10:14am PT by Eriq Gardner
Courtney Love's Ex-Lawyer Sues Over Fees, Details Her Legal Exploits
Courtney Love is having more ex-lawyer problems. This time, she's being sued by the attorney who represented her in the first Twitter defamation battle over alleged nonpayment of more than $400,000 in legal fees.
Keith Fink filed the lawsuit Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court and alleges that Love retained him to be her "consiglieri" in matters ranging from the defamation lawsuit to her claim that she and daughter Frances Bean Cobain had been defrauded out of hundreds of millions of dollars in royalty income stemming from the success of her late husband, Kurt Cobain.
Now, Fink, who has a history of filing some pretty nasty legal briefs, is going after Love and detailing a wide assortment of her legal troubles.
Fink says that he came aboard Team Love in April 2009, about the time that she had been sued by a fashion designer over statements made on Twitter.
In handling that case, Fink lived up to his reputation as a lawyer willing to ruffle some feathers. On behalf of Love, he filed a motion to strike that accused the plaintiff of dealing drugs, prostitution, thievery, being a racist and losing custody of her child.
The aggressiveness comes at a price. Fink says in his lawsuit that he charged Love $595 an hour for work, plus various fees associated with legal research and court costs.
During this time, there were many battles for Love, says Fink. "A number of these disputes and lawsuits centered on Love's alleged failure to pay various third parties for services rendered," says his complaint. "Little did [Fink's law firm] know that it would subsequently be forced [to] join their ranks."
Among the matters handled included:
- A breach of contract lawsuit and subsequent arbitration with Love's former business manager.
- A lawsuit stemming from purported nonpayment of $352,000 on an American Express credit card.
- Arbitration over managerial control over the End of Music publishing catalog of Nirvana songs.
- A lawsuit with a bank stemming from the End of Music arbitration.
- A lawsuit over payment for security services.
- A lawsuit with business partners over Japanese "manga" comic books centered on a Love-like character.
- A case before the Labor Commissioner over wage claims by her former housekeeper.
- Two lease disputes at her former residence in Los Angeles and the negotiation of a new residence.
- Claims with insurers over a robbery and artwork allegedly destroyed by her former housekeeper.
- Advice to continue touring under the name "Hole" after her band partnership was dissolved.
Fink makes it sound as if Love wasn't the easiest client to maintain. He says that during the time he represented her, she sent the firm hundreds upon hundreds of text messages, which were "difficult and time-consuming" to interpret. She allegedly refused to meet in person but would telephone at bizarre and late hours of the night, and one time, she supposedly summoned Fink to her hotel room and made him wait in the lobby for hours with no meeting taking place.
There was some gratitude sent Fink's way in the form of framed Nirvana and Hole gold records, Las Vegas concert tickets and a bouquet of flowers.
But the money allegedly stopped coming to Fink in July 2009. Love already had made payments of more than $82,000, according to the lawsuit, but wouldn't pay the rest, even though she was racking up months-long stays at hotels in New York and Los Angeles as well as paying personal assistants hundreds of dollars at a time to fetch her coffee.
Fink says he stopped working for Love in October 2009. He now demands $436,029.32, plus interest, in the outstanding balance of legal fees incurred.
Recently, a judge granted a motion by another lawyer representing Love in a second Twitter defamation lawsuit. That attorney reported Love had stopped communicating with him and wouldn't pay legal fees.
We reached out to Love via Twitter for a response to Fink's lawsuit, and if she tweets back, we'll update.