to improving journalism education and practice nationally. She is an avid gardener and lover of the Catskill Mountains.
Co-Editor and Co-Author
Counseling Content Providers in the Digital Age: A Handbook for Lawyers – New York State Bar Association