Obvious Intoxication in Arizona Dram Shop Cases

Author: Maria Kupillas

Guest Editor: Grace Shuman

April 29, 2022 9:00am

A plaintiff will not prevail on a claim against a liquor licensee simply by proving the defendant sold, furnished, or served alcohol.  In order to succeed, a plaintiff must prove the alcohol was served to an “obviously intoxicated” or underage person…

What is a School’s Standard of Care?  Is it Based on Special Relationships, Public Policy, or Both?

Author: Sitar Bhatt

Guest Editor: Grace Shuman

February 7, 2022 12:07pm

The relationship between students and schools in negligence actions in Arizona has been the subject of multiple recent cases.  Recently, the Arizona Court of Appeals examined the standards for determining negligence in Arizona.  In Hale v. Window Rock Unified School District (“District”), the court discussed the evolution of these school-student relationships within the context of negligence.

Two Remote Court Proceedings That Are Here to Stay

Author: Kimberly Sayre

Guest Editor: Grace Shuman

January 13, 2022 8:40am

The past two years have dramatically changed the legal practice, and some of those changes may be here to stay.  At the beginning of the pandemic, many courts closed completely. Now, court rules are in flux.  Bench trials have been remote; jury trials have been hybrid; and court appearances have been conducted remotely via teleconference and video conference. While some of these changes are temporary adaptations, some are likely permanent.  Attorneys should expect continued hearing and jury disruptions.

Arizona Court of Appeals Finds Using Cell Phone May Support a Claim for Punitive Damages

Author: Leah McKeever

Guest Editor: Grace Shuman

January 13, 2022 8:40am

The Arizona Court of Appeals found using a cell phone while driving at the time of an accident resulting in a wrongful death or severe injuries can support a claim for punitive damages.  Plaintiffs must establish evidence of cell phone use and other evidence the driver was “consciously pursuing a course of conduct knowing it creates a substantial risk of significant harm to others.”

Arizona Supreme Court Holds Liquor Licensee Liable Despite Patron’s Stop

Author: James Brewer

Guest Editor: Grace Shuman

December 3, 2021 9:00am

The Arizona Supreme Court recently determined the scope of a liquor licensees’ liability in a dram shop case.  In Roberto Torres, et al v. JAI Dining Services (Phoenix) Inc., the Court reviewed whether an overserved patron’s decision to drive while intoxicated after safely reaching home or a similar resting place constituted an intervening and superseding cause that would break the chain of causation as a matter of law, thus relieving the defendant liquor licensee of liability.  The Court found the patron’s actions were not an intervening and superseding cause and, therefore, the issue was properly submitted to the jury to decide.

Native American Heritage Spotlight: Hon. Diane Joyce Humetewa

November 15, 2021 9:44am

Diane Joyce Humetewa is no stranger to making history.  She was the first Native American woman to become a federal judge.  She was also the first Native American woman to be appointed as a United States Attorney in 2007.  Currently, she is one of three Native American women to sit on the federal bench.  

Connecting the Dots: Prep The Experts

Author: Kimberly Sayre

Guest Editor: Kiran Gupta

October 4, 2021 3:17pm

It is important to prepare experts for anything they may encounter on the stand. In Sampson v. Surgery Center of Peoria, the Supreme Court discussed an issue regarding testimony from an expert witness who testified in a medical malpractice case.

The Arizona Supreme Court Issued a New Opinion on the Statute of Limitations and Calling Attention to the Underlying Claims of an Alter Ego Case in Specialty Companies Group v. Meritage Homes of Arizona

Author: Kimberly Sayre

Guest Editor: Kiran Gupta

October 4, 2021 3:10pm

The Arizona Supreme Court issued a new opinion on the statute of limitations in an alter ego case. In Specialty Companies Group v. Meritage Homes of Arizona, the court called attention to the underlying claim of an alter ego case.

New Case Narrows Arizona School District Liability

Author: James Brewer

Guest Editor: Kiran Gupta

September 7, 2021 9:00am

Cases involving school districts’ liability are on the rise across the country. The Arizona Supreme Court recently drew a clearer line for future litigants, narrowing the duties of schools. In a case where a high school student killed his classmate off-campus, the Court held that there was no duty because students had safely left the school’s control.

Arizona 2021 Legislative Update

Author: Sitar Bhatt

Guest Editor: Kiran Gupta

April 2, 2021 9:00am

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.

Arizona Plaintiff Must Prove She Would Have Prevailed in Underlying Case to Recover in Legal Malpractice Claim

Author: Kimberly Sayre, Lynn Allen

March 1, 2021 12:29pm

A recent decision in Division One of the Court of Appeals held plaintiff must prove she would have prevailed in the underlying claim as an essential element of a legal malpractice claim.[i] In Bellemare v. Lemon Law Group Partners, the Court of Appeals set aside the verdict in favor of plaintiff Carol Bellemare and held a plaintiff must prove the case within the case.  In other words, she must be able to prove, but for the attorney’s negligence, she would have been successful in the underlying case.  To meet this burden in the legal malpractice case, plaintiff must present facts sufficient to prove all the elements of the underlying case.

Arizona Treating Physician: Fact Witness or Expert?

Author: Kimberly Sayre

February 1, 2021 7:46pm

Arizona Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b)(4)(F) presumptively limits each side to one expert to testify on a particular issue.  The intent of one-expert-per-side rule is to limit cumulative evidence.  Sanchez v. Old Pueblo Anesthesia, P.C., 218 Ariz. 317, ¶ 18 (App. 2008) (citing Ariz. R. Civ. P. 26 cmt. to 1991 amend.).  While a bright-line rule for determining when a treating physician crosses the line from fact witness to expert witness has been difficult to articulate, some…

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 Editor: Nathan Berkeley

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 Editor: Nathan Berkeley

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…

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