Kevin Federline's Lawyer to Depose Britney in Early '08

12/30/2007 at 04:50 PM EST

Kevin Federline's Lawyer to Depose Britney in Early '08
Britney Spears and Kevin Federline
Owen Beiny/WENN; Ethan Miller/Getty
After a year of legal starts and stops, Kevin Federline's lawyer Mark Vincent Kaplan is ready to move forward with his client's custody battle.

"Britney Spears will have her deposition early this year," Kaplan told PEOPLE outside Mr. Chow's restaurant in Beverly Hills late Saturday night. "We've got a lot to talk about."

Spears, 26, missed her initial deposition appearance on Dec. 12, prompting Kaplan to request an emergency hearing and to delay their next court date from January to February.

Though Spears cited physical illness and anxiety for her absence, Kaplan said, "She was, in fact, out later that day and night. It's not fourth grade where you get a doctor's note and it's all okay."

The attorney expressed hope that Spears will appear this time around so further measures, such as pursuing her in contempt of court or delaying the deposition once again, will not be necessary.

'A Good Christmas for All'

"Kevin isn't interested, nor am I, in punishing her," says Kaplan. "We just want to get information necessary to proceed further. I hoping remedies which include continuing hearings are all theoretical."

As for tabloid rumors that Preston, 2, and Jayden, 1, will also undergo drug testing, he says, "I haven't even heard about that, and I don't think that is true."

In fact, he says, the boys have been enjoying a wonderful holiday season. "It was a good Christmas for all," Kaplan confirms. "They were great. Kevin had all of his kids and it was a big, wonderful family setting. He was really happy, and the kids were happy."

As 2008 beckons, Federline, 29, will be ringing in the New Year in Las Vegas. As for how Kaplan envisions the future, his wish is simple: "I hope we will prevail."

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