Paula Jones' News Conference
April 16, 1998
JONES: Hello. Thanks for coming out today.
As you know, two weeks ago the court in Little Rock
surprisingly dismissed my case. I was shocked.
(UNKNOWN): Take your time.
JONES: I'm sorry. I was shocked because I believed that
what Mr. Clinton did to me was wrong and that the law protects
women who are subjected to that kind of abuse of power.
Within a few days, I consulted my attorneys, who gave me
advice about a possible appeal. I believe that the grounds for
a possible appeal are very strong. I have faith in my
attorneys' advice. And I know that they have my best interests
But there was something else I had to consider -- my husband
and my two sweet little boys. I had to consider the stress on
my family. So I have taken some time in deciding whether to
continue what I have fought for so long to obtain, which is
justice and my day in court.
I have also considered the fact that the court's ruling
affects many women other than myself.
Despite the continuing personal strain on my family
and me, in the end, I have not come this far to see the law let
men who have done such things dodge their responsibility.
They should not be able to abuse their positions of power at
the expense of female employees. And I do not believe, when
this suit is over, that my case will merely show that people in
power can get away.
Therefore, I have decided to appeal the court's decision.
With the assistance of my attorneys at the Rutherford Institute
and the support of my friends and many people across America, I
am confident that the area (ph) -- (ph) Eighth Circuit Court
will rule that my case should heard by a jury.
That is all I ever sought, and I will continue to seek that
CAMPBELL: Thank you all for coming. We appreciate you
turning out on a beautiful afternoon like this in Dallas, Texas.
I'm going to start by introducing the remainder of
our legal team, the people that could attend anyway.
On my far left here is Jim Fisher. You know, the plaintiff
and her husband. Mr. John Whitehead, here, the president of the
Rutherford Institute. David Pike, one of my law partners. And
then McCord Wilson (ph) is another one of our lawyers on the far
I'm going to start by reading a short statement and then I
will open it up for some questions and answers. We're probably
just going to go 10 or 12 minutes, maybe 15. If the questions
start to run out, then we'll leave.
My partners and I are proud to represent Paula Jones and look
forward to working to reverse the erroneous decision of the
Arkansas federal court in this case.
Mr. Fisher, Mr. Pike, and the rest of our lawyers are also
looking forward to participating in this appeal.
We do not think that the law permits a male supervisor to
expose himself to his female subordinates and ask for sexual
favors. There is no one-free-flash rule recognized in the law.
Therefore, we believe the dismissal of Mrs. Jones' case was
erroneous and will be reversed.
Mr. Clinton has reportedly said that he wanted a trial, but
he has consistently directly his legal team to avoid and delay
any trial in this case. We will continue to fight to bring out
the truth about Mr. Clinton and what he did to Mrs. Jones. We
expect and look forward to winning a speedy reversal of this
decision and to letting a jury decide who is truly responsible
After the Q&A session, we do have a press release prepared
with a copy of the text of Mrs. Jones' statement attached to the
back of it so after we've finished, feel free to come up and Ms.
Carpenter- McMillan will pass those out.
If you could please, do me the courtesy of identifying
yourself when I call on you and what media source you're with.
I will appreciate that.
QUESTION: I'd like to ask you, sir, you talk about these
(OFF- MIKE), what is the (OFF-MIKE) you would apply and
CAMPBELL: Our best guess is that the 8th Circuit appellate
level will probably take between six months and year. It could
be shorter. It could be longer. But that's a pretty good
average estimated time.
CAMPBELL: Yes. We will reveal some of those and those are
in our -- summarized in our press release. The starting point,
of course, is just to go to our summary judgment brief and read
that. That will tell you 70 to 80 percent of the legal issues
that we intend to appeal.
But there are four of them off the top of my head that we
think are significant.
The section 1983 civil rights action. We believe
that's very significant, and we think there are three areas that
are questionable in the court's opinion on that. One is whether
you need any kind of damages at all other than emotional
damages. The second subpart of that is whether tangible job
detriments have to be shown or have been shown in this case.
The third part of that is whether we have shown hostile work
Second main point is section 1985. That's another civil
rights cause of action. We feel that the court's opinion and
our opposition's briefs on that point are weak.
Third point is the tort of outrage, or intentional infliction
of emotional distress. We think that the opinion is also
deficient on that point.
And then finally, the fourth main point is the -- our last
section of our brief deals extensively with what we believe to
be the suppression of evidence or obstruction of justice
campaign that has been indulged by the defendant in this case.
