by Free Britney at . Comments

A $1,100 tip at an L.A. restaurant, a $2,000 tip at a Vegas strip club, and on and on and on. Kevin Federline's spending, detailed in court documents, certainly has his critics buzzing over his apparently lavish lifestyle.

Enter Mark Vincent Kaplan.

K-Fed's attorney and confidant says, basically, that the haters need to look at the bigger picture before passing judgment on his client.

"He's totally getting a bad rap here," says Kaplan, who says that the "court of public opinion" is focusing on "a few expenditures." "It seems like an unnecessary attempt to knock him when there's really no basis to do so."

Kaplan claims that even the most ridiculed charge on the list of K-Fed's business expenses - a $2,000 Scores strip club tip - has an explanation.

"That was for a group of people for a friend's bachelor party," he said, adding that it wasn't even a tip at all: "That's just how the club categorized it."

Many of Federline's tips are certainly far from extravagant. During a September trip to Fat Tony's Italian Restaurant, he tipped $10 on a $41.69 bill.

The papers - used by Britney Spears' legal team to try to prove he, not Britney, should pay his own damn legal bills, show two sides to K-Fed, however.

Last August, he spent $304.30 to fly to Las Vegas on low-cost Southwest Airlines. But once he was there, he did not hold back, dropping $3,038.69 at the Hard Rock Beach Club, $3,863.50 at the hot club Tao, and $10,220.65 at The Venetian.

Some of his spending is less rock star and more average dad. Charges at Target ($115.10), IKEA ($246.66) and Albertson's grocery store ($405.75) fill his statements, with occasional shopping sprees ... at toy stores.

Mark Vincent Kaplan disagrees with Britney Spears' lawyers, who claim that the larger expenses suggest Federline should foot some of the massive fees she has been ordered to pay as a result of their custody battle.

"Don't focus on whether he spent too much money going on a vacation or going to a restaurant," says Kaplan. "Focus â€" as the court does â€" on was he reasonable having to incur these [court] fees? The answer is a resounding yes."

Kaplan says that the fees were "built up quite frankly by the conduct of [Britney Spears]" during some her court-delaying, widely-public antics.

"I don't think the court should be distracted by the fact that he went to Las Vegas and spent $1,000 or $5,000," says Kaplan. "It's not relevant."

by Free Britney at . Comments

Kevin Federline's lawyer, Mark Vincent Kaplan, says that with the help of father Jamie Spears, Britney Spears is heading in the right direction.

But he urged restraint in saying the pop star is fully recovered.

"Jamie is doing a really good job," Kaplan said. "There was a situation and that seems to be stabilized. Does that mean she's cured? Of course not."

Kaplan noted that Spears' negative press has diminished noticeably, and that her successes - from her How I Met Your Mother role to reports that she is working again with former manager Larry Rudolph - are making news.

He calls her father Jamie Spears' many important steps to improve Britney Spears' well being and diffuse the struggling pop singer's once tumultuous lifestyle "very smart," adding that, "Obviously before [Jamie Spears] stepped in, it wasn't a question of what was going to happen - it was a question of when."

A healthy, happy Britney Spears is something that ex-husband Kevin Federline has been always yearning for, says Mark Vincent Kaplan.

As for his own professional interest in the Britney Spears custody case, which is no longer dominating Los Angeles' family court system?

"I look forward to the time when I can be bored," Mark Vincent Kaplan said.

by Free Britney at . Comments

Britney Spears has been ordered to pay $375,000 of Kevin Federline's massive legal bills, according to court documents released Monday.

The scary thing? That's less than his attorney originally sought!

L.A. Court Commissioner Scott Gordon called the billing "reasonable," in part because "the actions of [Britney Spears] caused the majority of litigation."

Last week, the pop star's current lawyer, Stacy Phillips, complained that K-Fed's attorney, Mark Vincent Kaplan, had over-charged Britney Spears, and asked that Federline be ordered to pay his own legal fees - at least in part.

This is a custody battle, by and large, and family courts have the power to order one party to pay for the other's fees, based on income and needs.

