Arizona Case Law Updates

The award-winning AZ Injury Law team at Schmidt, Sethi & Akmajian are highly regarded in the legal community as top lawyers, teachers, tough opponents, and tireless advocates for injured Arizonans.

We have been recognized by judges, fellow attorneys, industry peers, insurance companies and former clients across Arizona for our constant professionalism, advocacy, and quality of work - including our newsletters, blogs, AZ case law updates, and other resources - and have earned the respect of the legal community and the trust of those we've represented.

Stay updated with recent Arizona case law updates, changes, and decisions here:


Torts: Notice of Claim—Sufficiency of Alleged Facts Supporting Liability/Duty of State Issuing Liquor License

Underinsured Motorist Insurance Policy Time Limits to Pursue Claim/Estoppel

Personal Jurisdiction Required to Issue Order of Protection Against Defendant

Foreign Judgments: Arizona Foreign Judgment Limitation Statute Applied to Revised Judgment

Torts: Legislative and Judicial Immunity

Tort: Red Light Statute and Enhanced Penalty Statute Do Not Require Vehicle Enter Intersection Before Causing Accident

Property: Adverse Possession & Boundary by Acquiescence

Torts: Restatement (Second) of Torts § 552 Liability for Giving False Business Advice

Arbitration Mandated by Employment Contract

Torts: Vicarious Liability of County/Ability to Sue Sheriff

Notice of Claim Timeliness for Alleged Sexual Abuse

Civil Procedure Rule 12(d) Right to Convert Motion to Dismiss into Motion for Summary Judgment

Torts: Governmental Liability & Notice of Claim

Torts: Duty to Third Parties to Warn of Risk of Future Harm/Child Abuse

Civil Procedure/Administrative Law: Notice Requirement for Administrative Order

Torts: Arizona Constitution Anti-Abrogation Clause Inapplicable to Legislation Regulating Dram Shop Actions

Workers' Compensation: Death or Injury from COVID-19 Compensable

Torts: Medical Negligence Claims Regarding Medical Care Related to the Pandemic Preserved By Anti-Abrogation Clause of Az Constitution Revoking Statute Eliminating Them in Favor of Gross Negligence and Willful Conduct

Compulsory Arbitration Awards: Validity of Untimely Arbitration Award

Jurisdiction: Personal Jurisdiction & Issue Preclusion Regarding Judgment in Foreign Jurisdiction

Torts: Governmental Immunity/Disclosure Obligations

Settlement of Personal Injury Case as Property Settlement or Post-Nuptial Agreement

Insurance: UIM Coverage for Off-Road Vehicles

Trial—Bifurcation of Trial on Defenses From Liability and Damages in Suit Against Government for Negligent Highway Design

Issue Preclusion Applied in State Court Based Upon Federal Judgment

Restitution to Person Not Victim or Immediate Family

Insurance: Life Insurance Contestability for Lack of Insurable Interest After Expiration of Contestability Period

Arizona Rules of Appellate Procedure Trumps Statute on How to Compute Supersedeas Bond

Personal Specific Jurisdiction

Specific Personal Jurisdiction

Jury Selection: Grounds for Strike for Cause

Timeliness of Appeal fromRule 54(b) Judgment/Vicarious Liability of Diocese fora Acts of Priest

Civil Procedure: Obligation to Produce “Like Reports” of IME Physician or Psychologist

Torts—Respondeat Superior Against Employer Where Employee Dismissed with Prejudice

Torts: Adult Protective Services Act: Timing of Determination Adult is "Vulnerable"

Civil Commitment: "Simultaneous" Disclosure of Experts

Criminal Defense Self Defense

         Civil Procedure: Service of Motion to Reopen & Rule 41(a) Voluntary Dismissal


Workers' Compensation: Mental Illness Caused by "Unexpected, Unusual or Extraordinary Stress"

Torts: Duty of Behavioral Health Professionals Performing Screenings for Involuntary Treatment to Report Suspected Abuse or Neglect

Punitive Damages: Reprehensibility Supports Higher Ratio Punitive Damages to Compensatory Damages

Torts: Insurance Bad Faith Defenses of Waiver & Mitigation of Damages                                                                            

Torts: Standard of Care of Operator of Emergency Vehicle              

Torts:  Accrual Date of Workers Compensation Bad Faith Claim                                                                                                                                                                                    

Arbitration Award Binding/Attorneys' Fees     

Workers' Compensation: Compensable Injury Doing Personal Errand on Customer's Property

Torts: Wrongful Death Statutory Plaintiffs' & Beneficiaries' Rights & Obligation

Insurance: “Actual Cash Value” &  Depreciation 

Contracts: Disclaimer and Waiver of Implied Warranty of Workmanship & Habitability                                                                                     

