Before becoming famous for representing seven Cosby accusers in a defamation lawsuit, Joseph Cammarata was famous for representing Bill Clinton accuser Paula Jones in the 1990s. What few people know is how Cammarata and his partner Gilbert Davis ended up with most of the money from the lawsuit that she settled with President Clinton.
After three years working on the case, Cammarata and Davis had negotiated a settlement of $700,000 with Clinton’s attorneys. Because of their fees, Cammarata and Davis would have probably gotten almost all of the money. Jones wanted to continue the case. Cammarata and Davis bailed on her. (see http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/1997/09/09/jones/). They then put a lien for $800,000 against Jones for any settlement that Jones might get. (From St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 24, 1997):
Paula Jones’ former lawyers have put an $ 800,000 lien on any settlement or damages award in her sexual harassment lawsuit against President Bill Clinton.
Attorney Joseph Cammarata said Tuesday that he and Gilbert Davis served notice on Jones, Clinton and two insurance companies that they hold a lien for hourly fees.
Cammarata and Davis withdrew as Jones’ counsel on Sept. 8 after disagreement with her over a settlement. They are entitled to compensation for the three years of work they did, Cammarata said.
“States provide statutes whereby an attorney doing work on a case is entitled to be paid on the case if there is a recovery,” Cammarata said.
Susan Carpenter McMillan, a spokeswoman for Jones, said the lien raises the financial stakes in the case.
“Now it’s got to be about money or she’s going to have an apology but be $ 800,000 in debt,” McMillan said. “Paula’s got to have enough money to pay her attorneys.”
Jones, now represented by a family friend acting as an unpaid attorney, faces a Nov. 12 deposition in Little Rock, Ark., where jury selection for the trial of her suit against Clinton is set for May.
While Jones’ former attorneys had, at one time, sought for her as much as $ 2 million in exchange for dropping the suit, sources close to Clinton’s legal team say his attorneys are adamant against settling the case for anything more than $ 700,000 – if at all.
In allowing the attorneys to withdraw on Sept. 9, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Webber Wright made a point of ordering that Cammarata and Davis were entitled to reasonable fees. In their three years of nearly full-time work on the case, each had already been paid $23,000.
Jones was forced to settle the case the following year for $850,000 and no apology or admission of guilt from Clinton. The judge apparently awarded her $200,000 and the rest went to her attorneys. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paula_Jones).
The following year, 2000, Jones did a nude pictorial for Penthouse Magazine. According to Comwebwatch (http://conwebwatch.tripod.com/stories/2000/paula.html)
The people who once treated her every word as gospel are now either attacking Jones or are completely silent since Jones — whose accusations of sexual improprieties against President Clinton eventually ended in an impeachment trial — appeared in the December 2000 Penthouse magazine for a nude pictorial and interview.
Despite denying she would pose nude a few months earlier, Jones said she did it because she needed the money to pay legal bills and other expenses, money she said to pay for her children’s education and for legal expenses over dueling funds raising money in her name.
Don’t be surprised if Cammarata, who has spent his career on personal injury lawsuits, bails on the seven accusers in this case too. It probably won’t take three years before he realizes that he has a losing case and Dr. Cosby will not offer him a penny. Cammarata’s hourly rate has no doubt increased since the 90s, so each of the accusers will be left with legal bills in the hundreds of thousands. This will be besides any money the jury awards to Cosby for the ruthless campaign of character assassination they have waged against him.