The Company says Pao demanded $2.7 million not to appeal the jury verdict against her. Kleiner’s lawyers also say that Pao can’t use the recent California Supreme Court ruling to invalidate Kleiner’s request for more than $800,000 in expert witness fees because she failed to accept “a reasonable settlement offer” before the lawsuit went to trial.
Pao cannot run up KPCB’s costs through an onslaught of allegations and discovery, and then object when she receives the bill.
They also argue she can afford the request:
Here, public policy clearly does not support reducing the expert fee award because of a low-income plaintiff. At the time Pao left KPCB she made $400,000 annually and regularly received annual bonuses over $100,000. She also received and continues to receive substantial sums in carried interest from KPCB funds. Pao is currently interim Chief Executive Officer at reddit where she makes over $200,000 annually and has millions of dollars in stock options. Pao and her husband own multiple residences.
Pao is obligated, as a matter of law, to repay a portion of our legal costs. We have offered to waive these costs as a good faith attempt to bring this matter to a close. In response, Pao demanded an additional $2.7M payment from KPCB in return for not appealing, despite the jury’s unequivocal verdict in our favor on all counts.
Pao has no comment.