What’s Next For The Britney Spears Case?: Viral Lawyer Michael Mandell Explains

On November 11, Judge Brenda Penny terminated pop icon Britney Spear’s 13-year-long conservatorship after a lengthy legal battle. But with another hearing scheduled for January 19 to discuss financial disputes, the case is not over.

Lawyer Michael Mandell of Mandell Law offered his insights to help shed light on these legal proceedings.

Key Moments in Court

“There have been a number of key turning points in this case,” said Mandell. “One of these was on August 18, 2020, when Britney spoke out in court against her father for the first time.”

During that hearing, her court-appointed lawyer also filed a motion to remove her father as her conservator permanently. The next day, however, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda Perry ruled to extend the conservatorship.

“Another watershed moment came in July 2021, when the judge granted Britney permission to hire her own lawyer,” Mandell explained.

Britney hired attorney Mathew Rosengart, who announced he and his firm would move “aggressively and expeditiously” to remove Jamie from the conservatorship.

“Another pivotal moment in the case occurred on September 29, 2021, when Judge Penny suspended Jamie from Britney’s conservatorship and appointed a new temporary conservator, John Zabel,” Mandell observed. “Judge Penny also ordered Jamie turn over relevant financial documents.”

In recent reports, Rosengart has commented that Jamie has not turned over any documents and has twice failed to appear at his scheduled depositions.

The Future of the Investigation

“Just because the conservatorship is over doesn’t mean the investigation is,” Mandell explained. “There are outstanding disputes related to the conservators’ accounting practices and legal fees. Also, if Jamie has truly neglected to release the necessary records or sit for his depositions, he could be found in contempt of court.”

There could also still be a fight over Jamie’s communications with his attorneys, and whether they are covered by the attorney-client privilege. Since sensitive communications can occur between lawyers and their clients, this privilege can be claimed to prevent communications and/or testimony about communications that occur between them to be produced in court.

New lawsuits are also possible.

“At a prior hearing, Britney mentioned that she wanted to bring charges against her father,” Mandell said. “She likely intends to explore the possibility of suing him in a civil action. There may be a lawsuit for breach of fiduciary duty, as well as other claims that have yet to be substantiated.”

If funds were misappropriated, a criminal investigation may occur.

“It would take a lot more than words to charge Jamie this way, however,” Mandell said. “Prosecutors would need to prove he misappropriated Britney’s money and used it for his own benefit or simply stole from her. This may be difficult to prove because the funds used by Jamie had to be court-approved.”

Jamie could also be exposed to criminal liability if the wiretapping/recording allegations are valid. According to Mandell, “These charges are generally misdemeanors but can be more. California, where Britney and her family live, is a two-party consent state, meaning both parties must agree to being recorded.”

Final Reflections

The whole country has been transfixed by Britney’s battle. Now that she enjoys autonomy over her own life again, Mandell says it’s important to remember that she isn’t alone.

“There’s no knowing how many people are suffering from abusive conservatorships,” he said. “Because of Britney Spears, however, many more Americans now understand what conservatorships are. Our collective consciousness has also been raised that some of them may be abusive. Due to the light her case has shed on conservatorships, the state of California has already reformed its laws, and further pushes for reform are in the works. In that way, Britney Spears has changed the world.”

Written in partnership with Ascend