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 Supreme Court Issues Order for Phasing in of New Changes in Court Practices Due to the COVID-19 Public Health Threat

Author: Jason Gould

Guest Editor: Blaire Bayliss

July 30, 2021 9:00am

Since the state of Arizona declared a statewide public health emergency on March 11, 2020, Arizona courts have continued their attempts return to normalcy. Given the ongoing potential threat to public safety, availability of approved vaccines, and CDC guidance changes, limitations and changes in court practices have been ongoing and are still necessary.

Arizona Governor Signs SB 1377 To Protect from Frivolous Lawsuits

Author: Jason Gould

Guest Editor: Blaire Bayliss

April 30, 2021 9:00am

On April 5, 2021, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed legislation limiting liability to a wide range of businesses, persons, and providers for pandemic-related claims. SB 1377 provides if the Governor declares a state of emergency for a public health pandemic, a person or provider who acts in good faith to protect individuals from the pandemic is not liable for damages in a civil action.i Causes of action which occurred on or after March 11, 2020 and before December 31, 2022 are included in this protection.

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…

Arizona and an Excess Carrier’s Equitable Subrogation Claim

Author: Sitar Bhatt

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

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.

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