LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Less than a month after Britney Spears' impassioned court appearance, another hearing is scheduled today in the singer's long-running conservatorship -- and the agenda this time includes the pop star's personal choice for an attorney, a request by her personal conservator for more security and some estate accounting matters.
The singer's mother, Lynne Spears, recently filed paperwork saying her daughter should be permitted to hire an attorney of her choosing, rather than the court appointing one to represent her in the conservatorship. The court-appointed attorney who has been representing the singer, Samuel D. Ingham III, previously filed paperwork announcing his resignation, effective as soon as another attorney is appointed for Spears.
That new attorney may be former federal prosecutor Mathew Rosengart, who plans to make a pitch today to Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny to allow Spears to hire him, according to media reports.
Rosengart, 58, is a partner at the law firm Greenberg Traurig. He once served as a law clerk for then-New Hampshire state judge David Souter shortly before Souter was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court.
After leaving the Justice Department, Rosengart worked as a civil litigator, and his clients have included Hollywood personalities Sean Penn, Steven Spielberg and Kenneth Lonergan.
With Ingham and the Los Angeles law firm of Loeb & Loeb both submitting papers seeking to resign as Spears' attorneys, the court would ordinarily appoint another one to represent the singer.
Meanwhile, Spears' personal conservator, Jodi Montgomery, claims in her court papers that since the singer appeared in court on June 23 and lashed out at the conservatorship and most of the people involved with it, Montgomery has seen a “marked increase” in threats directed at her on social media and through text messages, phone calls and emails.
“Many of the messages threaten violence and even death against petitioner (Montgomery),” according to the court papers. “... Security has determined the security risk to be serious enough to recommend that 24/7 physical security be provided to (Montgomery) on an interim basis in order to protect her from harm ...”
According to the papers, the “physical security” has been in place at Montgomery's home since June 30, with Spears' estate “conditionally” covering the cost pending court approval. The documents state that the price for the security “is cost prohibitive for (Montgomery) to personally bear.”
The documents assert that despite Spears' emotional testimony last month -- in which she claimed she was being subjected to abusive treatment, forced to perform against her will, take medications she does not want and subjected to invasive therapy sessions -- the singer has “informed (Montgomery) that she would like her to stay on as her conservator.”
Jamie Spears, conservator of his daughter's estate, filed court papers recently asking the court to investigate his daughter's allegations of abusive treatment by those involved in the conservatorship “to determine what corrective actions, if any, need to be taken.”
Wednesday's hearing was originally meant to deal only with estate accounting issues when it was scheduled months ago, and those matters are still on tap as part of the proceedings.
The long-lingering conservatorship has prompted Spears' fans to launch a FreeBritney movement, calling for an end to the oversight of the 39-year-old singer's life and affairs.