Adam B. Vary
July 28, 2009 AT 06:30 AM EDT

A California judge ruled that an independent lawyer should oversee the financial estate of Nadya Suleman’s octuplets to ensure they are not exploited for entertainment purposes, reports the Associated Press. The ruling by Orange County judge Gerald Johnston stems from a legal petition filed by former Disney Mouseketeer Paul Peterson, an advocate for show-business children. Suleman’s attorney, Arthur J. LaCilento, argued that appointing a financial guardian for her children violated the family’s right to privacy, but Johnston said, “I do believe it is appropriate and justifiable at this time to provide an objective voice to report to the court.” Suleman — who is slated to begin shooting a reality show featuring her 14 children on Sept. 1, pending court approval of the children’s TV contracts — attended the hearing but did not speak.

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