Britney Spears Can Hire Any New Lawyer She Wants, Judge Rules

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More than 13 years after she was mentally unable to choose her own legal representative, Britney Spears could hire a high-powered Hollywood lawyer, a Los Angeles judge ruled Wednesday, marking a new phase in the battle to end the conservatism that has controlled the singer’s life. life.

Judge Brenda Penny’s decision came in the first hearing since Ms. Spears, 39. called conservatism She said she had been living under abuse since 2008 and wanted it to end before she had to undergo additional psychiatric evaluations.

Miss Spears emotional speech on June 23 It has triggered a flurry of court filings in recent weeks as those involved in the conservatory have filed charges for the singer’s unhappiness and lack of personal representation. His longtime court-appointed attorney, Samuel D. Ingham III, and a wealth management firm set to share control of Ms. Spears’ property with her father, James P. Spears, wanted to resign.

On Wednesday, the judge accepted Mr Ingham’s resignation and the resignation of the associate attorney he brought with him. Letting Miss Spears hire Mathew S. RosengartA former federal prosecutor who has worked with celebrities like Sean Penn and Steven Spielberg.

Mr Rosengart, who was expected to take an aggressive course to end the regulation, personally attended the hearing on behalf of Ms. Spears. When the judge asked Ms Spears, who appeared distantly on the phone, if she would like to keep Mr Rosengart, she said she wanted a singer and they had spoken recently.

Mr. Spears’ lawyers did not object to Mrs Spears being allowed to choose her new lawyer.

The decision was greeted with applause, hugs and tears outside the courtroom, where dozens of fans representing the Free Britney movement shared news updates via a pink horn. Among the crowd was Representative Matt Gaetz, who called for changes to federal laws overseeing conservators.

After Mr Rosengart was confirmed by the judge, Ms Spears, emotionally and at times aloud, read a written statement and reiterated her desire to terminate the conservatory without any consideration. He added that he wanted his father removed from his protective role and was accused of abusing his role.

Ms. Spears said the conservatory had ruined her life. “I’m here to get rid of my father,” he said.

Mr Rosengart then asked Mr Spears to resign at the scene, but Mr Spears’ lawyer rejected the request, finding it inappropriate.

On Wednesday, Judge Penny agreed. Bessemer Trust’s resignationThe investment firm, which wanted to resign following Ms. Spears’ speech in court, has potentially relinquished control of the singer’s nearly $60 million estate to the singer’s estranged father.

The scrutiny over Ms. Spears’s conservatism has increased in recent months, resulting in her asking in court last month how she could still be considered incapable of taking care of herself despite continuing to make millions of dollars as a pop star. The conservatorship, which oversees the singer’s personal life and finances, was upheld by the court in 2008 after Mr. Spears sought legal authority over the singer over concerns about her mental health and substance abuse.

Still, Ms. Spears had long expressed serious objections to conservatism, even before her speech in court in June, questioning her father’s eligibility as a conservator, secret court documents. Obtained recently by The New York Times bring forth.

At the previous hearing, Ms. Spears also questioned Mr Ingham’s advocacy on her behalf and said she did not know that she might want to dissolve the conservatory. I’m sorry for my ignorance but I really didn’t know that,” he said, adding: “My lawyer says I can’t – that’s not good, I can’t let the public know anything they’ve done to me. ”

“He told me to keep it to myself, really,” said Ms. Spears.

It is not known what private discussions Mr. Ingham and Ms. Spears had over the years about ending the conservatory, but Mr. Ingham said last month that he would resign if asked.

Mr. Ingham was initially chosen as his court-appointed representative, at which time Ms. Spears was hospitalized and found to be incapable of retaining a lawyer at the start of the conservatory.

The lawyer of the singer’s mother, Lynne Spears, who is interested in the Conservatory, asked the court to allow the singer to choose her own lawyer this month, arguing that Ms. Spears should not be bound by a 2008 decision.

The decision to allow Ms. Spears to retain her own attorney was not a foregone conclusion. As the singer had not previously been fit to do so, the judge could appoint her a new attorney from a court-approved panel or request that Ms. Spears undergo a medical evaluation to prove her capacity to choose an attorney.

Ms. Spears’ current personal guardian, Jodi Montgomery, suggested what is known as a guardian creative; this person would be responsible for notifying the court of Ms. Spears’ choice with possible election concerns and protecting the private thereafter. consultant if approved. However, the judge found this step unnecessary.

Mr Spears had also requested an investigation. arguing her daughter’s allegations of abuse – including being forced to use and remain on birth control – have not contacted her and overseen her personal care for nearly two years.

However, Mr Rosengart, along with Ms. Montgomery’s attorney, a professional guardian who permanently took over Ms Spears’ personal care in the fall of 2019, disagreed on how best to conduct an investigation.

Ms. Montgomery’s lawyers, citing Ms. Spears’ text messages, said the singer wanted Ms. Montgomery to remain in office for the time being. They added that Ms. Montgomery is currently working with Ms. Spears’ medical team on a “comprehensive Care Plan” that will “give Ms. Spears a way to end her Personal Protection mission as she clearly desires”.

A representative of Ms. Montgomery said in court on Wednesday that Ms. Spears’ medical team strongly recommended that Mr. Spears not be involved in conservatism.

Now, attention will be turned to Mr. Rosengart’s strategy. If she applies on behalf of Ms. Spears to end conservatism altogether, someone else involved in the arrangement – most likely Ms. Spears’ father – could object, possibly triggering a lawsuit before the judge makes a final decision.

Samantha Stark contributed reporting from Los Angeles.

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