M. DeSales Linton

Recommendations & Press


The following recommendations from David Benjamin, Esq., Arthur Bryant, Esq., Chief Judge Stephanie K. Seymour and Judge Frederic N. Smalkin speak to the characteristics necessary to take a movie from concept to screen, and a progressive media company from business plan to profitability – creativity, vision, intellectual curiosity, a large capacity for learning, discipline,  common sense, a genuine love of people and a strong work ethic.  See more reviews of DeSales from journalists and industry folk here. See reviews of her award-winning film, kalin's prayer, here.

David Benjamin, Esq.
Senior Vice President, Universal Music Group

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"I can say without a doubt that DeSales Linton has that rare mix of unique creative vision, charismatic leadership skills, intellectual thoughtfulness and unrelenting will to become a major player in the global entertainment world".


It’s also no secret that the entertainment industry is in the midst of a change, and I’m confident that insite is the company and Rock the Planet is the event to provide the tipping point.  It’s my bet that the major studios and record labels will want to be a part of Rock the Planet, and it will be up to DeSales to choose her suitor.


Indeed, with her social vision and the skills necessary to execute that vision, it’s no exaggeration to say that DeSales is one of the rare breed that has the power to change the way we see this industry…and the world.


I look forward to 'the insite generation'."

David Benjamin is Senior Vice President at Universal Music Group, the music division of the largest entertainment company in the world, Universal-Vivendi.  He has spent over 25 years working with artistic and business legends in the music and visual entertainment industry.  Mr. Benjamin began his career representing Bruce Springsteen and Paul Simon and later became Associate General Counsel for CBS Records under the music visionary and President, Walter R. Yetnikoff

From 1983-1993, Mr. Benjamin was at the forefront of the fusion of music and video as the Producer of Music Video programming for NBC’s version of MTV, Friday Night Videos.  At FNV, he collaborated with some of the all-time great artists and their video directors, including Paul McCartney, Whitney Houston, Ozzy Osbourne and Stevie Wonder.  He then represented such artists as multi- Grammy Award-winning R&B superstars Mary J. Blige and LL Cool J.  He has negotiated with the heads of every major record label, including Sony, Warner, BMG, Geffen, EMI and Dreamworks.  He also was a very early investor - after all the studios had passed - in the Oscar-winning feature documentary, When We Were Kings, about the life of Mohammed Ali. 

Mr. Benjamin was an early fan of kalin’s prayer and has generously advised DeSales on her media career.  Believing that the musical artists DeSales has assembled for Rock the Planet are “the future of MTV,” he was eager to secure early studio or MTV participation in the film’s development.  DeSales politely declined at the time in order to pursue more “alternative” support. He's still here and a top supporter, however ;)

Arthur H. Bryant, Esq.
 Executive Director, Public Justice

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"DeSales is charismatic; she's a visionary.  She can create
 and share her vision - and make a real difference - in film. 

She has consistently brought - and won - cases that other lawyers
 wouldn't touch....what she has achieved in her brief legal career
underscores the nature of her talents.

On a personal level, she has a winning, dynamic personality
 and a great sense of humor.  She is a joy to work with."

Arthur H. Bryant is the Executive Director of Public Justice, America's Public Interest Law Firm, where he regularly argues before the United States Supreme Court. www.publicjustice.net. Under Mr. Bryant, Public Justice won the Exxon Valdez case, the landmark Title IX girls’ athletics case against Brown University and the early tobacco industry cases, including those involving second-hand smoke, along with many other precedent-setting tort and discrimination suits.  Public Justice also was on the winning Supreme Court brief in the Guantanamo Bay case against the Bush Administration.

Mr. Bryant was a star point guard and sometime singer at Swarthmore College before attending Harvard Law School. At Harvard, Mr. Bryant won the prestigious Moot Court competition, which was presided over by then-Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger. Mr. Bryant was asked to become Executive Director of Public Justice, which was the brainchild of Ralph Nader, while he was still in his twenties.

Mr. Bryant lives in Oakland, California and is married to a teacher and poet. They have one son.

This recommendation was written in support of DeSales' application to NYU Graduate Film School.

The Honorable Stephanie K. Seymour
 Chief Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit

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"She arrived more prepared for the job than any of the other clerks I have
 had my eleven years on the bench. 

In many ways DeSales is ahead of her time.  Her views of the world and solutions to our problems are those I believe need to be part of the broader public debate.  They are ones to which I hope my children and grandchildren will be exposed.  In my judgment, DeSales has the unique blend of analytical and creative talents and personal traits that will make her an outstanding director and screenwriter.

