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Lawyers Advised Jones To Settle

Her lawyers told Paula Jones that $700,000 from President Clinton's insurers and a vague apology would be "a complete victory" in her sexual harassment lawsuit.

But she shot the offer down with more demands before dumping her legal team, just-released documents show.

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According to a pair of letters written last summer and released Wednesday, attorneys Joseph Cammarata and Gilbert K. Davis warned Jones that her new demands were changing her goals from protecting her reputation to proving Mr. "Clinton is a bad person."

"The money and language fully redeems your reputation for character and truthfulness," they wrote to her last Aug. 19. "Failure to accept this settlement will, in effect, 'snatch defeat from the jaws of victory'."

While she would have received $200,000 from the proposed settlement, after legal bills, rejecting it would likely mean she would not get anything, they warned.

They told her the settlement, which would have included a vague apology but no admission of wrongdoing by Mr. Clinton, was exactly what she had wanted when she first filed the suit.

In another letter, the lawyers wrote: "Remember, this case is about you and your reputation, and not about the conduct or reputation of Bill Clinton."

Jones rejected the settlement, saying there was no direct admission about Mr. Clinton's alleged proposition in a Little Rock hotel room in 1991. Cammarata and Davis then quit.

Jones hired different lawyers. U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright dismissed the lawsuit April 1, saying that, while Jones described "boorish" behavior, the lawsuit was largely unsupported.

Jones plans to appeal. Cammarata and Davis have an $800,000 lien against anything Jones might win to cover unpaid legal costs.

In quitting, Cammarata and Davis submitted to the court the letters they had written urging Jones to settle. Wright released the letters at their request, putting them on the record as part of Jones' appeal.

Written by Kelly P. Kissel

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