• dantes-divine-comedy-hell

    “Dante would hate venture capitalists.” This Easter, let’s consider Silicon Valley’s place in hell

    A couple of weeks back, I wrote about the similarities between the Ellen Pao vs Kleiner trial, and a much older legal battle — that involving Ellen Colton and her 1883 suit filed against the so-called “Big Four” businessmen who built Central Pacific Railroad. Today is Easter Sunday and maybe it’s the church bells ringing outside this coffee shop, mixed with my unsatisfied comprehension of the moral issues raised by Pao, that prompt me to look even further back. All the way, in…
  • kleiner

    Lawyer, spare a dime? Due to budget cuts, attorneys in Kleiner case paid for jurors’ lunch, laptops

    One lunchtime during the Pao trial, Kleiner attorney Lynne Hermle told me something remarkable: On that particular day, Kleiner was picking up the tab for the jurors’ lunch. The idea — that attorneys for the defense would be providing jurors with free food — seemed so jarring that I had to call Kleiner’s press spokesperson for confirmation: How is that possible? How is that legal? In fact, Kleiner’s flack assured me, the arrangement was totally possible and absolutely legal. Due…
  • pao-kleiner-perkins-trial

    See you at the next trial: Dispatches from the Pao vs Kleiner courtroom, Epilogue

    Now that most of the Pao trial hot takes have been left like pies on a windowsill to cool in the airless void of internet permanence, I submit my contribution, hot out of the oven. Wait! News Cycle, get back here! So what did we learn from the Pao trial, at the end of the day? Who the fuck are ‘we’? Try again. The major takeaway from the … What does the Pao verdict mean for …. Oh, here’s one…
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    “Girlfriends of Silicon Valley” producer insists “we don’t want to reinforce gender stereotypes”

    This past weekend, just as my gender-based outrage muscles were starting to atrophy, post- Pao trial — a flyer showed up in my Twitter stream… Oh no. Oh no, no, no. I sent an email to the address on the flyer, asking for more details on the project. On Monday morning, I received a reply from Jason Mitchell, the Creative Director of the Connected Set, the British production company behind it. From the tone of his email —…
  • EPaoLowRes

    BREAKING: Jury finds in favor of Kleiner in Pao vs Kleiner trial

    BREAKING… (Previously.) After two days of deliberation, the jury in the Ellen Pao v. Kleiner Perkins Caulfield Byers trial has emerged to deliver its verdict. Even though many reporters, including myself, expected Kleiner to win, the verdict, when it came, still caused audible shock in the courtroom. Over the course of the four-week trial, the jury was persuaded by attorney/s for Kleiner that Pao was not discriminated against by her former employer, and that her termination and lack of promotion were…
  • pao-kleiner-perkins-trial

    Kleiner lead attorney: “I’ve lost all my feminist street cred in this case”

    “When Ms. Pao called John Doerr and all of them out about the culture….and demanded changes they were unwilling to make, that is when she got fired. Just remember that you are the conscience of this community and let Kleiner Perkins and venture capital know that every employee that works hard and gives what is expected deserves a fair and equitable workplace.” At 11:21am on Wednesday, closing arguments in the Ellen Pao v. Kleiner Perkins trial concluded, with Pao’s attorney…
  • pao-kleiner-perkins-trial

    At least we’re not at F8: Dispatches from the Pao vs Kleiner courtroom, Pt 8

    “The waiting is the hardest part,” Kleiner attorney Lynne Hermle tells me. It’s Tuesday morning all of us assembled in the courtroom have just watched Ellen Pao’s attorney, Alan Exelrod deliver his final performance of the trial. On Wednesday his co-counsel, Therese Lawless, will deliver final arguments for the plaintiff. I grab the last seat in the back left corner of the gallery: A lone Y chromosome in a crowd of bylines from Re/code, Forbes, Buzzfeed, USA Today, Ars Technica and…
  • techtopus-down

    “Men in Octopus Suits”: Dispatches from the Pao vs Kleiner courtroom, Pt 7

    With days to go before closing arguments in Pao vs Kleiner are heard, a string of similar suits and allegations have popped up in Silicon Valley the way mushrooms once did at this time of year, before the rains disappeared. Taken together, this has the look of a shift in momentum: Gender equality in tech is becoming an imperative with real consequnces, rather than a domain for platitudes and tangential initiatives. It’s an issue you can’t incubate your way out of. In…
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    “Hardly Fifty Shades of Leonard”: Dispatches from the Pao vs Kleiner courtroom, Pt 6

    Final arguments in the case of Ellen Pao v. Kleiner will likely be heard around the middle of next week, or so Defense Attorney Jessica Perry tells me. In the meantime, following Pao’s testimony last week, the courtroom proceedings have been humming along nicely, with lots of new faces but few fresh bombshells. In the past few days, the defense has churned its way through three expert witnesses, three senior Kleiner partners, and one good friend of the firm, a man called Jody Gessow…
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    Slightly more than three things I’ve learned (so far) at the Pao vs KPCB trial

    Math is incredibly important to technologists and the professional capitalists that love them. In honor of Pi Day, here are three — and a tiny bit more — lessons from the Ellen Pao v. Kleiner Perkins trial. 1. We’re told it takes as many as three people, each with multiple postgraduate degrees, to “leverage” John Doerr’s Time. One of those people, Ellen Pao, spent over four years at that lever. It remains unclear a) what “leveraging” John Doerr’s time actually involves…

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