Case Illustrates the Potency of CCP § 998 Offer.
Lots of press coverage was had on Ms. Ellen Pao’s gender discrimination suit against venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. She lost a jury verdict. However, that is hardly the end of the saga.
Apparently, much earlier, the defense had sent a CCP § 998 offer to settle the case for $964,502, an amount based on the projected costs of the case. Ms. Pao did not accept the offer such that she faces potential liability for defense expert witness fees, attorney’s fees, and court costs.
However, the defense—based on the leverage from the 998 offer—has offered to not ask for any fees, costs or expenses from Ms. Pao if she agrees to drop any further actions in the case (such as post-trial motions and an appeal) such that the litigation is entirely over. Quite an interesting offer, but one that is tethered to the powerful leverage resulting from a properly-structured 998 offer.
Trivial Pursuit: “One of the stranger points brought up in testimony was how Ms. Pao, before she was married, had dated a colleague for six months without ever realizing he was still living with his wife.” NY Times, March 27, 2015.