Sunday, January 26, 2014

Courtney Love Wins Defense Verdict in Twibel Suit by Her Former Lawyer

What do you get when you Tweet a purported libelous statement?  Twibel, of course.

Last week rock star Courtney Love went to trial last week in one of the nation's first, and certainly most publicized, case of libel over Twitter.  She was accused of defaming her own lawyer in a series of 2010 tweets.

After only three hours of deliberation, the jury returned a verdict for Love and against the plaintiff, her former lawyer Rhonda J. Holmes.  The lawyer had been hired to pursue fraud claims against those handling the estate of Love's late husband, Kurt Cobain, the legendary lead singer of Nivana who committed suicide.  But Ms. Love posted a series of tweets inferring implying that Ms. Holmes mishandled the matter.

The problem with attacking a lawyer on Twitter -- lawyers know the way to the courthouse.

The jury concluded that Ms. Love made the Tweets, but that the plaintiff failed to prove that Love knew the statements were false by the enhanced clear and convincing standard, a necessary element in a lawsuit by a limited purpose public figure such as Ms. Holmes.

No word yet on whether there will be an appeal.

Love is not a stranger to being sued for Tweets.  In March, 2011 she settled a defamation lawsuit by fashion designer Dawn Simorangkir for $430,000 stemming from tweets that accused the designer of theft and having a criminal background.

photo credit: <a href=""></a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

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