On the hook

By Heather Somerville via siliconvalley.com   Article

Ellen Pao may be on hook for $1M in Kleiner Perkins’ legal expenses

“Venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers paid nearly $1 million in court costs and expert witness fees during the sex-discrimination trial brought by former employee Ellen Pao. Now Pao, after losing the high-stakes case, could be on the hook to pay those expenses.

Kleiner Perkins on Wednesday filed court documents detailing the venture firm’s costs in the five-week trial — $972,814, the sum of court filing fees, transcribing and videotaping testimony, traveling expenses for witnesses and fees for expert witnesses. That figure doesn’t include fees for Kleiner’s legal team, led by Orrick attorney Lynne Hermle.

Legally, Kleiner has the right to recover court costs and witness fees for two reasons: The firm won the gender-bias case on all claims, and Kleiner offeredPao a settlement of nearly $1 million, which she turned down.

Last month, a jury found Kleiner was not liable in allegations of gender discrimination and retaliation, delivering Pao a staggering loss in her $16 million case. The high-profile lawsuit riveted Silicon Valley and put the venture industry’s boys-club culture under international scrutiny.

The VC firm, however, submitted the bill to the court to deter her from filing an appeal — not necessarily because it wants the $1 million. ‘KPCB has offered to waive all legal costs due to the firm should Ellen Pao choose to bring this legal matter to a close,’ spokeswoman Christina Lee said in a statement.

The only way Pao would be exempt from paying Kleiner anything is if she files an appeal and wins. Several experts have said an appeal would be a losing battle. …

Before leaving Kleiner Perkins, Pao had asked for a $10 million settlement. She was fired in October 2012, five months after suing the firm, and continued to receive her salary, benefits and bonuses until she was hired at Reddit, where she serves as interim CEO, in March 2013.”


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