Lawyers for Courtney Love are close to settling a defamation suit filed by a fashion designer who became the subject of rants on the singer’s Twitter account — denying litigators long-sought guidance regarding damaging comments on social media.

The suit, which was scheduled to go to trial on Feb. 8, has been closely watched in the legal community for its novel arguments about defamation in the age of social media. Dawn Simorangkir, a fashion designer in Austin, Texas, filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles County, Calif., Superior Court on March 26, 2009, after Love posted a series of allegedly libelous accusations on her Twitter feed and MySpace page, and on a Web site selling the designer’s clothing.

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