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Courtney Love Cobain, et al. v.
David Grohl, et al.

No. 01-2-13059-5SEA (Wash. Superior Court, King County, filed May 9, 2001)


O. Yale Lewis, Jr.
Katherine Hendricks

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Courtney Love is the widow of Kurt Cobain, a celebrated songwriter, performer, recording artist and visual artist.  Frances Bean Cobain is their daughter. In 2001, Ms. Love—on behalf of herself, Frances Bean Cobain and a California entity that had been established to receive payment for the benefit of Ms. Love and Frances Bean Cobain from revenues generated by the assets of the Kurt Cobain legacy—filed suit in state court in Seattle, Washington against (a) the surviving Nirvana band members Krist Novoselic and David Grohl; (b) an LLC of which Ms. Love and Messrs. Grohl and Novoselic were members and managers; and (c) Universal Music Group, Inc., for declaratory judgment, breach of fiduciary duty, oppression of minority shareholder, breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing, rescission, breach of contract, judicial dissolution and preliminary injunction.

Shortly after the complaint was filed by Hendricks & Lewis, Ms. Love obtained a preliminary injunction against all of the defendants that, among other things, prohibited them from releasing a previously-unreleased song written by Kurt Cobain entitled “You Know You’re Right.” Subsequently, Hendricks & Lewis successfully resisted the defendants’ demand that Ms. Love undergo a psychiatric examination pursuant to the LLC agreement, and ultimately obtained a negotiated settlement that secured for Ms. Love and Frances Bean Cobain substantial and long-lasting financial and other benefits including: (a) a satisfactory restructuring of the Nirvana LLC; (b) ultimate control of the Cobain legacy, life story and movie rights; and (c) the possibility for significantly-enhanced, long-term income streams.

In addition, Hendricks & Lewis assisted in the negotiation and documentation of an agreement with Geffen Records to release a “Greatest Hits” album in 2002, a publishing agreement with Riverhead Press for the “Cobain Journals,” and the renegotiation of a music publishing agreement with EMI Records.

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