Mark Vincent Kaplan had sought half a million for his representation of the FedEx man so far, but Gordon knocked that number down slightly and ordered Britney to pay $375,000. Still not a shabby payday for the attorney.

Sadly for Britney Spears, it doesn't end there
.

Britney's former divorce attorney, Laura Wasser, charged her $164,972 in fees for a span of 10 months as her lawyer. After Wasser quit, Spears hired Trope and Trope to rep her. On their watch, Britney lost custody and visitation of the kids.

Their bill for five months? $685,985.22!

Of course, two mental collapses and consistently bizarre and dangerous antics made it next to impossible for the Commissioner not to strip her of custody.

But come on, that's $685,985.22 better spent on Red Bull, potato chips, booze, blackjack, cars, hookers like Ashley Alexandra Dupre ... just about anything.

by Free Britney at . Comments

Britney Spears, who is worth an estimated $100 million, has been approved for a $1,500-a-week allowance, a judge rules on Monday afternoon.

Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Reva Goetz approved the hiring of two specialist attorneys to help the singer and her lawyers sort out her affairs.

Britney Spears and Jason Trawick Together

One, Jorge Hernandez, will get a $25,000 retainer to be an around-the-clock consultant on all questions pertaining to the co-conservatorship.

The other, lawyer Tom Hansen, will receive $15,000 a month for his services as an entertainment lawyer consulting on Spears' entertainment contracts.

At a separate hearing, lawyers for Spears said that her ex-husband, Kevin Federline, should pay his own damn legal bills. In a manner of speaking, of course.

The court had previously ruled that Spears, 27, has to pay Federline's counsel, Mark Vincent Kaplan, "reasonable" attorney's fees.

He has billed over half a million so far.

Britney's attorney, Stacy Phillips, told a Los Angeles court commissioner that Kapla is only entitled to $150,000-175,000.

Phillips said that K-Fed should foot the bill, mentioning how the rapper once tipped $2,000 on a $365 bill while out dining.

Mark Vincent Kaplan, meanwhile, argued that he is worth every cent of the price due to the complicated nature of the custody case.

"Our fees for the experience and expertise for the practice level are far under market for the package you get when you hire me," he said.

"This is not a simple custody case."

Both Federline and Spears' father (and co-conservator) Jamie Spears â€" who hit the golf course together over the weekend â€" were present for the hearing.

"Mr. Federline answered two or three questions very cryptically and Jamie Spears was a little more elaborate," court spokesperson Allan Parachini said. "The judge has taken the fees arguments under consideration."

by Free Britney at . Comments

What will it take for Britney Spears to regain custody or at least some visitation rights with her two sons? That we can't say for sure at this time.

But the pop star's tentative reconciliation with her father, Jamie Spears, is a big step in the right direction, says Kevin Federline's lawyer.

Britney Spears Lingerie Pic

Mark Vincent Kaplan was full of praise for Jamie Spears, who has emerged as a controversial, but positive force in Britney's life recently.

"Jamie Spears' presence is an extreme positive," Kaplan said, adding that Jamie's presence could make it possible "to develop a visitation plan that enables [Sean Preston and Jayden James] to have a mother in their lives."

While Britney's visitation with Sean Preston, 2, and Jayden James, 1, was discussed at Tuesday's custody hearing, there were no official changes.

Spears has not seen her sons since the January 3 standoff with police at her home. K-Fed has full custody of the boys pending further notice.

Mark Vincent Kaplan represents Kevin Federline, but he - along with K-Fed and everyone else involved - has his eye on reuniting Britney with Jayden James.

Still, Kaplan said of the future point in which Britney can share the kids again, "[Jamie] brings that day closer. Absolutely."

Jamie Spears' role as conservator - overseeing Britney's medical treatment and estimated $100 million fortune - has attracted its share of criticism.

Britney Spears herself is seeking legal remedies to regain control, says attorney Jon Eardley, who believes Jamie's conservatorship is a "violation of [the singer's] civil rights" and has challenged it in federal court.

We speculate that Sam Lutfi - ostracized by the Spears clan after it was alleged that he drugged Britney - is behind Jon Eardley's filing.

Mark Vincent Kaplan, for his part, sees Jamie's control as a "huge step."

