March 10, 2015 | By McCathern Law
By Jeff Mosier / 10 March 2015 3:23 PM
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones departs the Earle Cabell Federal Building and Courthouse with Partner, Levi McCathern after testifying in the 2011 Super Bowl seating trial on Tuesday (Smiley N. Pool/Staff photographer)
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has arrived at the federal courthouse in Dallas to testify in the Super Bowl XLV seating lawsuit.
The questioning by plaintiffs’ attorney Michael Avenatti started by emphasized Jones’ power in the NFL and his role as a hands-on team owner, “When I had the opportunity to get involved with the Cowboys, I was all in,” Jones said.
Repeating the accounts of NFL officials, Jones explained to jurors that he thought the seats would be completed even when fans were already in the stadium.
“We did everything we could up until the last minute to get these people in their seats,” he testified Tuesday.
Jones also said very few people had a bad experience at Super Bowl XLV, which he described as widely praised.
The questioning by Avenatti often focused on Jones’ role as a hands-on team owner and whether Jones should have done more to make sure the seats were finished.
That often led to contentious back-and-forths between the two.
Jones was often unhappy that he wasn’t allowed to expand on his answers and make his own case. In one instance, Jones asked: “Is that fair your honor?”
Jones is the biggest name to testify in the trial dealing with the failure to complete 1,200 of the 13,000 temporary seats installed for the 2011 championship at what was then Cowboys Stadium.
National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell testified by video deposition and did not appear in person. In the plaintiff’s opening, jurors were shown a photo of Jones and Goodell and were told the trial involved ego, greed and gross incompetence.
The Cowboys and Jones were initially named as defendants in the lawsuit but were dismissed. The Cowboys were, however, responsible for hiring the seating contractor and supervising installation. Jones and the team have been mentioned frequently throughout the trial, which started last week.
The plaintiffs’ attorneys have highlighted Jones’ interest in trying to set a Super Bowl attendance record in Arlington. The suggestion was Jones’ ambition contributed to the seating problems.
Levi McCathern, Jones’ attorney, told U.S. District Judge Barbara Lynn last week that no one disputes that there was a desire to set the record. But he said that wasn’t Jones’ decision. “He did not have any control to do so,” McCathern said.