Ellen Pao appeals judge’s order to pay Kleiner Perkins $276,000

Former Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers partner Ellen Pao has said she plans to appeal a judge’s ruling that directed her to pay the venture capital firm nearly $276,000 after she lost a bitter and drawn-out sex discrimination lawsuit against her old employer.

In court documents filed Monday, Pao gave notice to appeal San Francisco Superior Court Judge Harold Kahn’s decision that was handed down in June to pay Kleiner Perkins $275,966 as reimbursement for trial costs. The payout was roughly a fourth of the amount Kleiner Perkins had demanded — $972,814 — the lion’s share of which went to fees and traveling expenses for expert witnesses that took the stand on behalf of the VC firm.

In the June 18 ruling, Kahn wrote: “There is no doubt that KPCB has vastly greater economic resources than Ms. Pao,” Kahn wrote. “Nor is there any doubt that Ms. Pao is not indigent. While… Ms. Pao has significant economic resources, it is also undoubtedly true that the $864,680.25 that KPCB seeks in expert fees is a material amount in the context of Ms. Pao’s resources.”

Pao has previously argued she doesn’t believe she should have to pay anything, and has contested the excessive cost of Kleiner Perkins’ expert witnesses. One consulting firm, Cornerstone Research, billed Kleiner for nearly $145,000, according to court documents.

Pao’s appeal comes about a month after she resigned as interim CEO of microblogging site Reddit, after facing a brutal backlash, and at times cruel harassment, from that vocal online community. She and her husband, Buddy Fletcher, Jr., have suffered other financial setbacks, including the bankruptcy of his hedge fund and legal costs from his own discrimination lawsuit that he lost.

In March, a 12-member jury found in favor of Kleiner on each of Pao’s four claims of gender discrimination and retaliation during her seven years at Kleiner Perkins. She was fired from the firm in October 2012, five months after filing the lawsuit. She sued for $16 million, but walked away with nothing.

Pao has also filed a notice to appeal the jury’s decision. She has until September to file her appeal argument — although she can, and likely will, get extensions.

Kleiner Perkins has offered to waive all of Pao’s costs if she agrees not to appeal the case. That offer still stands, the firm said.

Photo: Ellen Pao arrives at Superior Court in San Francisco, Calif., Tuesday morning March 10, 2015, for her second day on the stand in a gender discrimination trial against Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. By Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group.

 

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  • Matthew Cacophony

    Of course she will. Why should she be held responsible for her own actions? This entire lawsuit was about how she is blameless, even when she’s to blame – why would this instance be any different?

    Seriously, she’s the worst kind of person. She’s emblematic of everything that’s wrong with the modern, self-entitled face of American victimless victimhood.

 
 
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