Charles J. Harder



“The highest-profile media lawyer in America”
     —The Hollywood Reporter

The “go-to lawyer” for a “violation of a famous person’s rights”  “Mr. Harder’s emergence as a power player happened… through a combination of grit, talent, shrewd calculation—and knowing the right people.”
    — New York Times

“Hollywood’s favorite lawyer”
    — Financial Times

“Have a score to settle with the press? Charles Harder, the media lawyer who ground to dust, is your man… he doesn’t hate journalists—he just wants to teach them some manners.”
    — GQ Magazine

If you’re looking for a lawyer to bring a publication to its knees, [Charles] Harder’s the leader in the clubhouse.
    — Above the Law

One of the most feared libel lawyers in America”
    — Washington Post

Everyone is terrified of Gawker slayer Charles Harder
    — The Daily Beast


Hulk Hogan’s Lead Lawyer Explains How His Team Beat Gawker, by Charles Harder, The Hollywood Reporter 


Charles Harder is a national litigation and trial attorney who practices in the areas of media law, First Amendment, defamation, privacy, reputation protection, entertainment, intellectual property and business litigation.

Licensed to practice in California, New York and the District of Columbia, Mr. Harder litigates cases in federal and state courts throughout the country, as well as arbitrations and administrative proceedings. His experience includes matters in a variety of industries: from representing Fortune 500 companies, to some of the most famous public figures in the world, including A-list film and television actors and producers, high net worth individuals, and the President and First Lady of the United States.

Mr. Harder literally “writes the book” on some of his core practice areas, serving as Editor and Co-Author of ENTERTAINMENT LAW & LITIGATION (2011-2024) a law treatise with in depth analysis of defamation, privacy, right of publicity, anti-SLAPP, royalty audits, copyright, trademark, employment, and insurance law.

●  California Lawyer of the Year, Media (CLAY Award) 2017, California Lawyer magazine

●  Top 100 Lawyers in California, Daily Journal newspaper

●  Top 100 “Power Lawyers” in America, The Hollywood Reporter (one of only 30 litigators)

●  Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters

●  Best Lawyers in America, U.S. News & World Report

●  Legal Impact honoree, Variety

●  IP Star, Euromoney’s Legal Media Group

Mr. Harder won a $140 million jury trial verdict for client Hulk Hogan (real name Terry Bollea) in an invasion of privacy lawsuit against Gawker Media, causing the company to file for bankruptcy.

Mr. Harder won a $2.925 million settlement payment, with a full retraction and apology, on behalf of client First Lady Melania Trump in a defamation lawsuit against the Daily Mail.

Mr. Harder defeated two federal lawsuits filed by Stormy Daniels on behalf of client President Trump, including appeals to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court, and obtained multiple awards exceeding $500,000 in legal fees and sanctions for the client.

Mr. Harder defeated a federal lawsuit by former campaign staffer Alva Johnson on behalf of client President Trump.

Mr. Harder won an $18 million trial verdict for client Cecchi Gori Pictures which included valuable film rights to several motion pictures including The Departed and Shutter Island, and defeated a $5 million counterclaim by the opposing party.

Mr. Harder defeated an $11 million claim at trial on behalf of client UBISOFT, a Top 5 worldwide video game publisher.

Mr. Harder won four separate ICANN domain name arbitrations on behalf of four different A-list actors. Each case involved a three-arbitrator panel, and each decision sided 3-0 for Mr. Harder’s client. Links to each of these public case decisions are provided below, under “Reported Decisions.”

Mr. Harder has obtained numerous seven-figure and eight-figure settlements on behalf of his plaintiff-clients in recent years, and favorable settlements and defense verdicts on behalf of his defendant-clients.


