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Court may punish Britney Spears for skipping deposition

Kevin Federline's attorney plans to ask the court to punish the pop star for calling in sick to her court-ordered deposition.

Mark Vincent Kaplan, who represents Kevin Federline in the custody battle over the couple's two toddlers, said he would be back in court within a month to ask for sanctions.

A telephone call to Spears' attorneys was not immediately returned.

Kaplan said Spears had missed at least three previously scheduled depositions "for various reasons," so he asked the court to order her to appear at his law offices to be deposed on Dec. 12. Spears' attorneys told him she was too sick to appear, but he said he heard later that she had an anxiety attack because of the paparazzi surrounding her house.

Spears was photographed driving with a friend and surrounded by cameras later that day.

"I think she probably got over her anxiety," Kaplan said. "This can be done with her active participation or without it."

Kaplan said he had not heard of Spears suffering from anxiety attacks before Wednesday's deposition.

"If the paparazzi are causing anxiety, I would assume that's something she's had to deal with most of her life," he said. "So I don't know why it happened to coincide with the deposition."

Kaplan said he would file papers asking the court to impose sanctions on Spears before the next scheduled court date in the case on Jan. 23.

Judges often impose monetary sanctions, including attorney fees, said Professor Charlotte Goldberg, who teaches family law at Loyola Law School.

"There is always the possibility of (holding Spears in) contempt of court," Goldberg said. "After a certain point, when it's repeated behavior, courts become skeptical about that kind of excuse."

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