Tech reporters aren’t really reporters: Kleiner Perkins attorney shares her lessons from the Ellen Pao trial


She didn’t show it at the time, but Kleiner Perkins’ lead attorney Lynne Hermle was shaken by the large media presence this past spring at the Ellen Pao trial.

Last night at Stanford Law School, she pantomimed her internal shock on encountering the rows of cameras outside the courtroom – striking a pose that was a mix between deer-in-the-headlights and Munch’s “Scream”–  to the laughter of a crowd of law students, professors and curious community members.

Hermle was on campus to deliver a talk titled “Lessons from the Pao v. Kleiner Perkins Trial,” which promised to be a discussion of “the difficulties of trying a high-profile case before an audience of reporters as well as jurors; and what employers, managers, and employees can learn from it all.”

The takeaway,

“There is a tech media now that we didn’t have a decade ago. And not everyone in it is a journalist. They didn’t all go to journalism school, and don’t all care about balance. Most of them are millenials and everything that comes with that.”

You might recall that I was one of the reporters present in the court room. I also found myself at odds with Kleiner’s PR machine when I reported Hermle’s comments that “I’ve lost all my feminist street cred in this case.” At one point, Hermle stood in front of the press bench and demanded “Where’s the Panda guy?” 

Just in case I was in any doubt whether any of that formed part of her trial recollections, Hermle told the Stanford students..

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