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Ellen Pao intends to appeal lawsuit loss

Pao files notice of appeal loss in landmark sex discrimination case against storied VC firm Kleiner Perkins.

Ellen Pao, right, leaves the courthouse with her attorney Therese Lawless. Pao has filed a notice of appeal in her sexual discrimination loss against storied venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Ellen Pao has filed a notice to appeal her loss in a high-profile sex discrimination case against one of Silicon Valley's most prestigious venture capital firms.

Pao filed a two-page notice Monday in San Francisco Superior Court against her former employer Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. The notice did not list any specific arguments for appeal. She had until June 8 to give notice as Monday's filing gives her 40 days to list her arguments.

Pao, former junior partner with Kleiner Perkins, publicly said as recently as last week she was undecided if she would file an appeal. She said she had no regrets suing the firm in a month-long trial she lost two months ago that rocked Silicon Valley and cast a spotlight on gender and racial disparities in tech.

"It's something I thought about deeply beforehand," Pao said at the Code Conference in Southern California. "I didn't plan on becoming a symbol. It was more [about] telling my story.

Now interim CEO of social news site Reddit, Pao sued her ex-employer for $16 million, alleging she was fired after she complained about pervasive sexism. A jury of six men and six women on March 27 rejected Pao's claim of discrimination and retaliation over her 2012 firing from Kleiner Perkins. The trial included accusations of a boys club-like atmosphere at the firm, testimony about alleged poor job performance on Pao's part during her seven years there, and discussion of Pao's affair with a married colleague.

The firm later filed a motion to recover about $973,000 in legal fees, but said it would waive the fees -- if Pao would agree not to appeal her loss.

"A 12-member jury found decisively in favor of KPCB on all four claims," Kleiner Perkins spokeswoman Christina Lee said in a statement Monday. "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."

Pao is also asking a judge to dismiss the legal fees. Her attorneys filed a motion last month claiming Kleiner Perkins must prove that Pao's suit was brought in "bad faith, frivolously, or maliciously" before it can recover any costs, specifically citing Kleiner Perkins' cost of about $865,000 in expert witness fees.

"(Kleiner Perkins') offer was not made in good faith and had no reasonable expectation of acceptance, given the extremely high liability exposure and the extensive attorney's fees that had been generated as of the offer," Pao's attorneys wrote.

Kleiner Perkins expects to respond to Pao's motion to waive the legal fees before a scheduled June 18 court hearing in San Francisco.