Ellen Pao's sexual discrimination case against her former employer Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) has reached a tentative ruling at a San Francisco court when Judge Harold Kahn ordered Pao to pay KPCB the amount of almost $276,000. The said fee will mostly cover the fees spent by KPCB for its experts.

Originally, KPCB sought almost $865,000 for expert fees coverage. However, Kahn responded to the claim by giving what it describes as a "fair approximation" of almost $229,000 since it should be limited solely to the costs incurred while responding to Pao's claims.

Kahn said that the "allowable amount of those costs is limited to the work that was reasonably needed to respond to Ms Pao's claims, and not for all the work that KPCB, its counsel, the experts or those working with them thought might in some way be helpful to KPCB's position in this lawsuit."

Pao's sexual discrimination case claimed that she was denied of promotion within the VC firm because of her gender. The KPCB, on the other hand, retaliated that it was not a gender issue at all. It was just because Pao didn't deserve to be promoted. The jury sided with the VC firm's defense and ruled out the gender-based claim of 45-year- old Pao who is now the CEO of Reddit.

KPCB had actually wanted to recover the total amount of $973,000 in court fees from Pao. The company had also offered Pao almost $1 million as a settlement amount prior to the case's trial phase. Pao did not accept and pursued her case against the firm. However, the jury sided with KPCB.

"This tentative ruling recognizes that our settlement offer was reasonable and made in good faith," said Christina Lee, spokeswoman for KPCB. "It also recognizes the cost rules still apply when a plaintiff refuses a reasonable settlement offer and forces the parties to go through an expensive trial."

Pao and her attorneys argued that the fees sought by KPCB should be dismissed because they were made in bad faith. For this reason, they could not be recovered as based on a latest ruling at a California Supreme Court.

Kahn disagrees but added that a more reasonable amount should at least be agreed upon.

"There is no doubt that KPCB has "vastly" greater economic resources than Ms. Pao. Nor is there any doubt that Ms. Pao is not indigent. While both her current employment and the likely continuing remuneration in the form of carried interests from her former employment at KPCB show that Ms. Pao has significant economic resources, it is also undoubtedly true that the $864,680.25 that KPCB seeks in expert fees is a material amount in the context of Ms. Pao's resources. On the other hand, this amount is not a material amount in the context of KPCB's resources," wrote Judge Kahn.

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