Attorney in Britney Spears case vows to fight on

LOS ANGELES Wed Feb 27, 2008 10:26pm EST

Britney Spears arrives for a child custody hearing in Los Angeles, October 26, 2007. The attorney who claims to represent Spears in the legal wrangling over control of her affairs vowed on Wednesday to continue his fight, one day after a federal judge ruled he is not the singer's lawyer. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

Britney Spears arrives for a child custody hearing in Los Angeles, October 26, 2007. The attorney who claims to represent Spears in the legal wrangling over control of her affairs vowed on Wednesday to continue his fight, one day after a federal judge ruled he is not the singer's lawyer.

Credit: Reuters/Fred Prouser

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The attorney who claims to represent troubled pop star Britney Spears in the legal wrangling over control of her affairs vowed on Wednesday to continue his fight, one day after a federal judge ruled he is not the singer's lawyer.

Attorney Jon Eardley has said he was hired by Spears on February 12, but a California court had previously appointed conservators to control her personal and business affairs and another attorney to represent Spears.

District Judge Philip Gutierrez on Tuesday ruled the state court's appointment of the attorney precluded Eardley from acting as Spears' lawyer.

Spears was hospitalized twice in January for psychiatric evaluation, and the California state court's ruling occurred while she was not in court.

Eardley claims the state court violated Spears' civil rights by appointing conservators because she was not present. He further argues that her conservators are not acting in her best interest.

"We have only just begun the fight," Eardley said in a statement. "There is nothing that will stop me from dismantling, if necessary, this oppressive and unjust conservatorship."

Spears, 26, has seen her life spin out of control since her breakup with ex-husband Kevin Federline. She has lost custody and visitation rights to their two sons, spent time in rehab and in recent months the Louisiana native has been seen around Los Angeles wearing pink wigs and talking in a British accent.

On February 1, a California court gave the singer's father, Jamie Spears, control over her personal and business affairs through what is known as a conservatorship. An attorney, Andrew Wallet, was named co-conservator, and another lawyer, Samuel Ingham was appointed counsel for Britney.

That conservatorship has been extended on two occasions, and remains in effect until March 10.

Judge Gutierrez ruled the case would remain in state court, not federal court as Eardley sought, because Eardley had no authority to move it.

(Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Cynthia Osterman)

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