Judge keeps Joni Mitchell’s long­time friend in charge of singer’s care


A judge on Wed­nes­day praised Joni Mitchell’s long­time friend for help­ing the singer­song­writer re­cover from an aneurysm and ruled that she should con­tinue to make med­i­cal de­ci­sions for the mu­si­cian.

Su­pe­rior Court Judge David Cun­ning­ham III said Les­lie Mor­ris should re­main Mitchell’s con­ser­va­tor, with the au­thor­ity to over­see med­i­cal care for the eight-time Grammy win­ner.

Mor­ris has been act­ing in that ca­pac­ity since May, when Mitchell was re­cov­er­ing in a hos­pi­tal from an aneurysm in late March that ren­dered her un­able to speak for some time. The singer has since re­turned to her Los An­ge­les home and re­gained her speech.

Mitchell, 71, is ex­pected to make a full re­cov­ery, a court-ap­pointed at­tor­ney wrote in a fil­ing Tues­day.

Cun­ning­ham was im­pressed with Mitchell’s progress and said the con­ser­va­tor­ship may not be needed for much longer. Mor­ris does not have any con­trol over Mitchell’s fi­nances,

and the singer also re­tains her abil­ity to vote, the judge ruled.

Mor­ris and her at­tor­ney, Alan Waten­maker, de­clined to com­ment af­ter Wed­nes­day’s hear­ing.

In ad­di­tion to win­ning mul­ti­ple Grammy Awards, Mitchell was in­ducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.

She started her ca­reer in her na­tive Canada be­fore mov­ing to South­ern Cal­i­for­nia, where she be­came part of the flour­ish­ing folk scene in the late 1960s. Her sec­ond al­bum, “Clouds,” was a break­through with such songs as “Both Sides Now” and “Chelsea Morn­ing,” win­ning Mitchell the Grammy for best folk per­for­mance.

Her 1970 al­bum, “Ladies of the Canyon,” fea­tured the hit sin­gle “Big Yel­low Taxi” and the era-defin­ing “Wood­stock.” The fol­low­ing year, she re­leased “Blue,” which ranks 30th on Rolling Stone mag­a­zine’s list of the “500 Great­est Al­bums of All Time.”

Her mu­si­cal style in­te­grates folk and jazz el­e­ments, and she counts jazz giants Charles Min­gus and Pat Metheny among her col­lab­o­ra­tors.

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