Five years after filing a wrongful termination suit and more than three months after a Nevada judge decided her court had jurisdiction over the case, lawyers for Steve Jacobs and Las Vegas Sands argued their cases before the Nevada Supreme Court in Carson City on Tuesday September 1st.
Todd Bice, attorney for Steve Jacobs whose 2010 firing precipitated the lawsuit, asked the court to maintain a May ruling by Clark County District Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez that keeps the lawsuit in a Nevada court rather than transferring it to Macau, where Sands attorneys claim it belongs in their appeal to the high court.
“This case should proceed to trial where the true facts about control of this entity, where it’s true home was, will be determined,” stated Bice.
In her May ruling, the judge found that although Sands China is located in another jurisdiction, Adelson and his company’s control over the subsidiary, “goes far beyond the ordinary relationship of parent to subsidiary,” and “the decisions — large and small — were ultimately made by Adelson and LVS in Las Vegas.”
Earlier this year Gonzalez ordered sanctions against Sands China for redacting and withholding documents related to the case. One of those sanctions was to bar Sands from calling witnesses at the jurisdictional hearing.
The Supreme Court is being asked by Sands to override the Judge’s ruling in regard to jurisdiction as well as sanctions. They brought in their big guns with Harvard University law professor Alan Dershowitz arguing in front of the justices.
“The case should proceed against Mr. Adelson, against LVS,” he told the high court. “They have plenty of defendants to sue, but this court should rule that the case should be dismissed against the Macau defendant,” referring to subsidiary Sands China.
The Clark County Court Calendar shows a June 27 hearing date for the trial, but Sands lawyers also argued for a change in venue in an amended petition filed with the high court last week, saying that Judge Gonzalez was biased and hostile .
The company’s latest motion asserts that her rulings, “continue to evidence this jurist’s bias and hostility toward defendants and further calls into question her ability to preside over this case as an impartial judicial officer.”
Jacobs’ attorney lambasted the defendants saying everybody should play by the same rules, “and their response has been to simply flaunt those rules and misrepresent evidence, conceal evidence, as she already found.”
The court took the two sides’ arguments under advisement but did not give an indication of when a ruling may be handed down.