Tags: ellen pao | 1 million | legal | fees | appeal

Ellen Pao Must Pony Up $1M to Pay Legal Fees or Agree Not to Appeal

By    |   Friday, 24 Apr 2015 03:02 PM

Ellen Pao, the Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byer employee who recently lost a multimillion dollar sexism case against the Silicon Valley firm, has a tough choice to make: Pay her former employer's legal fees — nearly $1 million — or agree not to appeal.

Pao filed a discrimination lawsuit seeking $16 million against Kleiner Perkins, a venture capital business, claiming that she was fired because of sexist issues at the company. Officials with Kleiner claim, however, that she was fired for poor performance, the BBC reported. A jury determined in March that her lawsuit did not prove discrimination, and now Pao is stuck with Kleiner's legal bills.

Kleiner Perkins has said it will drop any efforts to reclaim the nearly $973,000 if Pao agrees not to appeal the decision in the case, BBC said. Pao and her legal team have not made a decision yet regarding the offer.

“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,” Christina Lee, a Kleiner spokeswoman, told The New York Times.

Pao has not said whether she would attempt to appeal the March decision, and The Times said it’s unclear if she would even have cause to appeal the case, which served to draw attention to sexism issues in Silicon Valley and the technology industry.

“If Kleiner wanted to look classy, it could have said, ‘This was hard fought and we obviously disagree with your view, but it’s in the interest of all parties to walk away. In the meantime, there have been lessons learned and we are going to fund organizations that focus on glass ceiling issues,’” Debra S. Katz, a Washington, D.C., lawyer who specializes in gender discrimination, told The Times.

Steven Clark, a California defense attorney, told CNET that a deal like Kleiner's isn’t unusual, adding that it would be “very risky” for Pao to turn it down.

The discussion Pao started with her lawsuit continues online.



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Ellen Pao, the Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byer employee who recently lost a multimillion dollar sexism case against the Silicon Valley firm, has a tough choice to make: Pay her former employer's legal fees — nearly $1 million — or agree not to appeal.
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2015-02-24
Friday, 24 Apr 2015 03:02 PM
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