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The Jones Case

 Legal Issues

TIME Coverage

Day Of Deliverance - April 13, 1997

TIME Interview: Bill Clinton - April 13, 1997

In Paula We Trust - Nov. 24, 1997

Clinton Loses A Big One - June 2, 1997

Margaret Carlson On Sex And, ..Honesty. Honestly - June 2, 1997

TIME: Will She Have Her Day In Court? - Jan. 20, 1997

TIME: Class Act - Feb. 3, 1997

Related Sites

Paula Jones Legal Fund

Education and Information Project Web site -- Clinton defense site by James Carville

Full Text Of Jones' Complaint

The Legal Issues

Many pundits originally scoffed at Jones' chances in court and many are equally skeptical about her chances of overturning the case's dismissal with her appeal.

But in November 1996, journalist Stuart Taylor changed some minds with an article in the American Lawyer magazine contending that "Jones' evidence is highly persuasive." The principal reason: Jones told one friend, Pamela Blackard, about her encounter with Clinton within 10 minutes of returning to her desk in the Excelsior lobby, and another, Debra Ballentine, about an hour and a half later. Both have said that Jones appeared very upset and told them almost exactly the story she was later to make public, in all its repellent detail.

There were weaknesses in Jones' case, too. Danny Ferguson, the trooper who took her to the room where she allegedly met Clinton, has said she did not appear at all upset afterward. To the contrary, he says, she told him she would be willing to be Clinton's regular girlfriend. (Jones says he is lying.)

On the central matter of harassment, Jones contends Clinton made some remarks about knowing her boss before trying to grope her and at the end of the encounter told her, "You are smart. Let's keep this between ourselves."

Taylor has written that the Supreme Court's litmus test for sexual harassment is when sex has been demanded as a quid pro quo, i.e. "give me sex or you won't get a promotion," or when the person making the complaint has been subject to a hostile environment that jeopardized their ability to function competently.

To many, Jones case appeared dubious on the first condition. Not only wasn't she fired, but she received raises after the alleged incident (though she claims they were substandard).

The question of damages

In their final filings in mid-March, the lawyers battled over whether the case should go to trial as scheduled May 27.

Clinton's attorney, Bob Bennett, argued -- successfully, it turned out -- Jones had not established any legal claim worthy of trial or offered evidence of either sexual harassment or employment discrimination.

But Jones' lawyer, Donovan Campbell, called the evidence in the case "very graphic and very important" and said they could show a pattern of prior conduct on Clinton's part.

"You can show a pattern and practice of prior conduct involving the same type of conspiracy to approach women through the use of state troopers ... to provide sexual favors," Campbell said. "That's a pattern and practice that gives rise to an inference that there has been a conspiracy and an agreement to do that with respect to Ms. Jones."

The lawyers also battled over a claim by Jones' team that she suffered from "sexual aversion" as the result of her alleged encounter with Clinton. In their filing, Jones attorneys' submitted an affidavit by an Arizona sex therapist, Patrick J. Carnes, who spent 3 1/2 hours with Jones and her family in February.

In his affidavit, Carnes said Jones exhibits symptoms of "severe emotional distress," "extreme anxiety," "intrusive thoughts and memories" and "sexual aversion." Bennett has questioned Carnes' credentials and called Jones' claim of sexual aversion "a big joke."

The Complaint: Civil Action No. LR-C-94-290

These were Jones' legal arguments contained in her original complaint, Civil Action No. LR-C-94-290 (full text):

Count 1: Deprivation of Consitutional Rights and Privileges
Jones says Clinton, in summoning her to the suite at the Excelsior and asking her for sex, imposed on her an "oppressive" work environment with the implicit suggestion she could face repercussions if she didn't agree to his request. She claims she was blocked from "opportunity for advancement and she suffered an economic deprivation."

Count 2: Conspiracy To Depriving Persons of Equal Protection of the Laws
Jones says that Clinton and state trooper Danny Ferguson, in arranging to have Jones brought to Clinton's suite, engaged in a "conspiracy" that deprived Jones of "having and exercising her rights and privileges as a citizen of the United States."

Count 3: Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
Clinton's actions in the hotel suite, Jones' complaint says, were "extreme, intentional, and caused Jones severe emotional distress." And she charges that Clinton and his subordinates subsequently took actions that degraded her further. "These actions were so outrageous in character, and extreme in degree, as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency, and to be regarded as atrocious and utterly intolerable in a civilized society," the count states.

The complaint demands $75,000 in compensatory damages for each count, and $100,000 in punitive damages for each count, bringing the grand total to $525,000. Finally, the complaint demands a jury trial for each count.