DeSales literally has put her money where her mouth is.  She could easily have secured a large salary with many of the elite law firms around the country.  Always a maverick, however, she opened her own civil rights practice, a bold step in itself, and has taken difficult cases against huge defendants and law firms in the pursuit of justice.

DeSales also has an open mind and the ability to accept constructive criticism, as well as a sense of humor, which make her a delight to work with.  She has the creativity and intellectual ability to persuade those who would be persuaded and to carry on around those who won't."

Judge Stephanie K. Seymour was a Carter-appointee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit - she was at that time the youngest person ever appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals, which is one level below the U.S. Supreme Court. A native of Michigan, Judge Seymour graduated from Smith College and Harvard Law School. Known for her consensus building, Judge Seymour is able to reach progressive decisions in the most conservative activist circuit in the US.

In the late 80’s, Judge Seymour wrote the opinion in Brown v. Board of Education II, which upheld the landmark Supreme Court decision mandating school desegregation that had been challenged by the Oklahoma school board. Her opinion was upheld by the Supreme Court.

In 1993, Judge Seymour was on President Clinton’s short list for the Supreme Court vacancy that ultimately was filled by Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Judge Seymour was deemed "too liberal" by Clinton's team, primarily for her anti-death penalty dissents).  Judge Seymour lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma and is married with 4 children.

These recommendations were written in support of DeSales' application to The University of Michigan School of Law's SJD Program and to NYU Graduate Film School.

The Honorable Frederic N. Smalkin
 United States District Court for the District of Maryland

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"I can easily say that I have never encountered a young lawyer who is more scholarly in approach, more dedicated to mastering the law, more interested in using the law for social change, and more downright intensely curious than Dee Linton.

Although she and I are about as far apart on our general approaches to many social and political issues as two people can get, I always felt that Dee respected any opinion that I could defend with a modicum of intellectual honesty... .

You will find very few applicants as well-qualified, as well-rounded, or earnest as she.

She has a terrific future. She is curious, energetic, and enthusiastic, as well as bright and articulate. By far the most interested lawyer I've encountered. She showed no weaknesses and was a quick study. Absolutely a self-starter, yet able to take direction and worked well with the whole staff.  Well-liked by all.  Worked above and beyond my expectations."

Judge Frederic N. Smalkin is a former JAG Captain in the U.S. Army and Republican Reagan-appointee to the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. He hired DeSales as his judicial clerk and "noble opposition."  

Acknowledged as the "intellectual" on Maryland's District Court, Judge Smalkin graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Johns Hopkins University, was #1 in his class at the University of Maryland School of Law, has the record for the highest score ever on the Maryland Bar Exam and is known for his eloquent (and witty) oral opinions from the bench.

Not one to slow down, Judge Smalkin currently is a professor of Commercial Law at Maryland Law School, where he was "Teacher of the Year", a member of Johns Hopkins' Business Faculty and on the faculty of the Trial Advocacy Institute at the University of Virginia School of Law.

In 2004, Judge Smalkin was appointed by Maryland Governor Richard Ehrlich as Chair of the Governor’s Emergency Management Advisory Council, which works in coordination with the U.S. Homeland Security Director.  A rated pilot, Judge Smalkin is a Colonel in and serves as the Chief of Staff for the Commander of the Maryland Defense Force and is a Lt. Colonel in the US Air Force Auxiliary. 

Judge Smalkin lives in Baltimore, Maryland and is married with 2 children.

The recommendation was written in support of DeSales' application to The University of Michigan School of Law's SJD Program and the review was written after DeSales had completed a semester externship with Judge Smalkin while still at The University of Maryland School of Law.


The following articles report on DeSales's career as a Washington, DC civil rights attorney (the Legal Times is Washington DC's most widely distributed legal newspaper), her career as a prep school Hall of Famer and as an award-winning filmmaker with her debut film, kalin's prayer

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Letters and Awards

Although we received many nice letters from film festivals, this letter from the juror at the Hardacre Film Festival will always stay with us. While not the biggest fest we got into by any stretch, we believe this is what art is all about. May he rest in peace.  The letter from the Estonian Artist Agency tells of Eurovision winner Tanel Padar's wish to forget about signing with Universal to sign with insite!  The NIA award was presented to DeSales by the NYU Faculty for "improving the quality of life for NYU's Black, Latino or Asian American Community."  For the many awards DeSales received for kalin's prayer, see here.

Film Festival
Film Festival
Estonian Artist
Agency Letter
NYU NIA Award NIA Award Letter


South Korea