Sitar Bhatt is a Partner in Tyson & Mendes’ Phoenix office. His practice focuses primarily on general liability, personal injury, premises liability, professional liability, employment, and bad faith litigation. Mr. Bhatt has successfully represented individuals and businesses in Arizona state and federal district courts as well as arbitrations. Mr. Bhatt also chairs the Tyson & Mendes Young Professionals Group.
Mr. Bhatt has successfully resolved a variety cases involving complex personal injury, property damage, employment claims, and insurance coverage. Mr. Bhatt has prevailed at multiple arbitrations, saving his clients substantial sums. He has also successfully settled multiple bodily injury and property damage cases.
Mr. Bhatt earned his J.D. in 2011 from Arizona Summit Law School. He is licensed to practice law in Arizona. Mr. Bhatt is a member of the Arizona Association of Defense Counsel. Additionally, he has been selected to the Southwest Rising Stars list for Super Lawyers from 2016 – 2021.
In his free time, Mr. Bhatt enjoys spending time with his wife and his family. He is an avid sports fan who loves watching and playing all sports.
The Arizona legislature has been in session working on multiple bills which could have potential ramifications in the insurance defense world. To date, 1,708 bills have been introduced, of which 143 have passed and 70 have been signed. Below are proposed House and Senate bills of interest.
In Duff v. Hon. Kenneth Lee, et al., the Arizona Supreme Court recently found no conflict between Pima County’s FASTAR program and A.R.S. § 12-133, which mandates compulsory arbitration. No. CV-19-0128-PR (November 25, 2020).
The Arizona Court of Appeals recently issued a memorandum that provided a great refresher of the doctrine of equitable subrogation in Arizona. In Navigators Insurance Company v. First Mercury Insurance Company, No. 1 CA-CV 19-0744 (October 6, 2020), the Court of Appeals ruled that to preclude an excess insurer from pursuing damages from the primary insurer because the insured is not personally liable would undercut the doctrine of equitable subrogation.
In August 2020, the Arizona Supreme Court approved non-lawyer ownership or investment in law firms. In a unanimous vote, the Arizona Supreme Court eliminated its ethics rule barring non-lawyers from having an economic interest in a law firm or participating in fee sharing. The Arizona Supreme Court adopted this change with the hope of improving access to justice and to encourage innovation in the delivery of legal services.
It is an age-old question in dram shop cases: When does the scope of a liquor licensee’s liability end for injuries its customer caused after a night of drinking and irresponsible decisions? An important secondary question is: What is considered an “intervening superseding cause,” which cuts off the liability of an establishment? The general rule is, if an injured plaintiff can establish a “non-speculative causal connection” or argue that a reasonable person would not have continued to serve the defendant…
Camelot Homes v. Genaro’s Framing Construction LLC, No. 1 CA-CV 19-0704 (June 9, 2020) – Memorandum
Recently, the Arizona Court of Appeals upheld a trial court’s denial of leave to amend a complaint where it was unduly delayed and the proposed amendments were futile. Under Arizona Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a)(2): … a party may amend its pleading only with leave of court or with the written consent of all opposing parties who have appeared in the action. Leave to amend must be freely given when justice requires.
Helmreich, et al. v. AHC, et al., No. 1 CA-CV 19-0435 (April 21, 2020) – Memorandum
Recently, the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled Arizona’s intoxication statute, A.R.S. §12-711, is not encompassed within the comparative fault jury instructions. A party is entitled to a jury instruction on any theory of the case if it is reasonably supported by the evidence.
The 54th Arizona Legislature kicked off a very busy second Regular Session on January 13, 2020. On February 10, 2020, the Arizona Legislature cutoff the introduction of new bills. There are total of 1,581 bills pending before the House and Senate committees which must be heard by February 21, 2020. March 27, 2020, is the deadline for passed House bills to be heard in Senate committees and passed Senate bills to be heard in a House committees.
Campbell v. Pfeifer, No. 1 CA-CV 18-0534 (September 5, 2019) – Memorandum Decision
When plaintiff’s counsel sends a policy-limits demand, it usually encloses an affidavit of no other insurance. Does this automatically mean that acceptance of the demand requires the execution of the affidavit of no additional assets? In Campbell v. Pfeifer, the Arizona Court of Appeals, Division One, reiterated that an executed affidavit of no additional insurance is dependent upon the construction of the language in the policy-limits demand.
Recently, the Arizona Court of Appeals, Division Two, revisited the “reasonably susceptible” analysis in determining whether to consider parol evidence to interpret a contract. In Donsen v. Farmers Insurance, No. 2 CA-CV 2017-0174 (October 3, 2018), plaintiff Samuel Donsen (“Donsen”) filed a complaint against Farmers Insurance (“Farmers”) claiming breach of contract, declaratory relief, insurance bad faith, and interference with contract. Donsen filed…