And we think that the authorities on that issue are very
clear that that is equivalent to the legal admission that Mr.
Clinton's entire case is weak and unfounded. And that should
have been considered in the court's opinion on ruling on the
motion for summary judgment. We think that the court's opinion
and our opposition's brief on that particular point are
particularly vulnerable. They cited no authorities contrary to
the authorities that we cited. So those are going to be the
four main points.
QUESTION: Where is the money going to come from to finance
the appeal? And are you concerned that some of the fund-raising
sources will dry up, giving your setback (OFF-MIKE)?
CAMPBELL: I'm going to let Mr. Whitehead address that.
There are some of your questions, I'm sure, that are going to be
more apropos to be addressed by Mr. Whitehead, so I'll ask him
to step up here occasionally.
That's one of them.
WHITEHEAD: Yes. The Rutherford Institute will finance the
appeal. And again, as we've said all along, we will support the
whatever's needed, because we think there's a very key human
rights, women's rights issue here. And also, do I think the
fund-raising sources will dry up?
Well, that's possible, but that's not something
we would rely on in terms of pursuing the appeal. And so we're
in it for the long haul, no matter what it costs.
CAMPBELL: Yes, ma'am.
QUESTION: Is Richard Mellon Scaife financing or a
contributor to the Rutherford Institute?
CAMPBELL: I'm sorry. I didn't hear the name.
QUESTION: Is Richard Mellon Scaife a contributor?
CAMPBELL: I have no idea. I doubt that seriously, but you
can ask Mr. Whitehead.
CAMPBELL: Is that clear enough?
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) from a (OFF-MIKE) time, given that the
president is likely to be out of office by the time this case is
resolved, to what degree does that -- the value (OFF-MIKE)? I
mean, what do you stand to gain here by the fact -- considering
the fact that he probably will be out of office?
CAMPBELL: Well, I've got at least two responses to that.
The first one is he will not necessarily be out office when this
case is hopefully called to trial. It is entirely possible that
even if an appeal or certificate or writ of cert is sought from
the Supreme Court, that that can all be resolved within two
So I disagree that it's a necessary conclusion that he will
be out of office.
Even if he is out of office, however, if you study the
pleadings in this case, you will see that Mr. Clinton has been
sued individually and personally, not as president. So we
frankly don't care whether he is president of the United States
or busing tables at Lubee's (ph) cafeteria when this lawsuit
comes to trial. The legal issues are still the same.
I believe it's safe to say that my client is not in this for
She's certainly not in it for the abuse that she
has had to suffer for the last four years. So we don't care
what Mr. Clinton -- what position he occupies at the time this
case comes to trial.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) here in Dallas. I wonder if you could
talk a little bit about her emotional state and the concern over
the (OFF- MIKE) -- since she's not allowed to answer these
questions -- how it has been for her over the past year but (ph)
the dismissal from the court.
CAMPBELL: Well, if your questions involves just the last two
weeks, basically, after the dismissal, I think it's safe to say
without breaching any attorney-client privileges that she was
shocked and dismayed and upset for the first couple of days
after the decision came down.
She recovered from that very well, I believe, and has been
able to deal quite rationally with her attorneys in the mean
time, study all the various legal aspects and legal issues that
would be involved in an appeal, and also very rationally
consider the toll on her husband and her children and the entire
family, as well as her close friends, as to whether carrying
forward with the case and the appeal would be worth that
So that's a summary, I think, of how she has reacted in the
last two weeks.
QUESTION: Would you accept any kind of a settlement from
this point forward? And how's your client going to -- make a
living between now and the time that it takes (OFF-MIKE)?
CAMPBELL: Well, I'll address your legal question. I'm not
sure I'm capable of addressing your second question.
Legal question is what about settlement. Our position is and
always has been in this case that all ethical attorneys are
duty-bound to consider any legitimate settlement offer that is
made, and are duty-bound to engage in rational settlement
The problem in this case so far has been there haven't been
any rational settlement discussions and no rational settlement
offers from the other side. So if some adult in control of the
other side of this
case would like to come forward and make a rational settlement
offer, or even agree to engage in rational settlement
discussions, such as a formal mediation, for example, we will
certainly be open to that.
And if a reasonable settlement can result from that, then we
as lawyers would recommend that to our client. Whether that's
going to happen, I have no idea. You'd have to address that
question to the White House.
