Casey Anthony civil trial on track for April start date

Anthony could be called to stand, lawyers say

Published On: Feb 16 2012 10:57:42 AM EST   Updated On: Feb 16 2012 09:51:35 PM EST
ORLANDO, Fla. -

Judge Lisa Munyon on Thursday set a tentative trial period date of April 9 for the civil lawsuit filed by Zenaida Gonzalez against Casey Anthony.

Gonzalez is suing Anthony, 25, for defamation, claiming her life was ruined after Anthony linked her to Caylee Anthony's disappearance in 2008.

The exact start date of the trial is uncertain, but Munyon said she hopes to begin around the week of April 9. She said she plans to start jury selection on a Tuesday or Wednesday, possibly the prior week, with the six-day trial beginning on a Monday.

Munyon called for the meeting Thursday to ensure that both sides were ready for trial, and both sides said they were. Attorney Keith Mitnik is representing Gonzalez and attorney Charles Greene is representing Anthony.

The jury will likely consist of a six-person panel. Gonzalez's attorneys said they doubt they'll ask for a sequestered jury.  It is unclear if Anthony's attorneys will make that request. 

Both Gonzalez's and Anthony's teams expressed optimism on Thursday they would be able to find a fair jury in Orange County.

Gonzalez's team said they plan to subpoena Anthony and put her on the stand, even though Anthony will likely plead the Fifth Amendment.

Anthony's attorneys pointed out that a defendant is otherwise not required to be present at the trial. They're unsure yet how they'll handle the witness subpoena.

As a courtesy to the security concerns, Gonzalez's attorneys said they have offered to serve the subpoena to Anthony's lawyers to prevent putting her home address on the subpoena.
Gonzalez filed a motion Wednesday asking for a partial judgement against Anthony for statements Cindy Anthony made to the media about Gonzalez.

No hearing is set for that case yet.

Within the next two weeks, Anthony plans to file a motion asking for the case to be thrown out. One of their big angles will be that Anthony always mentioned a Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez. 

Records show that that is not Gonzalez's full name, even though her attorneys had originally filed the lawsuit under that name erroneously.

Gonzalez's lawyers would not discuss any type of settlement options, but said that Anthony could come to the table with something and halt the trial.