Charles Harder

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Charles Harder
Charles John Harder[1]

(1969-11-09) November 9, 1969 (age 54)[2]
EducationUniversity of California, Santa Cruz (BA)
Loyola Marymount University (JD)

Charles John Harder (born November 9, 1969) is an American lawyer at the law firm Harder LLP based in Los Angeles, California.[3]

Education and early career[edit]

Harder graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a bachelor's degree, in 1991. He earned a juris doctor degree from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, in 1996.[4] After completing law school, Harder served as a law clerk to U.S. District Judge A. Andrew Hauk in Los Angeles.[5]

Notable cases[edit]

Harder is best known for representing Hulk Hogan (real name Terry Bollea) in the Bollea v. Gawker case.[6][7]

In 2007, Harder represented videogame publisher Ubisoft in a one-week arbitration trial, defeating an $11 million claim by a German videogame producer.[4]

In 2009–2016, Harder represented numerous celebrities in cases over misappropriation of their names and likeness,[8] including Sandra Bullock,[9] George Clooney, Bradley Cooper,[10] Jude Law,[11] Mandy Moore,[12] Liam Neeson,[10] Julia Roberts[9] and Reese Witherspoon.[13][14] Harder also won four different ICANN arbitrations for Sandra Bullock,[15] Cameron Diaz,[16] Kate Hudson[17] and Sigourney Weaver,[18] respectively.

In 2011, Harder won an $18 million verdict for Cecchi Gori Pictures, and defeated a multi-million dollar counterclaim, after a four-week trial in Los Angeles state court.[19][20]

In 2017–18, Harder represented Ivan Aguilera, the heir of Mexican pop icon Juan Gabriel, against Univision and Telemundo, in a $100 million defamation suit.[21]

In 2017, Harder threatened to sue the New York Times on behalf of Harvey Weinstein, the day after the Times published the first story about him allegedly engaging in harassment. The lawsuit was never filed and Harder withdrew from the representation the next week.[22]

In 2017, Harder represented First Lady Melania Trump in a defamation case against the Daily Mail, which resulted in a $2.9 million settlement payment to Trump, and a public retraction and apology by the Daily Mail to her.[23] In 2018, he also represented President Donald Trump in legal demand letters sent to political consultant/media executive Steve Bannon and author Michael Wolff.[24] Harder also represented Jared Kushner in connection with a Vanity Fair article covering the 2017 Special Counsel investigation.[25] He represented the Trump campaign in a legal action taken against Omarosa Manigault Newman following the publication of her book, Unhinged.[26]

In 2018, Harder represented Trump in a defamation lawsuit filed by Stormy Daniels (real name Stephanie Clifford). On October 15, 2018, the U.S. District Court granted an anti-SLAPP motion filed by Harder, dismissing the lawsuit with prejudice and awarding Trump reimbursement of his attorneys fees against Stormy Daniels.[27] On December 11, 2018, the court ordered Stormy Daniels to pay Trump 75% reimbursement of his attorneys fees or $292,052.33, plus a $1000 sanction on Stormy Daniels as well. "The court’s order," Harder said, "along with the court’s prior order dismissing Stormy Daniels’ defamation case against President Trump, together constitute a total victory for the President, and a total defeat for Stormy Daniels in this case."[28] On July 31, 2020, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed the U.S. District Court's ruling, in a unanimous 3-0 decision.[29]

In 2019, Harder sent a letter to CNN on behalf of Trump and his campaign claiming CNN was violating the federal Lanham Act by marketing itself as a news organization.[30]

In 2019, Harder sued Oakley on behalf of US Olympic gold medalist Shaun White, for using his name and image beyond the term permitted by an earlier contract between them.[31]

In 2020, Harder sued VICE Media on behalf of BYD, a multi-billion dollar electric vehicle manufacturer based in China backed by Warren Buffett.[32]

Personal life[edit]

Harder bicycled across the US at age 19.[33]


