Writer/Producer Fred Fontana and Producer R.J. Louis Obtain $1.6 Million Judgment Against Self-Professed Psychic Carmen Harra

Writer/Producer Fred Fontana and Producer R.J. Louis Obtain $1.6 Million Judgment Against Self-Professed Psychic Carmen Harra

On August 16, 2017, professional screenwriter and producer Fred Fontana, and producer R.J. Louis, successfully obtained a combined $1.6 Million judgment against self-styled intuitive psychic counselor and author, Carmen Harra and her entity, Carmen Harra Enterprises, Inc. The $1.6 Million award was obtained following a lengthy four years of litigation, including three and a half years of arbitration proceedings. In entering the judgment against Ms. Harra, the Court confirmed the Final Arbitration Award issued against her, and denied her Petition to Vacate the Award, which was found to have no merit.

The lawsuit, and subsequent arbitration arose from a dispute over the writing and production of a movie based on the life of Ms. Harra, as well as over the use and return of $1.1 Million of investment funds provided to Ms. Harra for the film by another party to the case, Otmar Sibilo.1

The cross-claims by Mr. Louis and Mr. Fontana stemmed from Ms. Harra’s failure and refusal to pay them for their respective production and writing services provided on the film project. Although Ms. Harra and her entity were the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, following numerous and repeated violations of discovery orders issued by the arbitrator, Mr. Fontana and Mr. Louis (and Mr. Sibilo) successfully brought motions for terminating sanctions against Ms. Harra, resulting in all of her affirmative claims being dismissed. Thereafter, Mr. Fontana and Mr. Louis successfully proved their cross-claims for breach of contract and fraud against Ms. Harra with evidence, which the arbitrator characterized as “unrefuted and overwhelming.”

In fact, the final award and judgment included a substantial award of punitive damages against Ms. Harra. The arbitrator found that “Harra acted with malice, fraud and oppression in defrauding [Fontana, Louis, and Sibilo] of their time, money and efforts to her own personal advantage,” and characterized her conduct as “fraudulent, extreme, outrageous and oppressive.” Apparently, even with her psychic abilities, Ms. Harra, who refers to herself as a “Karma Queen” in the title of her most recent book, could not predict this outcome or escape her own karma.

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  1. Notably, the judgment against Ms. Harra also included a $5.1 Million award against Ms. Harra in favor of Mr. Sibilo.

Read the Cross-Complaint.

Read the Judgment.

Edwin F. McPherson

Mr. McPherson is a frequent author and lecturer. He has handled numerous matters involving copyright infringement, trademark infringement, management/artist disputes, rights of publicity, rights of privacy (including internet privacy and stalking), record production and distribution, music publishing, defamation, motion picture and television production and distribution, breach of implied contract (submission cases), net profits, unfair competition, WGA, DGA, SAG and AFTRA disputes, wrongful termination and other labor-related matters, insurance coverage and bad faith, legal malpractice, and general civil litigation. In addition, Mr. McPherson has served as a consultant and expert witness in connection with the California Talent Agencies Act, about which he has written numerous articles.

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