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Too Little, Too Late – Adams v. Maricopa County, CV-19-05253-PHX-MTL, 2020 WL 6383248 (D. Ariz. Oct. 30, 2020)

Author: Brianna Andrade

Guest Editors: Nathan Berkeley, Ashley Kaye

November 30, 2020 2:45pm

A recent Ninth Circuit Order in the matter Adams v. Maricopa County, CV-19-05253-PHX-MTL, 2020 WL 6383248 (D. Ariz. Oct. 30, 2020), granted the Maricopa County Public Defender’s Office Motion for Summary Judgment, dismissing a plaintiff’s discrimination claim as untimely. While the case has yet to be officially published, the entered order sheds light on the significance of an employee’s prompt reporting of disability-related limitations and request for timely accommodation.

Potential Game Changer: Howell v. Hamilton Meats Coming to Arizona?

Author: Leah McKeever

Guest Editors: Nathan Berkeley, Ashley Kaye

November 30, 2020 2:34pm

In Arizona, a plaintiff can present the entire billed amount of past economic damages (such as past medical damages), to the jury. Plaintiffs rely on Lopez v. Safeway Stores, Inc.,[1] which applies the collateral source rule to medical expenses. Lopez provides, “plaintiffs are entitled to claim and recover the full amount of reasonable medical expenses charged, based on the reasonable value of medical services rendered…

Arizona and an Excess Carrier’s Equitable Subrogation Claim

Author: Sitar Bhatt

Guest Editor: Amy Chambers

November 2, 2020 3:00pm

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.

Future of Litigation in Arizona: Potential Influx of Non-Lawyer Money?

Author: Sitar Bhatt

Guest Editor: David Kahn

October 5, 2020 1:22pm

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.

Arizona’s Equine Limited Liability Law: Enforceable Liability Releases Are Required

Author: Leah McKeever

Guest Editor: Allen Aho

September 1, 2020 8:30am

A horse’s nature is different from other animals. Despite their size, and surprising to many, horses are prey animals. The natural temperament of a horse is similar to a rabbit, which can be very unpredictable. For this reason, equine activities are therefore inherently dangerous. Nevertheless, equine owners or agent(s) of the owner (“equine owner(s)”) and owner(s), agent(s), or lessor of any riding stable, rodeo ground, training or boarding stable or other private property (“equine facility owner(s)”) may still be held liable of the injury or death of another.

Maricopa County Creates Alternative Proceeding to Civil Jury Trial

Author: Kimberly Sayre

Guest Editor: Allen Aho

September 1, 2020 8:30am

In response to COVID-19 and its impact on civil jury trials, Maricopa County has created the Late Case Fair Limits Proceedings for all civil cases not assigned to compulsory arbitration. As early as the date upon which discovery and disclosure close, the court may order the parties to participate in the proceeding. A Late Case Fair Limits officer is appointed by the court. This officer can be a current judge who has had no affiliation with the case or any retired judicial officer or attorney.

Arizona Court of Appeals: A $270 Fee Charged to Recreational Users Was Deemed “Nominal” And Does Not Bar Recreational Immunity.

Author: Adam Carpinelli

Guest Editor: Alla Policastro

August 12, 2020 11:00am

In the case, Allen v. Town of Prescott Valley, two outfield lights were not functioning, when an outfield softball player was injured by a fly ball. Allen v. Town of Prescott Valley, 244 Ariz. 288, 289, 418 P.3d 1061, 1062 (Ct. App. 2018). The player sued the Town of Prescott Valley (Town) for negligence. The trial court granted Town’s motion for summary judgment based on recreational immunity even though the teams were charged a $270 fee per season.

Arizona Dram Shop Law – Limiting Liability with an Intervening and Superseding Cause

Author: Sitar Bhatt

Guest Editor: Robert Bernstein

August 3, 2020 9:00am

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…

Maricopa County Superior Court Creates Certified Arbitrator Program in Response to COVID-19

Author: Kimberly Sayre

Guest Editor: Robert Bernstein

August 3, 2020 9:00am

In response to the COVID-19 public health crisis, Maricopa County Superior Court recently announced a new program designed to help move cases to resolution during this unprecedented time. The Certified Arbitrator Program is the result of research conducted by various task forces who studied measures across departments to make court operations and procedures more efficient and responsive. This program allows the parties to any case where the amount in controversy is between $50,001 and $300,000…

Motion for Leave to Amend the Complaint – Not So Free

Author: Sitar Bhatt

Guest Editor: Raymond K. Wilson Jr.

