A documentary titled Framing Britney was released in February by the New York Times. Then on February 28, Rosamund Pike received a Golden Globe Award for best actress for the film I Care a Lot – an intense movie that mixes drama and comedy to depict the greed and manipulation that all too often is associated with guardianship.
In March, Defiance News released a five-part podcast series focusing on the conservatorship of Britney Spears in particular, but with one episode looking at the dysfunction of the conservatorship system generally.
Also in March, many major news outlets carried the story of a Republican Congressman from Florida calling on the chair of the House Judiciary Committee to have the committee hold hearings into conservatorship infringements on the federal civil rights of Americans. Spectrum Institute and a dozen other organizations sent a letter to the committee echoing that request.
With this backdrop, it was particularly heartening when a separate letter we sent to the chair of the California Assembly Judiciary Committee calling for state legislative hearings into conservatorship abuses received a prompt response. In the past, such communications were generally met with utter silence.
More evidence of the interest in conservatorship reform is the fact that the Long Beach Bar Association (LBBA) held a webinar on this topic in March during which I identified 11 problems with the conservatorship system and 11 proposed solutions. In addition to LBBA members, staff from the California legislature attended the webinar as did public defenders from 13 counties.
Something has happened. A sleeping giant seems to be awakening – and the “powers that be” appear to be taking notice of something that they previously chose to ignore. Let’s see where this goes, but the increased attention being given to conservatorship reform over the past two months is promising.
With growing optimism,