Will Tweet precedent be set in Courtney Love defamation case?

A trial scheduled to launch in Los Angeles trial this month will offer a high-profile, celebrity test of a claim of defamation by Tweet.

Central to the case is whether the average Twitter fan would interpret rocker Courtney Love’s comments about a fashionista as statements of fact, rather than the opinion of one of rock’n’roll’s more renegade, irreverent personalities.

Designer Dawn Simorangkir, known as the Boudoir Queen, sued Love in 2009, stating that her fashion career was ruined after the celeb published comments on the social networking site Twitter.  In her complaint, Simorangkir stated she was victim of Love’s ‘volatile personality, hair trigger temper, and malicious and tortious behavior.’ On March 17, 2009, during a disagreement over payments for clothes, Love, the suit says, Tweeted that Simorangkir was a drug addict and a prostitute.

A legal expert notes that the judge has allowed the parties time beyond the scheduled February trial date to negotiate further.

And the case certainly has attracted  buzz in popular media and on blogs. The Citizen Media Law Project provides an excellent cache of pertinent documents and a legal summary of the case.