Risk Update

Conflicts and Conservators — “#FreeBritney” Attention Shining a Spotlight

Britney Spears’ conservatorship hearing could create change in the system as a whole” —

  • “Allowing Spears to choose her own counsel could create systemic change since ABC10 has found this is a rarity in probate courts statewide.”
    “It wasn’t until an army of Britney Spears fans caught wind of the legal system controlling the pop icon’s life as well as her $60 million estate. Today they’ve become known as the Free Britney movement, formed from passionate, emblazed fans across the world, determined to use their voice to help an idol they grew up influenced by, listened to and watched.”
  • “The sentiment advocates shared throughout the course of our investigation is that Spears has brought attention to the problem with conservatorships, and therefore the possibility of change. Many of the advocates told ABC10 that ‘the elderly aren’t sexy,’ and that ‘no one cares about grandma,’ which is why they believe change has not happened yet.”
  • “Spears was permitted to select attorney Mathew Rosengart, a prominent Los Angeles attorney and former federal prosecutor, after her court-appointed attorney, Sam Ingham, resigned following her explosive testimony calling the conservatorship “abusive” in a June 23 hearing. Ingham had been appointed to represent Spears in 2008.”
  • “In our year-long investigation, nearly every conservatorship we reviewed had a court-appointed attorney assigned to represent the conservatee. Court-appointed attorneys are supposed to serve as an unbiased party and represent the best interest of their client.”
  • Our investigation found a pattern in Sacramento County of court-appointed attorneys representing proposed conservators, then conservatees with the same proposed conservator in other cases, posing the question of conflict of interest.”
  • “For Spears’ case, MacCarley believes Ingham did not serve in Spears’ best interest because in her June 23 hearing she alleged the conservatorship allowed control over her life, even controlling her cell phone and isolating her.”