Britney's third lawyer quits

Britney Spears's high-powered L.A. attorney Sorrell Trope filed papers Wednesday asking the court for permission to be relieved from representing the pop star. "There has been a breakdown in communications" between his firm and Spears "making further representation of her interests impossible," Trope stated in his motion. News of the latest blow to Spears in her ongoing custody battle with Kevin Federline was first reported by TMZ, which also reports that for the second time in less than a month Spears failed to appear at a scheduled deposition in the case on Wednesday. In the document filed by Trope, it's revealed that five depositions are scheduled to take place in the case throughout January. Among those to be deposed is former body guard Anthony Barretto, who went public last September with allegations that Spears had "mental problems" and had almost overdosed on drugs. One source familiar with the case says: "They couldn't reign her in. No one can, and it's an embarrassment in front of the judge." When and if Spears hires a new attorney, it will be her fourth since September, when divorce attorney Laura Wasser was briefly replaced by Mel Goldsman, who was soon replaced by Trope.

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