  1. ^ "Charles John Harder Lawyer Profile on".
  2. ^ a b Hubbell, Martindale (1999). Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory. Martindale-Hubbell. ISBN 9781561603244.
  3. ^ "Home Page | HARDER LLP". Retrieved February 7, 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Charles J. Harder | HARDER LLP". Retrieved February 9, 2018.
  5. ^ "Charles J. Harder". Archived from the original on January 24, 2018. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  6. ^ Zengerle, Jason (November 17, 2016). "The Lawyer Who Killed Gawker Isn't Done Yet". GQ. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  7. ^ Harder, Charles (April 5, 2016). "Hulk Hogan's Lead Lawyer Explains How His Team Beat "Arrogant," "Defiant" Gawker (Guest Column)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  8. ^ Gardner, Eriq (September 22, 2016). "Ailes Media Litigator Charles Harder on His Improbable Rise With Clients Melania Trump and Hulk Hogan". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  9. ^ a b "Sandra Bullock Settles Lawsuit Over 'Bullock Watch'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  10. ^ a b "Bradley Cooper & Liam Neeson Team Up for Lawsuit". E! Online. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  11. ^ "Jude Law Suing Mad at Fireplace Maker". E! Online. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  12. ^ "Diane, Michelle, Sandra & Mandy Feeling Very Un-PC". E! Online. Retrieved February 24, 2018.
  13. ^ "Reese Witherspoon Moves Closer to Trial Against Sears Over Imitation Jewelry". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  14. ^ "Hollywood Docket: Reese Witherspoon Settles Imitation Jewelry Lawsuit". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 24, 2018.
  15. ^ "Sandra Bullock v Network Operations Center c/o Alberta Hot Rods". Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  16. ^ "Cameron Diaz v Network Operations Center c/o Alberta Hot Rods". Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  17. ^ "Kate Hudson v Fei Zhu". Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  18. ^ "Sigourney Weaver v Stephen Gregory aka 'THIS DOMAIN NAME IS FOR SALE'". Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  19. ^ "Meet Charles Harder, the Gawker killer now working for Melania Trump and Roger Ailes". Newsweek. October 14, 2016. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  20. ^ Johnson, Ted (March 29, 2011). "Cecchi Gori awarded $15 mil in suit". Variety. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  21. ^ "Family of Late Mexican Superstar Says Univision Defamed Them". May 25, 2017. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  22. ^ "Harvey Weinstein's Attorney Exits Without Filing Threatened N.Y. Times Lawsuit". The Hollywood Reporter. October 15, 2017. Retrieved November 26, 2019.
  23. ^ "Melania Trump Nets Millions, Apology in Daily Mail Settlement | New York Law Journal". New York Law Journal. Retrieved January 29, 2018.
  24. ^ "Trump attorney sends Bannon cease and desist letter over 'disparaging' comments". ABC News. January 4, 2018. Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  25. ^ Sherman, Gabriel (October 17, 2017). "Kushner Adds Charles Harder to Legal Team As Pressure Mounts". Vanity Fair. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  26. ^ Schwartz, Brian (August 14, 2018). "Trump campaign hires Hulk Hogan lawyer Charles Harder for arbitration action against Omarosa Manigault Newman". CNBC. Retrieved August 18, 2018.
  27. ^ "Trump scores a 'total victory' after federal judge dismisses Stormy Daniels' lawsuit and orders her to pay his legal fees". INSIDER. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  28. ^ Richardson, Matt (December 11, 2018). "Stormy Daniels ordered to pay President Trump $292G in legal fees". Fox News.
  29. ^ Gerstein, Josh (July 31, 2020). "Trump scores win over Stormy Daniels' libel suit". POLITICO. Retrieved August 3, 2020.
  30. ^ "Trump threatens to sue CNN, seeks 'substantial' payment over damages: letter". Reuters. October 18, 2019. Retrieved December 23, 2019.
  31. ^ "Shaun White Sues Oakley for Allegedly Using Him to Promote Sunglasses After Their Deal Expired". July 3, 2019. Retrieved December 23, 2019.
  32. ^ admin (April 27, 2020). "BYD files federal defamation lawsuit against VICE". The Fourth Revolution. Retrieved August 3, 2020.
  33. ^ Pierce, Jacob (November 6, 2018). "How Charles Harder Went From UCSC Democrat to Trump's Top Lawyer".

Further reading[edit]