By JOHN DALY
Britney Spears, who has been fighting to remove her father from his conservatorship role may have gained a foothold in her fight for freedom. A Los Angeles judge ruled on Tuesday that the pop singer may select her own personal attorney to enable her fight against remaining in an “abusive” financial arrangement that controls her life.
Spears’ former attorneys stepped down and her new attorney, ex-prosecutor Matthew Rosengart of Greenberg Traurig LLP stepped up and told a Los Angeles courtroom that his client was “capable” of selecting her own lawyer based on her testimony. Spears, who has been subjected to the court-ruled conservatorship since 2008, attended the hearing remotely.
The opposing side, James Spears, through his attorney Vivian Lee Thoreen of Holland and Knight, LLP, would not oppose the judge’s decision to allow Spears to select her own counsel.
Superior Court Judge Brenda J. Perry said the 39-year-old Spears has a constitutional right to pick her own lawyer in the conservatorship she has been in since 2008. She accepted the resignation of Spears’ two former attorneys, David C. Nelson of Loeb and Loeb LLP and Samuel D. Ingham III, her court-appointed attorney.
Spears gave testimony that was often times forceful and angry, as the pop star described the daily limitations on her life over everything from the specific self-care she is required to have to threats over her ability to be available for work. She called her father’s reign over her life beyond abuse and called it “cruelty,” according to sources at the packed courthouse.
Opposing counsel said Spears’ accounts are simply incorrect, including the part about her not being allowed to see her boyfriend and children and that the singer is not prevented from arranging her own self-care. Thoreen called for an investigation into the accusations.
An attorney for Spears’ liscensed conservator, Jodi Montgomery said it would be better to “work as a team” rather than conduct an investigation that could potentially endanger the singer’s privacy. Spears attorney Rosengart agreed adding that James Spears should not be a part of that team and he should “step aside.”
The court set September 29 as the next hearing date.
The case of Spears and the conservatorship has been playing out in the public eye and has gained momentum since a documentary was produced on her situation.
Spears, who has been active on social media posted: “Coming along, folks … coming along!!! New with real representation today … I feel GRATITUDE and BLESSED !!!! Thank you to my fans who are supporting me …” She included images of herself riding a horse and doing cartwheels in the post.