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Attorney: Joni Mitchell’s health improved, but conservatorship should remain Print-ready version

by Debbie Sklar
LA.com
July 7, 2015

Joni Mitchell, performing in 1983. By Capannelle (originally posted to Flickr as Joni Mitchell) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.

An attorney appointed by a judge to represent Joni Mitchell says in court papers filed Tuesday that although the singer's health has improved, she should remain under a conservatorship. "While (Mitchell) has made great progress toward recovery, the capacity declaration of (neurologist Paul Vespa) indicates that she lacks capacity to make informed medical decisions," lawyer Rebecca Thyne wrote. "I agreed that (Mitchell) still needs assistance with such decisions."

Last month, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Cunningham named the 71-year-old singer's longtime friend, Leslie Morris of Sherman Oaks, as temporary conservator, giving her interim authority to oversee Mitchell's care, but not her finances and business interests.

A hearing is scheduled Wednesday on Morris' bid to be named Mitchell's permanent conservator.

On March 31, Mitchell was taken to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center to undergo tests after collapsing at her Bel Air home. Mitchell was found unconscious at home, but regained consciousness in an ambulance en route to a hospital, according to her website.

Thyne says in her court papers that Mitchell was unresponsive when she visited the singer at the hospital on April 30. But when she went to the "Big Yellow Taxi" singer's home on June 26, Mitchell was sitting at her kitchen table eating lunch.

Mitchell said she was pleased with Morris' role as her temporary conservator and that she would like her friend's authority to be extended, according to Thyne.

"She also told me that she receives excellent care from caregivers around the clock," Thyne states in her court papers. "It was clear that she was happy to be home and that she has made remarkable progress. She has physical therapy each day and is expected to make a full recovery."

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Added to Library on July 7, 2015. (2450)

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