July 8, 2020 12:00pm

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.

Case Law Update: Arizona Government Notice of Claims

Author: Leah McKeever

Guest Editor: Raymond K. Wilson Jr.

July 8, 2020 12:00pm

Humphrey, et al. v. Arizona[i]
On May 14, 2008, Pamela Humphrey and her sister-in-law, Ann Quinn were traveling on Interstate 10 between Tucson and Phoenix in Arizona when Pamela lost control of the vehicle, crossed the median, and collided with a semi-truck traveling the other direction. Both women did not survive. The accident triggered a wrongful death action for their statutory beneficiaries, including their husbands, James Humphrey (“Humphrey”) and Lynn Quinn (“Quinn”).

Arizona Supreme Court Guts 90 Day Abatement Rule

Author: Jeremy Freedman

Guest Editor: Ashley Kaye

June 1, 2020 9:00am

Challenging a summons and complaint can prove to be an expensive and often futile endeavor that fails to achieve the intended goal of dismissal, given the Court’s leniency towards permitting plaintiff to amend or otherwise let plaintiff’s action proceed. Arizona’s abatement rule, which required plaintiff to serve defendant with a summons and complaint within the statutorily…

Impact of Arizona Supreme Court Administrative Order No. 2020-79 on Civil Matters

Author: Leah McKeever

Guest Editor: Ashley Kaye

June 1, 2020 9:00am

Arizona courts have remained open to serve the public, adjusting in-court practices and operations to continue moving cases forward despite the restrictions imposed by COVID-19. Beginning on June 1, 2020, Arizona courts will begin to transition to in-person proceedings to the extent they can be safely accomplished, and on June 15, 2020, jury trials may resume, subject to the…

Arizona’s Intoxication Statute – Not Encompassed in the Traditional Comparative Fault Argument

Author: Sitar Bhatt

May 6, 2020 4:28pm

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.

Arizona Legislative Actions 2020

Author: Sitar Bhatt

Guest Editor: Wendy Skillman

March 4, 2020 10:00am

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.

Family Members’ Claims for Loss of Consortium Survive Death of Injured Party in Arizona

Author: Amy Chambers

February 3, 2020 10:00am

Bradford Martin, et al. v. Victor K. Staheli, M.D., et al., No. S0900CV201600214, Dec. 19, 2019.
Plaintiffs, a husband and wife, filed a medical malpractice claim against the husband’s medical providers arising from a misdiagnosed spinal injury.  The wife pled claims for familial loss-of-consortium and economic damages.  After the case was filed, the husband suddenly died of cancer, from causes unrelated to the injuries alleged in…

Arizona Case Law Update

Author: Leah McKeever

Guest Editor: Dan Cortright

January 8, 2020 11:00am

Center For Auto Services v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company: Arizona Appeals Court Determines That the Same Factors Apply to Unseal a Document as Are Required to Seal It

DOL Ruling Increases Salary Requried to Qualify as an “Exempt” Worker

Author: Orlando Arellano

Guest Editor: Terra Davenport

January 8, 2020 11:00am

Arizona does not have specific overtime laws.  Instead, Arizona adheres to Federal law with respect to overtime pay requirements.  Recently, the Department of Labor issued a new ruling on the requirements to qualify as an “overtime exempt” worker.  On September 24, 2019, the DOL issued a ruling increasing the minimum salary required to qualify as an exempt worker from $455 weekly (or $23,660 annually) to $684 weekly (or $35,568).

Arizona’s Minimum Coverage Limits for Auto Insurance to Increase in 2020

Author: Margaret C. Castaneda

Guest Editor: Terra Davenport

January 8, 2020 11:00am

On May 27th, 2019, Senate Bill 1087 was passed by the Arizona legislature and was subsequently signed into law by Governor Doug Ducey. As it stands, Arizona has some of the lowest insurance requirements in the nation. However, this new law nearly doubles the minimum coverage for auto insurance policies. The auto insurance minimum legislation, which had not been adjusted since 1972, is intended to update the current…

Arizona Attorney General Spearheads Developments in the Nationwide Opioid Crisis

Author: Dan Cortright

November 5, 2019 8:00am

In a rare move, and invoking its original jurisdiction to hear controversies between a state and a citizen of another state, the state of Arizona filed a lawsuit directly with the U.S. Supreme Court in July, asking the justices to order the Sackler family, owners of Purdue Pharma, to pay back what the state says is billions of dollars the family raided from the company that makes OxyContin.

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