Judge denies motion for Britney Spears to undergo a deposition in licensing suit

A judge today denied a motion by lawyers for a company that provides licensing opportunities for Britney Spears — and which sued the singer and her father for alleged breach of contract — to require her to undergo a deposition.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Teresa Sanchez-Gordon said she would not interfere with a sealed April order by Judge Reva Goetz — who is supervising a court-imposed conservatorship over the pop star — reinforcing that judge’s previous finding that Spears is incompetent to testify.

Brand Sense attorney Louis Miller said he expected today’s ruling and will now ask a panel of the 2nd District Court of Appeal to issue an immediate order directing Goetz to allow Spears to testify. In court papers, Miller and other Brand Sense attorneys say the argument that the pop star is mentally and emotionally unable to testify is a “sham.”

Miller said all of the conservatorship records should be opened except for those involving Spears’ financial and medical information.

Spears’ deposition is needed because she “has knowledge of all of the facts forming the basis of Brand Sense’s claims,” according to the company’s court papers.

However, the singer’s lawyer, Howard Weitzman, said he is confident Goetz’s order will not be changed.

Goetz imposed the conservatorship order over Spears in early 2008 when the singer began exhibiting bizarre behavior.

Since then, Spears has gone on concert tours, given media interviews and made numerous public appearances, according to Brand Sense’s court papers.

Brand Sense filed the lawsuit March 30 in Los Angeles Superior Court. The firm is seeking more than $10 million.

According to the complaint, Brand Sense obtained a licensing deal for Spears in 2004 with Elizabeth Arden that provided for fragrance and other products to be sold using her name.

Brand Sense was entitled to a 35 percent commission on any of the Spears-branded fragrances sold by Elizabeth Arden, according to the suit.

However, last year, Spears contacted the beauty products firm and told them to send all royalties to her, the suit alleges. Brand Sense learned of the breach and asked that it be corrected, according to its court papers.

The entertainer’s father, Jamie Spears — who said his daughter objected to the 35 percent commission as too high — asked for a modification of the deal, according to the complaint.

However, Spears “secretly made a separate deal with Elizabeth Arden in a sneaky, underhanded effort to circumvent and evade its obligations to Brand Sense,’ the suit alleges. “Effectively, Britney improperly and illegally cut Brand Sense out of the Elizabeth Arden deal.”

The singer filed her countersuit June 6, alleging her proceeds from the Elizabeth Arden were often delayed for months by Brand Sense and that she is owed interest.

Last month, former Spears manager Osama “Sam” Lutfi was denied in his effort to have Spears undergo an independent psychological examination to determine if she is competent to testify.

Judge Zaven Sinanian also said he did not want to run afoul of Goetz’s order.


Judge Denies Motion For Britney Spears To Undergo A Deposition In Licensing Suit
City News Service
July 11, 2011
Beverly Hills Courier