Case Headlines

Jones turns down Clinton's $700,000 settlement offer for now (10-6-98)

Paula Jones' lawyers expect settlement with Clinton (9-27-98)

Paula Jones Files Her Notice Of Appeal - April 29, 1998

Clinton, Paula Jones To Sup At White House Gala - April 25, 1998

Jones Says She Will Appeal- April 16, 1998

Clinton Welcomes Jones Decision; Appeal Likely - April 2, 1998

Judge Tosses Out Jones' Lawsuit - April 1, 1998

Analysis: A Victory For Clinton, But He's Not In Clear Yet - April 1, 1998

Poll: Most Americans Support Judge's Decision On Jones' Lawsuit - April 1, 1998

Jones Decision Raises Questions About Starr Probe - April 1, 1998

Clinton's Attorney 'A Street Fighter' - April 1, 1998

Congressional Reaction Split Along Party Lines - April 1, 1998

Judge: Jones' Case A Legal Strike Out - April 1, 1998

Jones' Lawyers Allege Cover-up of Willey Papers - March 28, 1998

Jones Legal Team Says 'Sexual Aversion' Claim Not New - March 23, 1998

Clinton's Lawyer Wants Jones' Lawsuit Thrown Out - March 20, 1998

Bennett Flip-Flops On Jones' Sexual Past - March 20, 1998

Jones Lawyers: Clinton's Testimony Not Credible - March 18, 1998

More Of Paula Jones' Case To Go Public - March 13, 1998

Reporter Apologizes For Clinton Sex Article - March 10, 1998

Jones' Lawyers Say Clinton Lawyers Made Settlement Offer - Feb. 25, 1998

Jones' Lawyers Respond To Dismissal Motion - Feb. 18, 1998

Clinton's Lawyer Moves To Dismiss Jones Lawsuit - Feb. 17, 1998

Jones To Appeal Ruling Excluding Lewinsky From Her Case - Feb. 2, 1998

Starr To Expand Probe Into Allegations Of Clinton Affair, Coverup - Jan. 21, 1998

Starr To Expand Probe Into Allegations Of Clinton Affair, Coverup - Jan. 21, 1998

Jones' Lawyers Promise Aggressive Stance In Clinton Suit - Jan. 18, 1998

Poll: A new CNN/TIME survey addresses the Paula Jones case - Jan. 16, 1998

Clinton, Lawyers To Meet Today On Jones Suit - Jan. 16, 1998

Clinton Lawyers To Receive Jones Case Expense Records - Jan. 15, 1998

Jones Wants $2 Million, Apology To Settle - Jan. 12, 1998

Jones Adds New Allegations - Dec. 9, 1997

Paula Jones Deposed By Clinton Attorney - Nov. 12, 1997

Paula Jones Wants To Widen Her Complaint - Nov. 11, 1997

Clinton Attorney Requests Delay In Depositions - Oct. 27, 1997

Sworn Testimony Begins In Jones v. Clinton - Oct. 13, 1997

Paula Jones Names New Attorney - Oct. 1, 1997

Republican Lawmakers Ask Rubin To Explain Jones' Audit - Sept. 18, 1997

Jones' Settlement Talks Set For Tuesday - Sept. 15, 1997

IRS To Audit Paula Jones - Sept. 15, 1997

Judge Lets Paula Jones' Attorneys Off The Case - Sept. 9, 1997

Paula Jones' Attorneys Want Out - Sept. 8, 1997

Paula Jones' Lawyers Mum On Reports They Want To Quit- Sept. 6, 1997

More Americans Want Jones vs. Clinton Settled Out Of Court - Aug. 14, 1997

Jones' Attorneys Allege Other Sexual Advances By Clinton - July 31, 1997

Paula Jones Retains New Spokeswoman - July 9, 1997

Clinton Denies Propositioning Paula Jones- July 3, 1997

Starr Probing Clinton's Sex Life? June 25, 1997

Paula Jones Attorney Quits - June 23, 1997

Paula Jones' Lawyers Send Questions To Clinton - June 20, 1997

Garry Trudeau On A Paula-Bill Settlement - June 16, 1997

Lawyers Duel Over Sexual Histories - June 5, 1997

Clinton's Attorneys Dig Into Paula Jones' Sexual Past - June 3, 1997

Clinton Loses A Big One - June 2, 1997

Lawyers' War Of Words Continues - June 2, 1997

Margaret Carlson On Sex And...Honesty. Honestly - June 2, 1997

Has Jones Changed Her Mind? - May 30, 1997

Green Light For Jones- May 27, 1997

What Twists Lie Ahead In Paula Jones' Case - May 27, 1997

She Says, He Says - May 23, 1997

Pros And Cons Of Delaying The Jones Case - Jan. 13, 1997

Jones Harassment Case Goes Before Supreme Court - Jan. 12, 1997

Most People Feel Paula Jones' Case Should Not Be Postponed - Jan. 10, 1997

GOP Ad To Target Clinton On Harassment Suit - May 24, 1996

Legal Brief Stirs Up President's Critics - May 22, 1996

Voter's Voice
Jones' Changing Look
We've received a ton of e-mail on Paula Jones' lawsuit, and here's some of it. Or join an online discussion on our community page.
Jones Paula Jones has changed lawyers, personal advisors and even her looks. Check out the changes with a JavaScript-enabled browser.

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