Spears Conservatorship Shows Need for Stronger Laws on Right to Counsel

The Daily Journal has published a commentary written by Thomas F. Coleman, executive director of Spectrum Institute. The article explains how current laws that supposedly protect the right to counsel of choice in a conservatorship proceeding were repeatedly ignored by judges and attorneys involved in the case of Britney Spears. Coleman argues that the California Legislature needs to reaffirm the right to counsel of choice, and specify that every conservatee or proposed conservatee is entitled to be represented by a lawyer who advocates for the client’s expressed wishes and defends their constitutional and statutory rights.  The attorney’s loyalties should be to the client, not to the court.  Statements Britney made at the most recent court hearing show that her court-appointed attorney failed her miserably. The op-ed suggests actions that could be taken by the judge in Britney’s case to remedy her lawyer’s apparent ethical violations and his failure to adhere to the Rules of Professional Conduct. The Daily Journal is California’s premier legal newspaper.  To read the article, click here.