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Bad Blood: The Role of Gender in the Elizabeth Holmes Trial

Bad Blood: The Role of Gender in the Elizabeth Holmes Trial


Elizabeth Holmes, founder of startup company Theranos, is currently on trial in the Northern District of California, facing a dozen fraud charges for her alleged lies about the capabilities of the startup’s proprietary blood-testing technology. The government has accused her of conspiring with former Theranos Chief Operating Officer and President Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani to make materially false statements to investors with the intent to deceive them. The role of gender and gender stereotypes have been front and center during the trial. Holmes’s attorneys have alleged in court filings that Holmes and Balwani were engaged in an abusive romantic relationship for years and that, as a result, Holmes suffers from Intimate Partner Abuse Syndrome and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, both of which, the defense claims, bear on whether Holmes knew her statements were false and intended to deceive investors. Balwani has adamantly denied these claims. In addition, gender has been a recurring theme in the witness testimony at trial – highlighting Holmes’s persona and charm and her role as one of the only women to have “succeeded” in Silicon Valley.

Join Morrison & Foerster trial lawyers and white collar crime experts Carrie H. Cohen, former Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) for the Southern District of New York and former Assistant Attorney General-in-Charge, Office of the New York State Attorney General, and Kate Driscoll, former AUSA for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, for a virtual fireside chat exploring the role that gender has played during the trial and the asserted defenses and implications for future criminal trials.

Start Date:
  • November 1, 2021
Start Time:
  • 1:00 PM
End Time:
  • 2:00 PM
  • Virtual Participation
  • Webinar
Product Code:
  • WLS102721
Section Member Price: Free
Non-Member Price: Free
Sponsoring Committee Group
  • Women in Law Section
  • Commercial & Federal Litigation Section
  • Trial Lawyers Section