LAS VEGAS (AP) – Nevada’s highest court is weighing arguments put forward by casino giant Las Vegas Sands Corp. and disgruntled former Sands executive Steven Jacobs.
The two have been embroiled in a court battle since Jacobs filed a wrongful termination suit in 2010 and accused Sands of a multitude of misdeeds, including doing business with known gangsters and making inappropriate payments to an attorney who was also a Macau lawmaker.
On Wednesday, Jacobs’ attorneys asked the Nevada Supreme Court to overturn a decision by a district judge throwing out his defamation suit against Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson.
Sands asked the court to overturn decisions made by the same district judge regarding disclosure of evidence.
After Jacobs filed his suit, Adelson told the Wall Street Journal that his former employee was fired for cause. Adelson added that Jacobs was attempting to explain the termination “by using outright lies and fabrications.”
Jacobs, who worked in Macau for the Sands subsidiary Sands China Ltd., responded by amending his original suit to accuse Adelson of knowingly spreading harmful falsehoods.
Clark County District Court Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez decided against Jacobs on the question of defamation. She ruled that Adelson was protected by the litigation privilege.
Jacobs’ team argued in its appeal that Adelson should not have been protected by this privilege, in part because his statements went beyond the content of the lawsuit.
The Sands appeal concerns a trove of documents Jacobs has sought as evidence.
A former member of Sands’ team reviewed a series of private emails ahead of a hearing in 2012. Two months later, Jacobs’ team asked for copies of those emails, citing a Nevada statute they said mandates the disclosure of documents used to jog the memory of a witness before testimony.
Gonzalez sided with Jacobs. Sands, wishing to keep the emails private, is asking the Supreme Court to overturn her decision, arguing that Jacobs’ team needed to ask for the documents during the hearing, not weeks later.
The Supreme Court is not expected to issue a ruling for several weeks.
Hannah Dreier can be reached at
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)