Courthouse News

Acrimonious Start to Sheldon Adelson Trial
April 21, 2015

LAS VEGAS (CN) – A former Sands China CEO’s lawsuit against Sheldon Adelson got under way Monday, with Adelson’s attorneys objecting so often a state judge threatened to hold them in contempt.

Steven C. Jacobs sued Adelson and his Sands companies 4½ years ago, claiming the casino billionaire wrongfully fired him for objecting to Adelson’s “outrageous” demands in Macau.

Among them: that Jacobs conduct “secret investigations” into the “business and financial affairs of high-ranking members of the Macau government,” to find damaging information to create “leverage” to stop regulatory actions that might harm China Sands’ business.

At a contentious evidentiary hearing Monday, Adelson’s attorney called Jacobs an “extortionist,” and Jacobs’ attorney retorted by accusing Adelson’s lawyer of trying to hold a Star Chamber hearing.

Jacobs sued Adelson, Las Vegas Sands and Sands China in Clark County Court in October 2010. Adelson claims that Nevada is not the proper jurisdiction.

Retired Las Vegas Sands COO Michael Leven on Monday answered questions aimed at proving Nevada is the proper jurisdiction, but Sands attorney J. Randall Jones and other Sands attorneys repeatedly objected.

They objected so often that judge Elizabeth Gonzalez threatened them with contempt.

“If you object every half-question, this hearing will take a month to complete,” Gonzalez said.

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