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January 20, 2018

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Supreme Court says Las Vegas Sands can face sanctions in document dispute


Kin Cheung / AP

Las Vegas Sands casino sits behind the Fishermans Wharf in Macau in this Feb. 7, 2006, photo.

CARSON CITY — The Nevada Supreme Court ruled today that Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands Corp. can face sanctions for failing to turn over documents in a suit filed by Steven Jacobs, who argues that he was improperly fired as head of casino operations in Macau.

But the court in a separate decision ruled that Jacobs could not use in his civil action certain documents he took from the company, because they are privileged communications with company lawyers.

The decisions are the latest rulings in the suit filed in 2010 by Jacobs, who was terminated as president and chief executive officer of Sands China in Macau. He maintains he is entitled to certain stock options.

The two sides have been fighting over preliminary motions in the case.

District Court Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez ruled last year that Las Vegas Sands had failed to turn over all records and correspondence sought by Jacobs in his pre-trial motion. She said the company should face sanctions but ruled that a hearing was needed to determine the extent of any punishment.

Las Vegas Sands filed a petition with the Supreme Court to stop Gonzalez from going forward with the hearing on the sanctions.

The court, in a decision written by Chief Justice Mark Gibbons, rejected arguments by Las Vegas Sands that Macau privacy laws prevented it from releasing the documents and said the sanction hearing could move forward.

In the second decision, the Supreme Court said some documents Jacobs gathered on the day he was terminated contain privileged information between Sands officials and attorneys and cannot be used by Jacobs.

Justices Ron Parraguirre and Kristina Pickering did not participate in the rulings.

The issues now return to District Court.

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