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Sheldon Adelson Faces eDiscovery Sanctions Over Chinese Casino Dispute

Posted on September 17th, 2012

Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, whose estimated worth is approximately $20 billion, is facing sanctions for eDiscovery violations in a county district court in Las Vegas. The plaintiff in the ongoing case Steven Jacobs v. Las Vegas Sands, A627691-B, alleges his former employer fired him from his position as CEO of Sands China for not giving in to Adelson’s “illegal demands.”

The case heated up when defense attorneys claimed that electronic data from the Chinese casinos could not be produced as part of the electronically stored information (ESI). They claimed Chinese privacy laws forbid disclosure of personal data, including email chains, without permission from all parties involved and the local Chinese authorities.

However, it was later discovered by plaintiff trial attorneys that the defendants actually had a great deal of electronic data discovery from China in their possession. The defendants backtracked in a new electronic discovery hearing, claiming they did not make any false statements as it was true that the “overwhelming majority” of Chinese data remained in China. They also made a claim that they had no obligation to volunteer that they did have a hard drive and some email threads in their possession.

A hearing is scheduled to determine if eDiscovery sanctions are warranted against Adelson and the Las Vegas Sands. The plaintiff alleges that the reason for this cover-up is that the casinos are in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the email chains will evidence Adelson’s “strategy” of encouraging prostitution and illegal workers in the Chinese casinos.

We will update this information as the case unfolds. No doubt a major issue in this case (besides the defendants’ alleged misconduct and spoliation) may include machine translation of foreign documents from Chinese to English. If your case involves foreign document translation, visit our webpage on international language services or call us at 888-313-4457.

ILS – Plaintiff eDiscovery Firm

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