Britney’s legal tab runneth over

John J. Nazarian
March 10, 2008

Happier Times This morning I was in LA Superior, Department 88 on another matter, and who should be waiting outside the courthouse? Media, and lots of them! It was all there, more attention for the Britster than for Anthony Pellicano down the street, even though the young lady under the court’s and the cameras’ scrutiny didn’t grace us with her actual presence today. Go figure! I guess everyone wants to be there for the “crash and burn.” Well, pretty soon Mark Kaplan showed up with Mr. Federline! Federline should reconsider his dress for court. He had a black suit and an unbuttoned, semi-pressed white shirt. I have seen better dressed indigents being prepared for burial than
what this guy looked like, and the hair! He is not a bad-looking kid, but it would appear that he is lacking something…? Oh, I know…CHARACTER!

It did become evident that he is a good tipper, on a bill of less than $390 bucks at a local eatery he left a $2,000 tip! Ms. Stacey Phillips, Brit’s latest barrister (aka the “Queen of Self-Promotion”), stated that she thought that was not responsible behavior, and that he should have given that $2,000 to his lawyers to pay down the $450,000 that they were trying to squeeze the Britster for (poor Britney gets stuck with the tab for K-Fed’s legal expenses, on top of her own)! Yes, she did say that, I was there and I heard it!

Well, back to the story, Kaplan shows up with his client and he is looking sallow — not to be morbid, but his color was all off, he looked like a chilled cadaver — this stuff I know! He was gray as if there was a circulation problem. Remember Bela Lugosi in those old vampire movies…he had more color than Mark did this morning. It would all become clear to me why! He was here this morning on a few issues — one was that he wanted the court to get him paid, you know, “issue orders”…and he wanted a lot…$450,000.00! Pretty soon Stacey Philips shows up wearing a cream colored two-piece suit and zebra-striped shoes…nice. The suit was form-fitting and was a little snug across her backside…but still nice! And in tow pulling her legal briefs and papers was Britney’s dad — yes, he was the mule for the day, what a nice daddy! It was going to be him or a third string lawyer from the firm — remember these are tight times and we must save Britney’s MOOLAH! He sat down, and he and Federline just chit-chatted up a storm and were very nice to each other — it was a soft moment to observe, you had to be there.

Commissioner Gordon comes in and the music started: it appears that the conservator, and/or Philips, and/or her dad thinks that Kaplan’s bill is too big! And they cannot understand why he would bring his partner with him to court, and they now were billing $600 an hour up from $550! Read my blog and I will explain all of this to you! I swear, if you held a gun to my head I can never remember Mark’s partners name…I bet if it was not on one of Mark’s cards, he too would forget him! Oh, I did see him trying to give a press interview…it was like “dam it Mark, can’t I do one,” “Oh
OK, go ahead” — and he did and it was terrible. And that, too, was discussed as to Mark Kaplan billing for his “face time” — he denies he ever did that, and I believe him! He is too smart for that trick. On the other hand, no one could have ever guessed that a court-appointed conservator was coming! Brit’s first lawyer Wasser was billing $159,000.00 and then Trope and Trope billed $650,000.00…and god knows what the security detail is
billing…anyway, these were the approximate numbers that were being thrown around that the Britster had already paid! When there was, of course, NO CONSERVATOR! Yeah for these guys! It was mentioned that Trope and Trope was showing up with three lawyers! Yes! Money, Money, Money, billable hours!

Well, Mark Kaplan was well into his 4th pair of tap shoes as he danced all around trying to deal with the issue that he had billed too much! And there was Phillips spilling water on the floor for Mark to slip in! With the crap the Britster pulled, he did not bill enough. All he was asking for was $ 450,000.00, not much in a case like this. Look what Trope got paid from October 07 to February 08! And there Mark went, no color, and presenting his case and just dancing all around the legalese that allows him to take and to get paid, and on and on it went. Almost like this story! One very funny moment was when Ms. Phillips was asked by Commissioner Gordon what she thought poor little Mark Kaplan should get, and she peeled back her lips and said $175,000.00…OMG, people were laughing — but not Mark, he got grayer! She knew he was asking for $450 Gs! Now I hope that I am around when this happens to Ms. Phillips — she is like all of the rest, this girl can bill! And I have some funny stories for the future on this very subject.

Then, like a wet fart while wearing a white suit, it all ended. It was going to get more personal and these are important people and their secrets can remain just that, secret! Little people like us don’t get to hear their crap! But oh! when you and I go to court, everyone gets to hear our stuff…no legal games of clearing the courtroom for us! What is that funny smell?

Stacey PhillipsNote: Stacey Phillips has had many big cases and is a force to be dealt with; however, I was confused as to her verbal skills. She made gestures to Kaplan twice like what you see a coach at football game or baseball game make…?? And then at one point she calls Commissioner Scott Gordon, “COMMISH.” She did not have the verbal presence of Lisa Meyer, Bob Cohen or Elyse Margolin — these people when they address the court, address the court…this was a little Wah! Wah! Wahhhhhhh! And don’t get me started on that “Super Lawyer” picture again! In the end, she left department 88 with the Britster’s dad walking behind, pulling her little carrier with her legal papers in it…it was cute, you would have to have been there!

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