Amanda Knox's family says a U.S. lawyer with an international practice will work with their imprisoned daughter's Italian defense team to map strategy for the appeals process.

The family said in a statement Monday from Seattle that Theodore "Ted" Simon will bring international as well as criminal defense experience to the case.

Simon is based in Philadelphia. The defendant's father, Curt Knox, called Simon a "tremendous asset for Amanda" and her legal team.

Last month, a court in Perugia, Italy, convicted Knox and her former Italian boyfriend of murdering her British roommate, Meredith Kercher, in 2007. Knox received a 26-year prison sentence. Raffaele Sollecito was given 25 years.

The defendants say they are innocent.