An expert attorney is giving her take on what is next for Britney Spears following her earth shattering court testimony on Wednesday, June 23.
Legal Expert Sarah J. Wentz spoke with Variety about what the next legal steps are for the pop superstar and how long it could be until she is potentially freed from her 13 year-old conservatorship.
The attorney, who is a partner at the firm Fox Rothschild, and specializes in estates and conservatorships, also helps to decode what may be going on behind the scenes with the "Lucky" singer's legal team and how her father Jamie Spears, could possibly be removed from the conservatorship that the hit maker has called "abusive."
When asked whether or not she believes that 39-year old musician appears to be a person who needs to be under a conservatorship, the lawyer explains that, "It’s hard to say based on yesterday’s testimony because we still don’t know the facts. It's certainly possible that there is a history in the record that shows something — we just don’t know".
"Clearly, she is someone who can have that conversation and is able to handle a fair amount for herself, but if there is a problem like remembering to take medication or things of that nature, this can be done on a much smaller scale," she added.
In her 24 minute testimony, the entertainer pleaded that she wants to be heard after being silenced for a long time. "It is not good for my heart," she said. "I’ve been so angry and I cry every day. It concerns me, I’m told I’m not allowed to expose the people who did this to me."
She also made claims that she was being drugged, being forced to work, not being given the privacy to change her clothing and not being able to have a baby. Wentz, who has never worked with or met Britney, believes that these claims should absolutely be investigated.
"I think the court will appoint an investigator to look into those items, whether a petition to terminate the conservatorship is filed or not, because there are some things that are so alarming that I think the judge will feel absolutely obligated to have an in-depth investigator spend time to try to make sure that they are treating her humanely," the attorney said.
She also believes that the claims should be investigated as soon as possible, "If I was her lawyer, I would have already filed a request for the judge to do that and to modify the behaviors of the conservators."
Although her moving testimony made waves around the world, due to Britney's attorney not filing a motion to terminate the conservatorship before the court appearance, nothing can be done legally just yet.
"No matter what she was going to say, there never could have been an action by the judge to terminate based on her statement," the legal expert explains. "If you’re representing a conservatee, your job as a lawyer is to meet with that client and understand if they’re going to give testimony to the court."
"It’s your job that understand what they’re going to say and what they’re going to ask for. And then you, as the lawyer, have the job to file the paperwork."
Unfortunately, this process of resolving the conservatorship could take a long time. "Trials can take years." she explained. "I have contested conservatorship cases where we took 15 depositions. I would imagine this would be a case with a lot of deposition, so you’re talking about a full-blown trial."
"It’s going be hard to prove some of the things that she’s saying, but there could be caregivers who witnessed a lot of this stuff, and could corroborate her statements," she continued. "If there is a termination petition filed and it is opposed, I think this will be a long drawn-out battle because over 13 years, there are a lot of witnesses that they would want to depose to use as evidence."
But Wentz does say that Britney's testimony was solid evidence for the court to look into and investigate perhaps having her father Jamie, removed from the conservatorship.
"I believe that he would be because some of the allegations that she made are completely inappropriate," she said. "Regardless or not if they have reached their fiduciary duty with respect to her finances, if some of those other statements are true, they’ve clearly breached their fiduciary duty to be acting in her best interest."
Although it may take a while before the "Gimme More" singer can see drastic change, the seasoned attorney believes that Britney going on record in open court was extremely important.
"Look at the attention it's getting globally," Wentz insisted. "From what she said, it sounded like it was her only strategy right now because if her lawyers were not conveying what her rights were and what her options were, then I don’t know how else she would have gotten the judge to hear her and to look into the potential abuse that she’s alleging."