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Britney Spears’ court-appointed attorney resigns

LOS ANGELES >> Britney Spears’ court-appointed attorney today filed documents to resign from her conservatorship, the latest of several such moves that have come in the fallout from the pop singer’s comments in court decrying the legal arrangement that controls her money and affairs.

Samuel Ingham III filed documents in Los Angeles Superior Court requesting that the court appoint Spears a new attorney, and saying his resignation would take effect as soon as that happened.

During her June 23 speech in court, in which she condemned the conservatorship and asked Judge Brenda Penny to end it, Spears was critical of Ingham, and said she wished the court would allow her to hire a lawyer of her choice.

Last week, Bessemer Trust, the estate-management company that Spears had requested replace her father as conservator of her finances, filed its own documents withdrawing from the case. The filing said that circumstances had changed after Spears’ comments in court on June 23.

At a hearing in November, Penny denied Spears’ request to have her father replaced entirely, but said James Spears and Bessemer Trust could work together as co-conservators of her finances.

And on Monday, in a letter obtained by entertainment industry publication Deadline, Britney Spears’ longtime manager Larry Rudolph also resigned, saying she had no intention of resuming her career after a 2 1/2 year hiatus that has left him with no work to do for her.

A veteran probate attorney, Ingham was for years a largely silent figure in the conservatorship, at least publicly, but became a more vocal advocate for Britney Spears starting last year. His statements in court that she feared her father and would not resume her career so long as he had power over it were an early crack in the presumed consensus among the figures involved in the conservatorship.

At the June 23 hearing, Ingham said that Britney Spears had not asked him to file a petition to end the conservatorship, but said he expected she might do so soon. In her remarks critical of Ingham, Spears said during the hearing that she hadn’t known she could file such a petition, and she still has not.

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