Lawyers are supposed to have a good handle on a number of things, not the least of which is law–they are even included in their job title. Nevertheless, a Las Vegas Review-Journal (LVRJ) attorney, currently facing a Las Vegas Sun complaint, seems to misinterpret this crucial aspect. He claimed in court that the owner of the LVRJ and casino giant Las Vegas Sands, Sheldon Adelson, is not LVRJ’s owner, although it says so right in the newspaper.
The Sun launched its lawsuit last September, arguing that the Sun’s media coverage had been suppressed by the LVRJ in violation of a standing agreement between the two entities. The two are now in trial providing their side of the argument and LVRJ attorney Randall Jones is currently seeking to finalize a way out of trouble and retain the publication.
He told Clark County District Court Judge Timothy Williams that Adelson and Patrick Dumont, Adelson’s son-in-law and LVS Chief Financial Officer, did not actually own the newspaper and, thus, they should not be allowed to provide any electronic documents (email, etc.) demanded by the Sun because “they have not established which holders belong to the [ LVRJ ].”
That’s a strange statement, considering that nearly every version of the published newspaper includes the mark. Whenever a story is written which discusses the identity of Adelson or the LVS, the journal contains a statement which says, “The Review-Journal is operated by the chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands Corp. company.”
The Sun claims the LVRJ is in violation of the two entities ‘ standing Joint Operating Agreement (JOA). The JOA has been approved by the Federal Newspaper Protection Act, and the Sun argues the LVRJ has purposely taken steps to reduce the scale of the Sun’s presence in the broader journal in an attempt to push it out. If that is the case, it suggests that LVRJ will breach the deal and that the Sun assumes that the decision came directly from Adelson and his crew.
Jones has tried to argue in court that News + Media Capital Group, LLC is the real owner of the newspaper and told the judge,”[ The Adelsons] are third parties. There’s another company, News + Press, and I guess there should be a warrant for that organization, legally.
I’m pleased to have a meeting to look at this and see what evidence they need to show that Mr. Adelson or Mr. Dumont is involved in the Sun box redesign.
It should be a fairly easy meeting to arrange. According to the paragraph “About the Founders” included in the newspaper’s print version,’ The Las Vegas Review-Journal is operated by Sheldon and Miriam Adelson’s family by their managed stake in News + Media Capital Group LLC.
Their various interests will be revealed throughout the Review-Journal, reviewjournal.com and the mobile applications of the newspaper where relevant.
Williams thanked everyone for their time and the first appearance was concluded. He added that he would decide “at a later date” which electronic material in relation to the case would have to be submitted by LVRJ principal.