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Judge issues order regarding evidence in Jerry Jones’s breach of contract trial

In less than two weeks, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones will take to trial his effort to prove that Alexandra Davis and her mother, Cynthia Davis, breached a contract that resolved potential paternity claims in the 1990s. Today, the presiding judge issued a ruling that will shape the evidence to be used and to be excluded from the trial.

It’s a common step in every civil case that goes to trial. Both sides make motions “in limine” (Latin for “at the threshold”) aimed at blocking objectionable questions before they’re asked — and problematic answers before they’re given.

Jones’s lawyer was pleased with the outcome.

“The judge played it right down the middle of the fairway,” attorney Chip Babcock told the Dallas Morning News. “We were happy the case can be tried in this way and the judge is going to try and make it so it’s a fair trial for everybody.”

That kind of quote is often code for, “We got everything we wanted, but we’re not going to brag about it.”

It’s a fairly simple breach of contract case. The agreement outlined various rights and responsibilities. Jones believes that the Davises violated the agreement.

Per the report, the judge prevented the Davises from calling the 1998 agreement “hush money” at trial. The judge also excluded any testimony regarding or reference to “other alleged children, other alleged settlement agreements, or other alleged character evidence about [Jones] and his family.”

The Davises secured some tentative victories. The defamation lawsuit filed by Alexandra Davis against Jones and others “may be discussed"; however, “substantive details” are not relevant. Thus, the attorneys must confer with the judge outside the presence of the jury before the defamation claim is mentioned. Likewise, the attorneys must talk to the judge before mentioning any “alleged threat or desire by the defendants to breach the contract.”

Also, multiple documents will be sealed. Which will keep them from being reviewed by the public. (While it’s not expressly mentioned, the 1998 agreement is quite possibly one of the protected documents.)

Jury selection is scheduled for July 19. The trial begins on July 22.

It’s a rare and unusual occurrence. An owner of an NFL team — who also happens to be one of the richest and most influential of them all — is taking to trial a case that seeks financial damages against a woman with whom he allegedly fathered a child, and the child.

Although the defamation case has been dismissed, the effort by Alexandra Davis to establish paternity continues. Jones was ordered to submit to a DNA test in February. The status of that test remains unclear.

For these purposes, it’s also irrelevant. Jones entered into the original agreement at a time when he was accused of being the father of Alexandra Davis. Even if they can’t call the arrangement “hush money,” Jones paid for legal peace and public silence.

Years later, there is neither.

Yes, it was hush money. He now claims they failed to hush. And he’s willing to let it all play out in court, in front of a jury.