FULL TEXT Complaints And Answers in Pao v. Kleiner Perkins

March 27, 2015

On March 27, 2015, after a month of trial testimony and three days of deliberations, a California Superior Court jury found that Plaintiff Ellen Pao had not been discriminated against by venture capital firm Defendant Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Early evening reports were that the jury was at 8 to 4 on similarly dismissing claims of retaliation -- but at least 9 jurors were required and the judge sent the panel back for further deliberations. Upon the jury's return, they also acquitted by 9 to 3 on the retaliation claims. Pao's three-year lawsuit seeking $16 million in lost wages was rebuffed at the trial stage.

On the heels of the just-announced verdict, I've seen the headlines and snarky commentaries. Depending upon the viewpoint and perspective, this is a dramatic victory or a disgraceful loss. Pao is either depicted in prose that would best serve as a hagiography or has been reduced to the role of a disgruntled former employee and scorned woman.  Similar childish and simplistic renderings of this lawsuit would suggest that Silicon Valley has emerged largely vindicated or that industry is vilified beyond recovery.  On and on it goes with references to Asians, to men, to women, to white and/or old boys' clubs, and, well, you know, it is all part of the same lazy journalism, blogging, and tweeting that now serves the role of what we once called "news reporting."

I'm not going to add to the circus. In that spirit, I will not burden you with my opinions as to the merits and outcome of Pao v. Kleiner PerkinsWhat I will note and ask that you consider is that a jury of men and women sat in a San Francisco courtroom, listened to the evidence, and discharged their respective duties. The verdict against Pao may be over-turned by the judge or on appeal. It may stand. Like it or not. Respect it or not. I leave that to you.

For those of you truly interested in understanding the issues in dispute, the BrokeAndBroker.com Blog offers in unedited full-text, Pao's original and amended Complaints and Kleiner Perkins' Answers: