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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.

Universal Recognition of Occupational Licenses in Arizona: A Trick or Treat?

Author: Margaret C. Castaneda

November 5, 2019 8:00am

Ever thought about moving to Arizona? Do you live in Arizona and feel there are more and more people? Turns out many people are in fact packing their bags for the Grand Canyon State! It has one of the fastest growing populations in the nation and in an effort to ease the transition for licensed professionals moving to Arizona, Governor Doug Ducey signed House Bill 2569 in April 2019, also known as the “universal recognition of…

Policy-Limits Demands and Careful Understanding of Conditions for Acceptance

Author: Sitar Bhatt

Guest Editor: Salayha K. Ghoury

September 30, 2019 10:00am

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.

Opioids = Lawsuits in Mohave County, Arizona

Author: Michael McDonald

Guest Editor: Jeremy Freedman

September 3, 2019 10:00am

The nationwide opioid epidemic has hit small-town Arizona hard. On July 21, 2019, The Washington Post (“The Post”) published information from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s database that tracked sales of oxycodone and hydrocodone pills in the United States from 2006 through 2012. According to The Post, more than 76 billion oxycodone and hydrocodone pills were distributed in the US during this seven-year period, and nearly…

Arizona Bans Hand-Held Cell Phone Use While Driving

Author: Amy Chambers

August 7, 2019 10:00am

In April, Arizona became the 48th state to ban texting while driving, and only the 16th state to enact a hands-free cell phone law. On April 22, 2019, Governor Doug Ducey signed HB-2318 into law banning handheld cellphone use.  This was the 12th year the Arizona Legislature considered such a ban.  Support for the new law recently increased following the death of Salt River Police Officer Clayton Townsend, who was killed by a driver who…

Recent Legal Issues Involving Cosmetics

Author: Rachel Donnelly

Guest Editor: Robert Bernstein

July 1, 2019 10:00am

In the recent past months, there have been a growing number of reports of cosmetics contaminated with asbestos. Whether ultimately accurate or not, such reports create issues relating to the manufacture and marketing of cosmetics as safe for consumers (especially teens, children, and expectant mothers). This article addresses the potential legal challenges for supply chain participants in the cosmetic industry given the increased…

Arizona Case Law Update

Author: Alice Segal

Guest Editor: Robert Bernstein

July 1, 2019 10:00am

Dignity Health v. Farmers Insurance Company
When Bethanie Elliott, was injured in a car accident, she received medical services from Plaintiff Dignity Health, doing business as Mercy Gilbert Medical Center.  The medical services cost in excess of $160,000. As a result, Dignity Health perfected and recorded a health care provider lien for more than $140,000.  Without regard for the…

A Historical View of Arbitration Agreements and their Rise in Employment Agreements

Author: Rachel Donnelly

Guest Editor: Jeremy Freedman

June 3, 2019 10:00am

In the 1920’s, businesses throughout the United States faced a legal dilemma. The federal courts they heavily relied on to resolve various disputes and enforce contracts were painfully overcrowded and difficult to navigate. As a result, businesses turned their reliance to arbitration agreements in which they agreed to submit their disputes for binding resolution to a third party who was generally an expert in their industry. However, the…

Proposal for Revisions to White Collar Exemptions

Author: Rachel Donnelly

May 6, 2019 12:46pm

On March 7, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) published a proposal for revisions to the “white collar” or executive, administrative and professional (EAP”) exemptions from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). The notice of proposed rulemaking sets two new salary thresholds: an EAP threshold and a highly compensated employee (“HCE”) exemption. This article will focus on the proposed increase in the HCE…

Arizona Case Law Update

Author: Terra Davenport

Guest Editor: Christopher Schon

April 1, 2019 12:22pm

Dormant Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution – Anti-diversion provision of the Arizona Constitution
Saban Rent-a-Car LLC v. Arizona Department of Revenue, No. CV-18-0080-PR (February 2019)

Medical Devices – Failure to Warn – Express Preemption Provision
Conklin v. Medtronic, Inc., No. CV-17-0322-PR (December 2018)

Public Nuisance – Public Land with Religious, Cultural or Emotional Significance
Hopi Tribe v. Arizona Snowbowl Resort Limited Partnership, No. CV2011-00701 (November 2018)

Verified Complaints in Arizona

Author: Katie Greenbaum

Guest Editor: Christopher Schon

April 1, 2019 12:20pm

In most jurisdictions, verified complaints are only filed in rare occasions or where required by statute as they can raise additional obstacles for plaintiffs. In Arizona, unless a rule or statute specifically states otherwise, complaints need not be verified. (16. A.R.S. Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 8(h)) However, where a verified complaint is required, the complaint “must be accompanied by an affidavit by the party–or a person acting on the party’s behalf who is…

A Look at Arizona’s Wrongful Death Statute and Recoverable Damages

Author: Katie Greenbaum

Guest Editor: Raymond K. Wilson Jr.

February 4, 2019 11:00am

A survival claim is brought by the estate of the deceased and a wrongful death claim is brought by the deceased’s surviving family members. These two claims are not mutually exclusive and can be brought simultaneously. Liability arises from a death in Arizona when but for a wrongful act or negligence the decedent would not have died and been entitled to pursue a personal injury action. (A.R.S. § 12-611.)  Pursuant to A.R.S. § 12 -612, standing…

Arizona’s Governor Signs Insurance Bill Resolving Issues with Enforceability of Translated Insurance Policies

Author: Eric L. Cook

December 3, 2018 9:00am

With a stroke of his pen to House Bill 2083, Governor Doug Ducey clarifies the enforceability of an insurance contract translated into a foreign language. Arizona Revised Statutes (“A.R.S.”) section 20-1119 mandates the English-language version of an insurance policy that was translated into a language other than English will control in any disputes as to the construction and contents of an insurance policy so long as the cover page of the policy…

The “Reasonably Susceptible” Interpretation Considerations of Parole Evidence in Arizona

Author: Sitar Bhatt

November 5, 2018 9:00am

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…

Is Mediation the New Trial?

Author: Kristin Mathis

November 5, 2018 9:00am

99.9 percent of all cases filed in Arizona never make it to the jury. While many cases can resolve informally between the attorneys; the most successful strategy for resolution tends to be private mediation. As such, attorneys should prepare for mediation as thoroughly as they would prepare for trial.

Substantively Differing Laws Mean No Class for You

Author: Sitar Bhatt

Guest Editor: Catie R. Johnson

October 1, 2018 10:00am

In Ferrara v. 21st Century North America Insurance Company, No. 2 CA-CV 2017-0195 (September 10, 2018), the Arizona Court of Appeals Division Two reviewed whether plaintiff Cynthia Ferrara’s (“Ferrara”) motion for class certification complied with the requirements of Rule 23, Ariz. R. Civ. P.

Dogs, Strict Liability and Summary Judgment

Author: Sitar Bhatt

September 5, 2018 9:00am

Recently, the Arizona Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court’s decision, which granted defendants’ summary judgment motion finding the strict liability and negligence claims failed based on the lack evidence to support such claims.

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