"From the ground up," Kaplan said. "[Jamie] is stabilizing the situation, removing people that may not have had Britney's best interests at heart."

Does that mean Britney Spears could see her kids soon?

"We all want this as soon as possible," said Kaplan. "That's Kevin's desire - to have his kids visiting their mother. That's everyone's goal."

The FedEx man has indicated that he wants Britney to regain at least some custody or visitation, even as she receives treatment for bipolar disorder.

by Free Britney at . Comments

Britney Spears' right hand man, Sam Lutfi, was grilled hard by Mark Vincent Kaplan, K-Fed's lawyer, yesterday afternoon in Los Angeles.

The goal, from Kaplan's perspective, was to learn how Lutfi injected himself into Britney's life, what her behavior is like, and how that impacts her kids.

The deposition, which ended just before 6:00 p.m. PST, covered a wide range of issues. Sources say Kaplan asked about the meds Britney takes, where she goes, what she does at home, what she drinks, and on and on and on.

Kaplan also asked Sam Lutfi about his relationship with the celebrity photo agency X17 and specifically whether he and the train wreck have a financial deal where they help X17 get pictures of Britney Spears and in return get ca$h.

This would be one hell of a blow to Britney's chances of ever seeing Sean Preston and Jayden James again if true. X17 has denied there's any deal.

Kaplan asked that sponge Lutfi about his own income and where he gets it, etc. Further probing Lutfi's shady past, Kaplan also asked about the six lawsuits in which he was reportedly sued - Sam said most were against his father.

TMZ reports that Lynne Spears, Britney's mom, has no idea where Sam Lutfi came from and how he got into her daughter's life in the first place.

All those details may finally come to light soon. Stay tuned ...

by Free Britney at . Comments

After months of waffling and no-shows, Britney Spears actually showed up at the Los Angeles office of Kevin Federline's lawyer, Mark Vincent Kaplan, this afternoon for an ongoing deposition in their custody battle.

At 10:40 a.m. PST, Britney Spears, 26, wearing a dark blue top and jeans, drove up to the office in her white Mercedes-Benz SL65 with Sam Lutfi.

Both Britney and Sam Lutfi had "serious expressions" on their faces. Oooh.

The one-time singer has missed numerous appointments for the court-ordered cross examination by Kaplan, FedEx's high-powered attorney.

Spears is expected to be grilled about her drug and alcohol use, her apparent failure to follow court orders and other matters pertaining to her parenting.

Federline's attorney will use evidence gathered in depositions to try to convince a court that his client (K-Fed) should retain primary physical custody of the ex-couple's children, Jayden James and Sean Preston.

That should be a real hard sell. The custody trial is set for April.

"Kevin wants nothing more than to be able to parent his children with participation by their mother," Mark Vincent Kaplan said.

"But the best interest of the children require that they be in the most sound, safe, nurturing and consistent environment. That is paramount."

On January 3, Spears was deposed for only 14 minutes, after arriving late - over an hour and a half late. That night and into the next morning, Spears had a four-hour standoff with police, ending with her hospitalization.

Last Monday, she lost all rights to visit Sean and Jayden indefinitely when she showed up... then left the hearing without entering the courthouse.

UPDATE: Britney and Sam left around 1 p.m., and Spears "looked very upset and walked quickly to her car" before speeding off. Britney's attorneys, Sorrell Trope and Tara Scott, tell TMZ that Brit was "in good spirits." Riiight. Also, we have learned the deposition may take up to two days, so expect Spears back!

by Free Britney at . Comments

While Britney Spears hospitalized in Los Angeles and being monitored constantly after last night's psychotic meltdown, her ex-husband has moved to strip her of all visitation rights with their sons, Sean Preston and Jayden James.

Kevin Federline himself snuck into court this morning under the radar but left the area as the hearing adjourned, TMZ reports. He may return later as an emergency hearing in the custody case is believed to be set for 1:30 PST.

K-Fed's lawyer, Mark Vincent Kaplan, was in court this morning at 8:30 a.m. to ask the Commissioner to strip Britney Spears of all visitation rights - at least for now. Attorney Tara Scott from the law firm of Trope and Trope is representing Britney - awkward, since the firm asked to withdraw as counsel Wednesday.

