Pao Appeals Fee Order in Failed Gender-Bias Case

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – The woman behind a failed gender-bias suit against a Silicon Valley venture-capital firm said Monday she will appeal a judge’s order to pay $275,000 of what her former employer shelled out fighting her lawsuit.
     Ellen Pao has already appealed a jury verdict that rejected her claims.
     Her 2012 lawsuit alleged that venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers withheld a promotion and business opportunities because she is a woman. She sought $16 million in back pay and future wage losses.
     Jurors at San Francisco Superior Court took just over two days in March to find Kleiner Perkins not liable for gender discrimination or retaliation against the former junior partner.
     Kleiner Perkins, famous for funding technology giants like Netscape, Google and Twitter, then asked the court to order Pao to pay its costs for filing, holding a jury trial, witness fees and depositions and other expenses that totaled $972,000.
     The firm offered to rescind the motion if Pao agreed not to appeal. Pao then moved to strike the fees and to waive her rights to appeal if her former employer paid her $2.7 million to cover her own costs.
     Kleiner Perkins responded that Pao’s net worth disqualifies her for discounted fees.
     In June, Judge Harold Kahn pared the sum down to the $275,000 that Pao now challenges. The ruling cited the firm’s “vastly” greater resources as a motivating factor in the reduction.
     Pao’s notice that she will challenge the award does not contain any details.
     Pao is represented by Alan Exelrod from Rudy, Exelrod, Zieff & Lowe.
     Exelrod did not respond immediately to a request for comment, nor did Kleiner Perkins’ attorney Lynne Hermle of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe.

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