Speed Reads


Legal expert explains one of the most dangerous aspects of Britney Spears' conservatorship

Jonathan Martinis, the senior director for law and policy at a center for disability rights at Syraucse University, explained to journalists Ronan Farrow and Jia Tolentino in a lengthy New Yorker piece that one of the most dangerous aspects of a conservatorship, like the one Britney Spears is under, is how guardians can prevent people from getting their own legal counsel. 

"The rights at stake in guardianship are analogous to the rights at stake in criminal cases," Martinis said, before drawing up a hypothetical situation in which Spears committed a crime. "Britney could have been found holding an axe and a severed head, saying 'I did it,' and she still would've had the right to an attorney. So, under guardianship, you don't have the same rights as an axe murderer." 

Per The New Yorker, Spears did try multiple times to bring on her own lawyers, but she was stifled. In one case, for example, a judge ruled she had no capacity to retain an attorney based on a report by a lawyer, Sam Ingham, whom several sources told Farrow and Tolentino seemed to be loyal to the conservatorship, as well as testimony from a psychiatrist. Read more at The New Yorker.