In terms of living between now and then, that's not my area
of expertise. We're not dealing with those issues. We're just
dealing with the issues in this case so I can't answer that
QUESTION: When did your firm decide to continue with this
case? What day? Where? And did you have any misgivings, any
questions about continuing with it?
CAMPBELL: Our firm decided to go forward with the appeal
when the final decision was made by our client yesterday
In terms of did we have any questions or
reservations about going forward, we have no questions or
reservations about going forward from a legal standpoint. We
think the case is strong for reversal of this judgment. The
only reservations we might have had involved personal ones
concerning the stress and strain on Paula and her husband and
her family and her children, and that's not really a legal
decision. That's a personal decision.
QUESTION: Without giving us a filing date (OFF-MIKE) can you
discuss a bit of what went on, the give and take, the ups and
downs? Were there moments that either Paula Jones or yourself
(OFF-MIKE) reports of saying let's not continue?
CAMPBELL: Well, I can't tell you much about the discussions
yesterday because they are attorney-client privileged. I can
tell you that the discussions yesterday were not really about
the legal pros and cons of going forward with the case. We have
already covered that with our client for the last two weeks.
Yesterday mainly involved going through what unfortunately is
a fact of life, and that's a very detailed engagement agreement.
And whenever a lawyer represents a client, there has to be an
engagement agreement in writing, and unfortunately, those are
usually long papers. And so we got to traipse through long
papers yesterday. And there weren't really any ups and downs,
it was just a straight through progression of going over legal
QUESTION: Can I follow up a bit? Are you saying then that
whether or not she (OFF-MIKE) pretty much decided that you were
going to go ahead with the lawsuit?
CAMPBELL: I did not say that. You said when was the
decision made, and I said it was at the end of the day
QUESTION: You just mentioned an issue that hasn't -- we
never heard before -- the idea of formal mediation. How would
something like that work, and who would propose it? (OFF-MIKE)
CAMPBELL: Well, I'm not going to discuss the details of any
nascent settlement negotiations that may or may not have gone on
up to this point. I will answer your question and say the
issue, the suggestion of mediation has been made, and has been
made by our side of course in this case.
And in terms of what are the formalities or what are the
structures that are available for that, Texas is a great state
for mediation of litigation. There are numerous statues on the
books called alternative dispute resolution statutes, and there
is an entire framework already set up to conduct formal
mediations with an independent, third party, neutral mediator.
There are many, many qualified, highly trained mediators in this
city and in this state and even around the country, and
particularly in other big cities.
And we would be most open to accepting any highly qualified
mediator to assist in negotiations for settlement of this case.
Unfortunately, to date, the other side has not
been willing to consider that.
QUESTION: But the issue has been raised. Is it currently on
the table somewhere?
CAMPBELL: Nothing is currently on the table right now.
CAMPBELL: Well, on the second question first, we are really
not going to reveal any of our strategy in terms of appeal right
now, timing or anything else, other than the issues that I've
As I think probably everyone in this room knows, the Supreme
Court is considering right now at least three very important
Title VII, or sexual harassment, cases, which may have some
bearing on the outcome of this appeal.
So there are a number of issues that are up there in the air
timingwise that we don't have any control over.
In terms of expenditures by the Rutherford Institute, again,
I'll leave that up to John. He may elect not to answer that.
He's free to answer that if he wants to.
WHITEHEAD: Expenses so far -- we're talking about legal
expenses, not legal fees, not anything paid to lawyers for time
-- have run close to $300,000. And again, that's legal
expenses. That's deposition costs, expert witnesses, plane
flights, foods (ph), and all the things it takes to prepare a
At some times, up to 20 lawyers have been working on this
through the Rutherford Institute, as well as the main lawyers
here in Dallas.
QUESTION: I know you don't want to talk about new strategy,
but the White House people are cockily (ph) saying this week
that they don't care if you go to court or not. Their strategy
is the same. They are going to pound your client's credibility,
and they are going to pound her into submission.
I'm wondering, with that kind of hardline approach by
Clinton's camp, are you considering some kind of change in
And a related question -- does this mean that while your
appeal is going on you cannot pursue any more evidence?
CAMPBELL: My, that's a lot of questions.
QUESTION: Just give a shot at it.
CAMPBELL: Yes, right.
In terms of the pounding, assuming that the other side has
said that -- and I don't know what they've said -- you know,
basically the discovery is over. So the pounding opportunities
are over. There isn't going to be any more pounding, certainly
not of our client directly.
