Evidence

Casino Lawyers Explain to Nevada Judge About Locally Reviewed Email They Said Was In Macau


Last year, attorney Justin Jones and other lawyers for Las Vegas Sands Corp. reviewed some emails from Macau that concerned a fired executive of a subsidiary company.

But when the casino subsequently told a judge hearing a breach of contract case brought by Steven Jacobs, the former CEO of Sands China Ltd., that the emails couldn’t be accessed because they were in Macau, Jones said nothing. Testifying during a Tuesday court hearing before a Nevada judge, Jones added that he didn’t “believe there were very many” emails Bloomberg reports.

Jones, who no longer represents the casino, and other Sands lawyers are now explaining to Clark County District Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez what they said about the Macau emails and why as she determines whether the company improperly withheld evidence in the breach of contract case and, if so, what the sanction should be.

Macau has a strong privacy law, and hence computer files couldn’t be transferred from Macau to Las Vegas without review and approval, Sands attorneys told Gonzalez last year, invoking the Macau Personal Data Protection Act as a shield against disclosing material sought in discovery to Jacobs’ counsel. However, at issue now, the article explains, is whether the Sands lawyers should have revealed last year that computer files reportedly were sent to Las Vegas for review by the company’s own counsel as early as 2010.

Under questioning by attorney Todd Bice, who represents Jacobs, another Sands lawyer, Stephen Peek, said he had told other lawyers for Jacobs last year that Macau material was in Las Vegas, Bloomberg reports. But Peek says he didn’t specifically state that material included Jacobs emails because he didn’t feel he was obligated to reveal attorney work product information.

Sands lawyers say they were never specifically asked questions that would have revealed the existence of the Las Vegas material. Bice contends that specific questions were asked and the judge seemingly sees a problem, too, referring on Tuesday to “certain inconsistencies in the spin that was made to the court.”

Gonzalez has said she doesn’t expect to jail anyone if she finds that misrepresentations were made, but she might fine the casino or limit the evidence that it can present in the breach of contract case, the article recounts.

Bice said Sands owner Sheldon Adelson could write a check for $1 million and consider it just a blip on his radar screen. “This was outright lying to the court and lying to us about the documents, and they knew it,” he contended.

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “No Sanction for Lawyer Who Told Billionaire ‘I’m Not a Busboy’ in Filed Deposition”

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