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Ellen Pao Plans to Appeal

With the filing, Pao buys some time to specify on exactly what grounds she will appeal.

Asa Mathat for Re/code

Ellen Pao filed a notice of appeal in San Francisco court on Monday, resurfacing the gender discrimination case she lost against former employer Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in March.

With the filing, Pao buys some time to specify on exactly what grounds she will appeal. Heather Wilson, a spokeswoman for Pao, said she had no comment, but confirmed Pao is represented by the same legal team, Alan Exelrod and Therese Lawless.

Christina Lee, a spokeswoman for the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, said in an emailed statement, “A 12-member jury found decisively in favor of KPCB on all four claims. We remain committed to gender diversity in the workplace and believe that women in technology would be best served by focusing on this issue outside of continued litigation.”

After a five-week trial that sparked a larger discussion about workplace gender issues, a jury ruled against Pao on all counts in the case, which charged that she was fired — and not promoted — because of her gender and because she complained about her treatment.

Pao appealed before the deadline of June 8, and today’s filing gives her at least 40 days to establish what exactly her complaint will be. Employment lawyers and court watchers had noted Judge Harold Kahn attempted to make the jury’s decision airtight by largely rejecting the Kleiner legal team’s objections and procedural requests throughout the trial. However, it’s also possible Pao could try to return to some pre-trial rulings that restricted access to information about the performance of other Kleiner Perkins employees, both women and men, as well as the time period that could be discussed in front of the jury.

Last Wednesday, Pao spoke at Re/code’s Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. She said onstage that she “didn’t plan on being a symbol” and that the lawsuit was more about telling her side of the story.

In April, Kleiner Perkins offered let Pao off the hook for some $1 million in fees associated with its defense effort, but only if Pao did not appeal. In response, Pao’s team described the costs as excessive.

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