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ORLANDO, Fla.--An appeals court in Daytona Beach, Fla., is now scheduled early next year to hear Casey Anthony's appeal of her four convictions for lying to law enforcement, after her legal team Monday filed the last paperwork necessary to proceed.
Oral arguments in the appeal have been scheduled for Jan. 8, just days after the trial in a defamation suit against Anthony is set to commence.
The lawsuit, brought by Zenaida Gonzalez, is set for trial Jan. 2. Gonzalez's lawyers have been hamstrung by Anthony's appeal--she cited it to avoid answering questions--and hoped it would conclude before trial in the suit.
Attorneys for Anthony filed their reply to the state's argument in her appeal on Monday, the last filing necessary from either party before the case could be heard by the 5th District Court of Appeal.
Anthony, who was acquitted in a high-profile trial last year on all major charges in her daughter's death, is challenging four convictions on misdemeanor counts of lying to law enforcement.
Among the points of contention in the appeal: Anthony argues that the four lies she was accused of are really just one continuous act--and should have been charged as such.
Her lawyers also argue that her statements to law enforcement should have been thrown out of the murder trial, because she was briefly handcuffed and put in a law enforcement vehicle, but wasn't read her rights.
The state argues Anthony wasn't technically under arrest, and therefore didn't need to be read her rights, rather "(s)he was simply handcuffed at her mother's insistence in order to prevent her from leaving."
Her attorneys, in their latest filing, note that Anthony was never told why she was being handcuffed, and "there was no hint, let alone any objective evidence, that [Anthony] had any plan to leave."
Anthony's appeal has moved slowly since her trial concluded in July 2011, and has an impact on lawsuits she faces. She has avoided answering most questions in those suits so far, citing the pending appeal.
If the dates hold, the appeal won't be resolved before the suit brought by Gonzalez goes to trial in January. Gonzalez has a similar name to the nanny Anthony said had kidnapped her daughter in 2008.
Detectives later determined that 2-year-old Caylee Anthony was dead. The case and trial became a national spectacle, with many outraged by the girl's death and her mother's behavior immediately afterward.