Lawyers for Britney Spears and her father traded accusations Wednesday during a contentions hearing over whether their clients will have to give depositions in the post-conservatorship era, with the singer getting the best outcome when all the dust had cleared.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny said Jamie Spears will have to sit for a deposition by his daughter’s attorneys by Aug. 12, but the judge tentatively decided against allowing the entertainer to be deposed. She asked for more briefing ahead of a July 27 hearing in which she is scheduled to make a final decision.
The judge also denied Jamie Spears’ requests for documents from his daughter, finding that the information sought was not relevant. The same judge terminated the Spears conservatorship on Nov. 12 of last year.
Attorney Alex Weingarten, on behalf of Jamie Spears, said he will ask a state appellate court panel to review the tentative denial of the deposition of Britney Spears, who is challenging an accounting and a fees request, as well as the judge’s decision not to order the singer to produce documents. He said the rulings are “foreign to the law of this state.”
“It is a fundamental right,” Weingarten said, adding that if Britney Spears testifies that she has no relevant documents, her deposition will be very short.
However, Britney Spears’ lawyer, Mathew Rosengart, said the deposition request is Jamie Spears’ effort to “retraumatize” his daughter by forcing her to sit for a deposition in her father’s presence.
“Mr. Spears is not the victim here,” Rosengart said. “He started this fight, but my client wants to move on.”
Rosengart said Jamie Spears has avoided efforts to depose him for nine months on his knowledge of the state of the pop star’s fortune and how much he was paid out over the years while acting as a co-conservator of her estate. The conservatorship was imposed in February 2008 after the performer exhibited bizarre behavior.
Rosengart opposed Weingarten’s suggestion that a referee be appointed to help the judge with the workload in the case by making rulings that would still be subject to approval by the judge. Rosengart said the appointment would only increase fees in the case.
Penny said she has time to manage the case and all of the issues involved while treating all people fairly, regardless of whether they are well-known or not.