Now, in terms of lawyers beating up on each other, sure,
that's going to go forward the whole rest of the case, whether
it's at the appellate level or at the trial level. But that's
motions and countermotions and briefs and counterbriefs and all
that kind of stuff.
And if the other side thinks we are not accustomed to that
yet, they're wrong. Obviously, we are.
In terms of can evidence gathering continue to go on, well, I
guess that depends on what you mean by that. Formal discovery
cannot go on while the appeal is pending -- that is, you can't
take formal depositions; you can't send interrogatories; that
kind of time.
Informal discovery -- that is, continuing to gather evidence
of, for example, other women -- that can go on. I'm not going
to say it's going to. I'm not going to tell you what we are
going to do. But that can certainly go on.
And eventually, some of those efforts or searches or other
evidence-gathering may bear fruition by coming into the
We'll just have to see.
I'm sorry, Michael. We're keeping you awake.
QUESTION: I'm wondering -- I guess it's probably to Mr.
Whitehead question -- for the appeal, will the Rutherford
Institute being covering any of the legal fees for the lawyers
or will that be covered otherwise?
CAMPBELL: Again, that's something I'll let John address.
And he can either answer it or not answer it. It's up to him.
WHITEHEAD: The Rutherford Institute was founded in 1982.
It's about 16 years old, and over that period of time,
occasionally, we have awarded litigation grants of no sizable
amount when attorneys get into what we call extended litigation
which, of course, this is.
And we've said that we will cover all the legal expenses.
There will be a legal expense budget, and if at all possible, we
would like to help with some legal grants in this case. But
again, that would be part of any kind of legal expense budget
that we would put together.
CAMPBELL: Yes, ma'am.
QUESTION: The judge has reportedly (OFF-MIKE) support when
she had to sue after the (OFF-MIKE). Could you or she talk a
little bit about what that was in detail and how that impacted
your decision before that court?
CAMPBELL: I'm sure she could, but we won't let her. So I
It's been my observation in traveling across the country with
Paula Jones and her husband that inevitably, in airports, in
taxicabs, on the street, wherever we go, nameless people will
come up and shake her hand or want her autograph and offer their
Now they don't write checks or anything like that. But they
say -- Ata baby, keep at it -- that kind of thing. So we have
seen that kind of anecdotal support.
In addition, my office -- I know, and I think Suzie as well
-- and I know the Rutherford Institute gets many calls and many
letters of support daily.
And that has continued, in fact to an extent it has picked up
after the dismissal order was issued. And again, nameless,
faceless people from across the country send those letters and
call and say -- Keep at it. Don't give up the fight. We're
behind you 100 percent. Please don't drop this case.
Again, that's anecdotal. We haven't done any kind of a
formal polling or survey, but we obviously -- we passed those
messages on to Paula Jones, and I think she feels some support
QUESTION: Was there any point after the judge's (OFF-MIKE)
where Ms. Jones has not wanted to appeal the case?
CAMPBELL: Well, you'd have to address that question to Ms.
Jones, which I won't let you do. And I'm not going to reveal
anything that she specifically said to us. I would say that,
just as a human being, if you had been through four years of
this kind of attack dog tactics that have been foisted upon her,
and then the judge summarily dismissed your case, you might have
And Paula is certainly a normal human being.
SUSAN CARPENTER-MCMILLAN, ADVISER TO PAULA JONES: We're
going to take one more question.
CAMPBELL: Yes, ma'am.
QUESTION: What has been missing in all of this has really
been an outspoken support from a large women's rights -- or
(OFF-MIKE) have you heard anything from NOW, from anybody, any
major group that supports women's rights within the last two
weeks since all of this has come about?
CAMPBELL: The short answer is yes, but let me bring John up
here. He has some more anecdotal responses, I think, he can
give to you.
And I would just say in conclusion on that point that we
certainly hope, now that the appeal is going to go forward, that
we will see some more formal support from the large women's
As I'm sure you know, amicus curiae briefs are certainly
accepted by the federal courts on appeal, and we'd like to see
some of those in this appeal.
WHITEHEAD: One of the things that we knew was missing when
we were headed toward trial was support of women's rights
groups. But over the last couple of weeks, especially since the
April 1st ruling by Judge Wright, a number of women's groups
have come forward.
The National Organization of Women, Martha Davis, one of
their legal directors, has criticized the decision. And that's
heartening. And I think that's why I say is one of the wild
cards -- and hopefully, the appeal process is that we will get
support of women's groups, and I think that is so key. It is a
women's rights issue, and women should be behind this 100
CAMPBELL: Thank you.