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Judge: Adelson doesn’t have to testify in Macau licensing case

Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson won’t be required to testify or provide a deposition in a civil trial that began Monday in Las Vegas.

Jury selection began for the latest phase of the case, which began 15 years ago when Hong Kong businessman Richard Suen filed a lawsuit asserting his relationships with Chinese government and business officials were key to Las Vegas Sands Corp. securing a gaming license in Macau.

District Court Judge Rob Bare ruled in a closed session Friday that Adelson would not have to testify or sit for a deposition after the company announced last week that Adelson has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Clark County juries twice found in favor of Suen and his Hong Kong-based Round Square Company Ltd. In 2008, Suen was awarded $43.8 million, but the Nevada Supreme Court vacated the verdict in 2010 because of the amount of hearsay evidence Suen’s attorneys put into the record.

In 2013, another jury awarded Suen $70 million. However, in March 2016, the state Supreme Court affirmed the judgment in favor of Suen while reversing the jury’s decision on damages.

On Monday, about 50 prospective new jurors were ushered into the courtroom and another 34 are scheduled to appear Tuesday. The judge indicated he expects the selection of 15 jurors and alternates by Wednesday or Thursday with opening arguments in the trial scheduled to begin Monday.

“If you are selected to be a juror in this trial, your only, but very important, task as a juror will be to determine the amount of damages Round Square is entitled to for the reasonable value of the benefits it conferred on or the services provided to Las Vegas Sands,” Bare told prospective jurors.

Bare said the trial involved “quantum meruit,” a reasonable sum of money to be paid for services rendered or work done when the amount due is not stipulated in a legally enforceable contract.

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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