LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Nevada's highest court is weighing arguments put forward by casino giant Las Vegas Sands Corp. and disgruntled former Sands executive Steven Jacobs.
The two have been embroiled in a court battle since Jacobs filed a wrongful termination suit in 2010 and accused Sands of a multitude of misdeeds, including doing business with known gangsters and making inappropriate payments to an attorney who was also a Macau lawmaker.
On Wednesday, Jacobs' attorneys asked the Nevada Supreme Court to overturn a decision by a district judge throwing out his defamation suit against Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson.
Sands asked the court to overturn decisions made by the same district judge regarding disclosure of evidence.
After Jacobs filed his suit, Adelson told the Wall Street Journal that his former employee was fired for cause. Adelson added that Jacobs was attempting to explain the termination "by using outright lies and fabrications."
Jacobs, who worked in Macau for the Sands subsidiary Sands China Ltd., responded by amending his original suit to accuse Adelson of knowingly spreading harmful falsehoods.
Clark County District Court Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez decided against Jacobs on the question of defamation. She ruled that Adelson was protected by the litigation privilege.
Jacobs' team argued in its appeal that Adelson should not have been protected by this privilege, in part because his statements went beyond the content of the lawsuit.
The Sands appeal concerns a trove of documents Jacobs has sought as evidence.
Sands' team initially told judge Gonzalez the company couldn't hand over the documents Jacobs sought because a Macau law prohibited their transportation to the U.S.
But a Sands attorney later admitted that he had looked over the documents to refresh his memory, revealing that Sands had already violated the Macau law and transported the evidence to Vegas.
Gonzalez responded by sanctioning Sands, and saying she would no longer accept the Macau law as a rationale for not disclosing the documents. Sands' attorneys are asking the Supreme Court to allow the company to continue withholding them.
The Supreme Court is not expected to issue a ruling for several weeks.
Hannah Dreier can be reached at http://twitter.com/hannahdreier
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.