  • Reputation Protection and Brand Protection
  • Defamation (Libel and Slander)
  • Terminating Internet Defamers, Impostors & Infringers
  • Privacy Rights
  • Right of Publicity (name and image infringement)
  • First Amendment
  • Anti-SLAPP Proceedings
  • Profit Participation, Royalty and Audit Matters
  • Restraining Orders and Injunctions
  • Trademark Infringement and False Advertising Claims
  • Copyright Infringement
  • Talent Agencies Act & California Labor Commission Proceedings
  • Internet Domain Name Disputes & Cybersquatting
  • Breach of Contract
  • Business Torts including Fraud, Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Constructive Fraud, Tortious Interference with Business Relations, Conversion, Unjust Enrichment and Professional Negligence
  • Unfair Competition and Unfair Business Practices, including Business and Professions Code § 17200
  • Trade Secrets
  • Employment Litigation
  • Electronic Discovery





  • Brooklyn Law School, Guest Lecturer, Media Litigation and Reputation Protection, April 4, 2024
  • Beverly Hills Bar Association
    Panel Speaker: “The New Wave of Defamation Cases”
    February 26, 2020, Beverly Hills, CA
  • Sports Lawyers Association
    Panel Speaker: “Creation, Protection and Enforcement of Brand and Image”
    November 12, 2019, Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
  • 2019 ABA Winter Leadership Meeting
    Panel Speaker: “Representing Talent in the Entertainment Industry”
    January 19, 2019, Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Dana Point, CA
  • Tulane Law School, Two-Day Media Law Conference
    Panel Speaker: “Privacy, News and the Future of Freedom of the Press”
    September 28, 2018, New Orleans, LA
  • 2016 Institute on Entertainment Law and Business
    USC Gould School of Law and the Beverly Hills Bar Association
    Speaker: “Protecting Reputation and Privacy in the US + Europe”
    October 22, 2016, USC Gould School of Law, Los Angeles, CA
  • 2016 ABA Forum on the Entertainment and Sport IndustriesPanel Speaker: “Power Lawyers” with Matt Belloni of The Hollywood Reporter
    October 7, 2016, Cosmopolitan Hotel, Las Vegas, NV
  • Beverly Hills Bar Association
    Panel Speaker: “Right of Publicity: Past, Present & Future”
    October 8, 2015, Beverly Hills, CA
  • Speaker: “Publicity and Privacy Law in 2015,” CLE Presentation, September 1, 2015, Hanson Jacobson law firm, Beverly Hills, CA
  • Board Member: Entertainment & Digital Media Symposium, July 31, 2015, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, CA
  • Speaker: “Privacy Protection: A Master Class,” CLE Presentation, September 12, 2014, Ziffren Brittenham law firm, Century City, CA
  • American Bar Association, International Law Section 2013 Fall Meeting
    Panel Speaker: “What are the Limitations in a Modern Democratic Society on the Freedom of Expression?”
    Moderator: Lord David Neuberger, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom
    October 2013, London, England
  • Co-Chair: Entertainment Law and Litigation Symposium,
    Sponsored by Loyola Law School and the Los Angeles County Bar Association, Entertainment Law and Intellectual Property Section (ELIPS); Three Evening Sessions, Eight Panel Discussions
    November 15-December 8. 2012, Century City, CA
    Moderator: Panel on Defamation and Anti-SLAPP Law
    Moderator: Panel on Right of Privacy Law, Stalking & Harassment
    Moderator: Panel on Right of Publicity Law
  • California State Bar, “IP and the Internet” Conference
    Speaker: Panel on “Practical Strategies for Dealing with Impersonation and Reputational Harm on the Internet,” September 14, 2012, Los Angeles, CA
  • Speaker: “Identifying and Terminating Online Infringers, Imposters & Defamers,” CLE Presentation, September 13, 2011, Jackoway Tyerman Law Firm, Beverly Hills, CA


  • California State Bar
  • New York State Bar
  • District of Columbia Bar
  • United States Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First, Second, Ninth and D.C. Circuits
  • U.S. District Courts for the Central, Northern, Eastern and Southern Districts of California, the Southern District of New York, the Central District of Illinois, and the District of Columbia


  • Juris Doctor (1996), Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, Dean‘s Honor List
  • Bachelor of Arts, Politics, with College Honors (1991), University of California


  • General Counsel and Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs, Load Media Network, Inc., Los Angeles (2000-2001)
  • Judicial Law Clerk, Hon. A. Andrew Hauk, Senior Judge and Chief Judge Emeritus, 
United States District Court, Central District of California, Los Angeles (1996-97)
  • Legislative Aide and Field Representative, California State Senator Herschel Rosenthal, Los Angeles, California (1991-94)
  • Congressional Award, 1991, U.S. Rep. Leon E. Panetta (U.S. Secretary of Defense, 2011-2013; CIA Director 2009-2011; White House Chief of Staff 1994-97; White House Budget Director 1993-94; U.S. Representative 1977-1993)