September 23, 2011 11:28am PT by Eriq Gardner
Courtney Love Twitter Defamation Case Moves Forward
Courtney Love is one step closer to facing a jury over comments made on Twitter about a former lawyer who she claimed took bribes in a case involving allegedly stolen money from the estate of Kurt Cobain. A California judge this week has limited a defamation lawsuit against the rocker but is allowing the main claim to move forward.
Gordon & Holmes, a San Diego-based law firm, represented Love between December 2008 and May 2009 in a fraud lawsuit, but it stopped providing legal counsel after Love hooked up with another lawyer who made the rocker second-guess the firm's litigation strategy.
Later, according to a lawsuit filed by the firm against Love in May, she became dissatisfied with her new lawyer and returned to have Gordon & Holmes once again pick up her case over the Cobain money. Love allegedly was told her substance abuse precluded that possibility.
So Love unloaded on Twitter.
The rocker has a history of writing flamboyant tweets. Earlier in the year, Love paid $430,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by a fashion designer who claimed to be on the receiving end of nasty Twitter rampages.
In this instance, Love is said to have directed her venom at the firm's partner Rhonda Holmes.
"I was f---ing devastated (sic) when Rhonda J Holmes Esq of San Diego was bought off [...]" Love tweeted.
Soon after, Love also made comments to a gossip reporter at The New York Post about a female attorney who had "stopped taking her calls" because "they got to her."
In response, Holmes sued.
This week, California judge Ramona See considered Love's motion to dismiss the lawsuit. The judge reportedly threw out many of the claims, including whether the law firm at large was defamed and whether there was an invasion of privacy, but gave the firm ten days to amend their complaint.
Most importantly, Judge See rejected Love's bid to dismiss the charge that Holmes was defamed by that Twitter comment suggesting bribery, ruling the statements could be seen as fact rather than opinion.
There's been some question as to whether the casual nature of Twitter would lead courts to see the social forum akin to an op-ed section of a newspaper, but thus far courts are taking Love's tweets pretty seriously. Her last reported Twitter handle, @cloverxxxlove, now seems to be disabled.