Labor & Employment

Kleiner to Ellen Pao: Drop appeal or pay $1M in legal costs

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At one point, former BigLaw attorney Ellen Pao had sought $10 million to settle an employment discrimination and retaliation case against a storied Silicon Valley venture capital firm.

But following a jury verdict last month in favor of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the San Francisco case obviously could be worth considerably less, even from the most optimistic viewpoint.

Although Pao in theory could appeal and even potentially win the case, Kleiner Perkins is seeking reimbursement of nearly $1 million in claimed defense costs. However, if Pao agrees not to appeal, the firm will waive its legal right to reimbursement of costs, a spokeswoman tells Bloomberg.

“KPCB has offered to waive all legal costs due to the firm should Ellen Pao choose to bring this legal matter to a close,” wrote spokesperson Christina Lee in an email. “We believe that women in technology would be best served by having all parties focus on making progress on the issues of gender diversity outside of continued litigation.”

Pao and her lawyers didn’t immediately respond to the news agency’s request for comment.

Although Kleiner Perkins can’t recover its attorney’s fees from Pao, requiring a losing defendant to pay the winner’s costs is a standard practice under California law, the Bloomberg article notes.

KPCB says it spent $864,680 in expert witness fees, $58,878 in deposition fees and $7,181 for court reporters, adding up to a total of $972,814.50 in costs.

Related coverage: “Ellen Pao loses discrimination case against Kleiner Perkins, then judge revives one claim”

New York Times (reg. req.): “Ellen Pao Loses Silicon Valley Bias Case Against Kleiner Perkins”

San Francisco Chronicle: “Ellen Pao’s attorneys discuss trial, losing and sexism in tech”

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