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Kleiner Perkins' Response to Pao Suit

Kleiner Perkins' Response to Pao Suit

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Published by VCJournal
This is the court document that Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers filed in response to a gender discrimination suit filed against Kleiner Perkins by Partner Ellen Pao
This is the court document that Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers filed in response to a gender discrimination suit filed against Kleiner Perkins by Partner Ellen Pao

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Published by: VCJournal on Jun 14, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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06/14/2012

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OHSUSA:750787953.3
o
IGINAL
LYNNEC.HERMLE(STATEBARNO.99779)JESSICAR.PERRY(STATEBARNO.209321)SITTHIKITCHARIYASATIT(STATEBARNO.252028)ORRICK,HERRINGTON
&
SUTCLIFFELLP1000MarshRoadMenloPark,California94025Telephone:650-614-7400Facsimile:650-614-74011chermle@orrickcomjperry@orrickcomschariyasatit@orrickcomSUPERIORCOURTOFTHESTATEOFCALIFORNIACITYANDCOUNTYOFSANFRANCISCO5
6
78910
11
12ELLENPAO,AttorneysforDefendantKLEINERPERKINSCAUFIELD
&
BYERSLLC.Plaintiff,1314v.15KLEINERPERKINSCAUFIELD
&
BYERSLLCANDDOES1-20,161718192021
22
232425262728Defendants.
JUN132012
CLER~O~~~9-;>URT
BY:
~i5eputy
clerk
CaseNo.CGC-12-520719
ANSWEROFDEFENDANTKLEINERPERKINSCAUFIELD
&
BYERSTOPLAINTIFF'SCOMPLAINT
ComplaintFiled:May10,2012
ANSWEROFDEFENDANTKLEINERPERKINSCAUFIELD
&
BYERSTOPLAINTIFF'SCOMPLAINT
 
DefendantKleinerPerkinsCaufield
&
ByersLLC("KPCB")herebyanswersthe2unverifiedcomplaint("Complaint")filedbyplaintiffEllenPaoasfollows:3
GENERALDENIALANDFACTSSUPPORTINGAFFIRMATIVEDEFENSES
4PursuanttoCaliforniaCodeofCivilProcedure§431.30(d),KPCBgenerallydenieseach5andeverymaterialallegationoftheComplaintandfurtherdeniesthatPlaintiffhasbeendamaged6inthemanneralleged,orinanymanneroramount.KPCBvigorouslydeniesthatitdiscriminated7againstPlaintiff,retaliatedagainstPlaintiffaftershecomplainedaboutharassmentor8discrimination,orthatitviolateditsobligationtotakereasonablestepstopreventdiscrimination9fromoccurring.10KPCBdeniesthatPlaintiffevercomplainedtoKPCBthatanyco-workerorsupervisor11subjectedhertounlawfulharassmentin2007oratanytimeduringthefiveyearperiodpriorto12late201I1early2012.WhenPlaintiffdidraiseconcernsinlate20ll/early2012,Plaintiffwas13alreadyrepresentedbylegalcounselandintheprocessofassertingclaimsagainstKPCB.KPCB14promptlyengagedanindependentoutsideinvestigatorwhointerviewed17KPCBpartners,15includingeverythencurrentfemaleKPCBpartner,interviewedPlaintiffwithhercounselpresent,16providedPlaintiffmultipleopportunitiestoprovideinformationanddocuments,and,aftera17thoroughreview,concludedthatPlaintiffsdiscriminationandretaliationcomplaintswere18withoutmerit.19KPCBfurtherdeniesthatRaymondLanepressuredPlaintifftodropanyharassment20complaintorencouragedhertoengageinapersonalrelationshipwithormarryanalleged21harasser.Instead,attheendofPlaintiffsconsensualrelationshipwithamarriedpeer,she22communicatedtoLanetheendoftherelationshipandherdecisiontoputitbehindherandmove23forwardatKPCB.BasedonPlaintiffsrequest,LaneandotherseniorpartnerssupportedPlaintiff24andshethankedLaneforhishelpandunderstanding.Plaintiffsassertionsthatshecontinuedto25bringtherelationshipandallegedretaliationtotheattentionofseniorpartnersatKPCBisnot26true;thelastanyofthemheardoftheincidentuntillate20ll/early2012washerexpressionof27gratitudeanddesiretomoveon.28KPCBadditionallydeniesthatRandyKomisarengagedinanyharassmentofPlaintiff.
OHSUSA:750787953J
1
ANSWEROFDEFENDANTKLEINERPERKJNSCAUFIELD
&
BYERSTOPLAINTIFF'SCOMPLAINT
 
1AsisconsistentwiththeotherflawedandfalseallegationsinherComplaint,Plaintiffhastwisted2factsandeventsinanattempttocreatelegalclaimswherenoneexist.Komisar,apracticing3Buddhist,gavePlaintiffabookofpoetrywrittenbyLeonardCohenduringCohen'sfive-yearstay4ataZenmonastery.ThatbookwasreviewedbytheNewYorkTimesas"profound"andhaving5"exceptionalrange",andwassettomusicbyfamedcomposerPhilipGlass,including6performancesatStanfordUniversityandtheLincolnCenter.Thegiftofthebookoccurredafter7PlaintiffgaveKomisarabookandaBuddhastatueasholidaygiftsfollowingdiscussionsthetwo8hadaboutBuddhism.KomisarhadnotgivenPlaintiffaholidaygift.TheCohenbookwasinfact9purchasedforPlaintiffbyKomisar'swife.AlthoughPlaintiffandhercounselmetforseveral10hourswiththeindependentinvestigatorretainedtoinvestigateherclaimsin2012,shenever11mentionedthebookoranyharassmentwhatsoeverbyKomisar,andneverreturnedorobjectedto12thegiftinthemanyyearsafterreceivingit.13KPCBfurtherdeniesthatitengagedinanyretaliationwhatsoeverthroughPlaintiffs14performancereviews.Infact,Plaintiffsselfreviewin2009specificallyhighlightedthehelpshe15receivedfromKomisarandotherpartners,whomshedescribedas"supportivementorsand16advisers".PlaintiffspecificallyrequestedKomisarreviewherperformanceaftertheincidentsshe17allegesasharassment.Plaintiffsperformancereviewsin2009,2010and2011containedboth18positiveandnegativefeedback,thoughmanyofthesamecriticismsareraisedthroughouteachof19herreviews.20Plaintiffs2009reviewencouragedPlaintifftospeakupmoreeffectivelyand21influentially,step
out
moreinaleadingrole,presentmorenewinvestmentideas,andtakemore22risksbyincubatingahighpotentialventureandowningit-hardlyretaliatoryinput.Thereview23alsoencouragedhertofocusonherinterpersonaland"EQ"skillstomoreeffectivelydirectand24motivateteams.25Similarly,Plaintiffs2010reviewadvisedPlaintiffthatshewastoo"territorial",that26othersdidnot"trusthermotivations"andthatshehada"senseofentitlementratherthanearning27herpositionviacontribution,expertise,andmakingherfellow[Jpartnerssuccessful."Thereview28alsoencouragedPlaintifftonotbe"passive"and"waitfororders"andinsteadtoevolveintoa
OHSUSA:750787953.3
2
ANSWEROFDEFENDANTKLEINERPERKINSCAUFIELD
&
BYERSTOPLAINTIFF'SCOMPLAINT

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