Lawyers for Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands Corp. disputed claims that they didn’t disclose evidence sought in a lawsuit filed by Steven Jacobs, the fired head of the casino operator’s China operations.
Las Vegas Sands and its Sands China Ltd. unit face possible court sanctions for failing to tell a judge they had shipped computer files from Macau to Las Vegas as early as 2010, shortly after Jacobs was fired as chief executive officer of the Macau unit and sued the companies.
Nevada state court Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez ordered a three-day hearing to determine whether lawyers for Las Vegas Sands and Sands China misled her about the presence of evidence in the U.S., including computer files and e-mails from Jacobs, when they said Macau law prevented them from bringing data to the U.S.
Stephen Peek, a lawyer for Las Vegas Sands, testified today that he had disclosed to Jacobs’s previous lawyers last year the presence of data from Macau in Las Vegas. He said, under questioning from Todd Bice, one of Jacobs’s current lawyers, that he didn’t tell them what exactly the data was or whether it included e-mails from Jacobs.
“I didn’t think it was my obligation to tell him what my work product was,” Peek said.
Bice told the judge that the Sands companies were selectively invoking the Macau Personal Data Protection Act to prevent having to produce evidence from Macau requested by Jacobs while they themselves had been reviewing Jacobs’s e-mails. He also challenged the Sands’ lawyers contention that they would have disclosed what they had if asked.
“Well, guess what,” Bice said. “We’ve asked them multiple times.”
Lawyers for the companies told the court last year that the Macau privacy law required that any files from the Chinese territory needed to be reviewed by lawyers for Sands China in Macau and that e-mails needed be cleared with the people who sent and received them and with the government before they could be transferred to the U.S.
Gonzalez said today “there are certain inconsistencies in the spin that was made to the court.”
She said her focus now was on possible misrepresentations made to her and that Jacobs’s lawyers may separately pursue claims that they were deceived.
Gonzalez said at a previous hearing that she wouldn’t send anybody to jail over the disclosure issue and that she was more likely to issue a monetary sanction than to preclude Sands from introducing the evidence in court.
The case is Jacobs v. Las Vegas Sands, A627691-B, District Court, Clark County, Nevada (Las Vegas).