Monday, February 18, 2008

Oops, she did it again ...


... tried to retain a lawyer to represent her interests, that is.

I'm not a huge Britney Spears fan (just not really my kind of music) and I don't really follow the gossip columns and such, but something doesn't smell right.

Since finding herself and her assets placed in "conservatorship" to her father at the end of January, Spears has twice attempted to retain legal counsel.

In the first instance, when she hired Adam Streisand to represent her versus the conservatorship, the court ruled that she wasn't competent to choose her own lawyer.

Now she's trying to move the whole affair to the federal courts as a civil rights matter through attorney Jon Eardley. "Experts" think it unlikely that the case will be accepted at the federal level.

What bugs me here is the circularity of it all: A court places her in conservatorship, then leaves the conservator in control of whether or not she can seek legal assistance versus that conservator's power over her.

Presumably Streisand and Eardley are both qualified to represent clients, at least as far as the State of California is concerned. After all, in order to be practicing law they must have passed their bar exams and gained state licensure, right?

Seems to me that answers the "competent to retain counsel" question right there. She didn't grab a bag lady off the street, scribble a "Britney Spears School of Law" degree on a napkin, and head off to court with her new lawyer and a grocery cart in tow. She's two for two on selecting legally qualified counsel. Why isn't she entitled to her day in court with someone in her corner to argue that her interests and the conservatorship aren't necessarily compatible? How can the conservator be trusted to choose someone to properly represent his ward versus himself?

Just doesn't seem right. Matter of fact, it sounds an awful lot like a Golden Goose Gitmo. I know that at least a couple of attorneys and/or law students read KN@PPSTER. Hopefully they'll chip in with their (non-billable!) opinions.

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