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Paula Jones Weighs Appeal Decision

April 15, 1998

DALLAS (AP) _ In a series of meetings with her lawyers and financial backers, Paula Jones contemplated Wednesday whether to ask a federal appellate court to revive her sexual harassment suit against President Clinton.

Mrs. Jones’ and her lawyers were discussing the odds of winning an appeal of the April 1 decision by Judge Susan Webber Wright in Little Rock, Ark. Factoring into the talks were concerns about how much of a toll continuing the fight would take on Mrs. Jones, both emotionally and financially, her adviser said.

While Mrs. Jones’ camp has suggested in recent days that an appeal was ``90 percent sure,″ her spokeswoman sounded a more pessimistic note on the eve of a news conference at which Mrs. Jones is to announce her decision.

``We have a lot of things to look at, what’s the human toll, what’s the financial toll. what is the chances,″ said Susan Carpenter McMillan, Mrs. Jones’ adviser and spokeswoman.

``We’re looking at the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals,″ the spokeswoman told reporters here, where Mrs. Jones’ lawyers are located.

``From the cases that I’ve looked at, about one third of the time they’ve overturned summary judgments,″ Carpenter McMillan said. ``They don’t like summary judgments,″ she added.

Mrs. Jones planned to announce her decision with her husband, lawyers and financial backers at her side.

John Whitehead, head of the Charlottesville, Va.-based Rutherford Institute, the conservative foundation that has been helping to finance Mrs. Jones’ civil suit, also arrived in Dallas Wednesday evening to meet with Mrs. Jones and her attorneys.

Mrs. Jones, 31, has waged a drawn-out fight against Clinton since she filed a civil suit claiming that he asked her to perform a sex act in an Arkansas hotel room when he was governor of that state an she was a state employee.

Clinton has said he does not recall such a meeting and has denied doing anything improper.

In dismissing Jones’ suit, Wright said there wasn’t sufficient merit to her allegations to take the case to trial.

Wright noted that Mrs. Jones continued to work at the Arkansas Industrial Development Commission for an additional 19 months and never filed a formal complaint or told her supervisors of the incident.

Clinton’s lawyers had said that even if he had exposed himself and asked Mrs. Jones for sex on May 8, 1991, the case against him was ``veneer-thin″ because there was no proof that she suffered in her state job, as she alleged.

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