The hearing ended but is expected to resume this afternoon. Through an assistant, Mark Vincent Kaplan declined comment to reporters.

While Federline asks the court to indefinitely bar Britney Spears from visits with Sean and Jayden, Lynne Spears simply hopes people pray for her daughter.

Spears' family has been showing their support. Her dad, Jamie Spears, has been at the hospital with his daughter. Brother Bryan Spears was expected to show up today. Spears' mother, Lynne Spears, who's been in "constant contact" with the troubled singer, is en route from Kentwood, La., as is Jamie Lynn Spears.

According to Access Hollywood, Lynne Spears was "extremely distraught and crying about Britney on the phone" when contacted by their staff.

"Just say prayers," Lynne said.

Conspicuously absent from Cedars-Sinai: Mr. Adnan Ghalib, 35, who works for the celebrity photo agency called FinalPixx, and who has checked into a pair of hotels with Britney Spears over the last couple of weeks.

Sources say that as Spears was holed up in her Studio City home during her epic meltdown, Adnan Ghalib was not present - nor has he visited her at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where she was hospitalized early Friday.

When asked about Spears Friday, Adnan Ghalib would not comment.

UPDATE: As of 2:45 PST, the court hearing is over, and K-Fed has been awarded sole legal and physical custody of the boys until January 14.

We'll see what contact Britney Spears will have with Sean and Jayden as of that date. Kaplan declined comment on what was decided, but said: "There are no winners here. We are not happy about any of the events that have happened."

by Free Britney at . Comments

Jamie Lynn Spears is pregnant.

Yeah, Casey Aldridge put a baby in that.

While all Spears family news pales in comparison to this bombshell, Jamie Lynn's train wreck older sister was the subject of a court hearing yesterday.

In latest Britney Spears-Kevin Federline custody proceeding on Tuesday, the judge 86ed the hearing that had previously been scheduled for January 23.

According to TMZ, which was live on the scene, Spears' lawyers wanted to convince the Commish to restore her right to drive a car with her kids.

Britney also wanted more custody rights overall regarding Sean Preston and Jayden James. Now that hearing has been pushed way back to February 19.

Britney Spears' custody hearing and antics are tough to make sense of.

Kevin Federline's attorney, Mark Vincent Kaplan, subpoenaed a celebrity news video of Spears partying at night - on the same day in which Sam Lutfi claimed she was too ill and anxious to show up for her mandatory deposition.

Kaplan wants all of Britney Spears' custody requests postponed until she sits that frequently naked ass down for her deposition, and it looks like that wish was granted. It seems Kaplan has gotten his wish, at least temporarily.

Spears' new deposition is now set for the first week in January. Mark Vincent Kaplan argued that he needed time to review the deposition and check out what Britney says under oath, so the next hearing was moved to February 19.

by Free Britney at . Comments

Kevin Federline's lawyer, Mark Vincent Kaplan, is going to court today to send a message to Britney Spears - there are going to be serious consequences when you party the same night you say you're "too sick" and "anxious" for court.

If you recall, last week Spears did not show for her mandatory court deposition but later that night, she cruised around (in no pants), hitting up two gas stations and her home away from home, the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills.

Today's hearing in the custody case is all about that night. From what TMZ and other sources are reporting, Mark Vincent Kaplan may ask the judge to prevent Brit from regaining any custody until she gives her deposition.

Mark Vincent Kaplan is seriously pissed at Britney Spears.

In the ongoing battle over Sean Preston and Jayden James, Mark Vincent Kaplan and K-Fed may also try and block Britney Spears' lawyers from taking depositions on the Federline side of the aisle until their client actually takes the oath.

In our opinion, Kaplan should also consider subpoenaing Sam Lutfi. Not sure if that has any sort of relevance to the custody case, but that dude is real sketchy.

Mark Vincent Kaplan Biography

Mark Vincent Kaplan is a California attorney known for representing celebrities. In recent months he has been working with Kevin... More »
Full Name
Mark Vincent Kaplan
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