Britney Spears being able to choose her own lawyer is "a monumental game changer" in her conservatorship case, says one legal expert. On Wednesday, Judge Brenda Penny granted Britney's request to have powerhouse attorney Mathew Rosengart represent her moving forward — and he's wasting no time getting to work.
Rosengart called on Jamie Spears to resign after the singer declared she wants her dad charged with "conservatorship abuse" in another emotional address to the court. If Jamie doesn't step aside, Rosengart said his firm "will be moving promptly and aggressively for his removal." Harry Nelson, founder and managing partner of Nelson Hardiman healthcare law firm, says that's a good sign for Britney.
"After 13 years, it's long overdue for Britney to be permitted to choose her own counsel. California recognizes the right to an attorney as one of the fundamental rights of a person under conservatorship, and it is apparent that [her former attorney] was not taking action to address serious concerns of financial and emotional abuse bordering on human trafficking," Nelson, whose firm handles conservatorships, tells Yahoo Entertainment.
"It's unclear why it took so long for this issue to come to light," he says of Britney's abuse claims. "I anticipate the new legal team is going to be presenting a compelling petition that will terminate the conservatorship in the near future."
Britney, through tears, called the conservatorship "f***ing cruelty" and told the judge she felt at times people "were trying to kill me."
"If this is not abuse, I don't know what is," she stated. "Their goal was to make me feel crazy and I'm not."
While the "Toxic" singer's testimony was impactful, Nelson points out her words "don't have direct legal weight, because she's not testifying under oath."
"However, the impact on public opinion is self-evident," he continues. "You can see Britney's words leading to her previous attorney's resignation, Bessemer Trust resigning from financial management and [co-conservator] Jodi Montgomery speaking out against Jamie's abusive conduct. Although Judge Penny will need to weigh the evidence before her, there is no way to avoid the perception from Britney's words that she is a victim of abuse."
Britney "can absolutely initiate a lawsuit against her father," Nelson adds.
"It would almost certainly be heard by a different judge. The suit will be much stronger, however, once the judge ruling on Britney's conserved status terminates the conservatorship — and even more so if Judge Penny makes findings of abusive conduct by Jamie Spears," he shares.
Nelson anticipates Rosengart will soon petition to terminate the conservatorship.
"Judge Penny will allow both sides to present written and oral arguments, along with their evidence, and then will need to rule on whether the conservatorship continue and, if so, whether it needs to be restructured," he explained. "We also anticipate a lawsuit against Jamie Spears in the works."
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