Due Process—Tribe's Right to Notice of Parental Termination

  • State v. Adleman, No. CR-21-0157-PR (February 9, 2022) (J. Lopez)

    Party asserting attorney-client privilege must make prima facie showing that an attorney-client relationship exists, that communication in question was to seek or give legal advice and that communication was intended to be confidential and was treated as confidential

  • Larchick v. Pollock, No. 1 CA-CV 19-0649 FC (App. Div. I, December 9, 2021) ( J. Campbell)
    Expert's personal opinion as to admissibility of his opinions in a court of law irreleveant to question of admissibility & rule 702 does not require expert use of "all possible methods" in forming opinions/court's ruling no evidence supported a conclusion of an increase in value of business was error where suck eviidence existed in pretrial statement and disclosure statement.
  • Mesnard v.Campagnolo, No. CV20-0209-PR (June 30, 2021) (J. Timmer) 
    The speaker of the house ordering an outside law firm to investigate alleged sexual harassment claims against another member of the house of representatives, editing and then disseminating that report to all members of the house and the public is a legislative function and thus protected by absolute legislative immunity/issuing a press release concerning the investigation and its aftermath is not a legislative function and therefore not immune from tort claims of defamation and conspiracy to defame.
  • 2020:
  • Clements v. Bernini, No. CR-19-0140-PR (September 9, 2020) (J. Brutinel) Party claiming attorney-client privilege must make prima facie showing privilege applies/court may hold hearing to determine whether privilege applies/court may not invade the privilege to determine its existence even with in camera special master/party attempting to set aside privilege based upon crime-fraud exception must demonstrate good faith and reasonable factual basis to support in camera review of communication.
  • 2019:
  • 2018:
  • Allen v. Town of Prescott Valley, 786 Ariz. Adv. Rep. 10 (App. Div. I, March 13, 2018) (J. Johnsen) Fee of $270 per team for softball league was "nominal" under recreational use statute defeating negligence claim but evidence of notice of non functioning lights and authority to cancel game created fact question on theory of gross negligence/no obligation to amend complaint or specifically allege "gross negligence" in disclosures where defendant pleads immunity based upon statute in answer. 
  • 2017:
  • Soto v. Sacco, __ Ariz. Adv. Rep. __ No. CV-16-0136-PR (July 13, 2017) (J. Lopez): Trial court has discretion under Rule 59(a)&(i) to issue remittitur or additur of jury verdict if it adequately states the grounds and explains its ruling with sufficient particularity to avoid speculation as to its basis or appellee establishes the trial court ruling was supported by substantial evidence and not an abuse of discretion. 
  • Reyes v. Frank's Service & Trucking, 695 Ariz. Adv. Rep. 17 (App. Div. I, September 16, 2014) (J. Downie): Taxable Costs Include Reasonable Costs of Taking Depositions Including in and out of State Travel, Interpreter Fees, "No Show" Costs and Videotape and/or Stenographic Costs (However Seeking Both Video and Stenographic Costs is Not Always Reasonable). Where Jury Award Plus Taxable Costs Incurred as of Date of Offer of Judgment Exceeds the Offer, Rule 68(g) Sanctions Are Not Awardable. Negligence Per Se Only Applies Where Statute Requires a Specific Act and Not Where it Merely Requires Party to Act Reasonably.
  • 2013:
  • Baker v. University Physicians Healthcare, 231 Ariz. 379, 296 P.3d 42 (March 12, 2013) (J. Bales): Plaintiffs' expert on standard of care in medical malpractice must hold the same specialty or subspecialty of defendant if the nature of the care and treatment at issue falls within the specialty held or claimed by the defendant; Specialty means board certification in the area and "claimed specialty" means area of specialization where board certification is available but not held by defendant.
  • 2012:
  • Colorado Cas. Ins. Co. v. Safety Control Co., Inc., 230 Ariz. 560, 288 P.3d 764 (Ct. App. 2012):  stipulated judgment with motorist did not fraudulently or collusively shift liability from general contractor's excess insurer to subcontractor's ongoing operations insurer
  • Flood Control District v. Paloma Investment, Ltd., 635 Ariz. Adv. Rep. 4 (App. Div. I, May 31, 2012) (J. Kessler): Contractual agreement to indemnify for "all liability" includes obligation to pay amount of stipulated judgment subject to covenant not to execute ala Damron agreement; premature notice of claim valid where government suffers no detriment to ability to investigate and evaluate; rule 68 expert fee sanctions apply to fees related to actual testimony and preparation to testify only; ARS Sec. 12-341.01 gives trial judge discretion to award reasonable hourly rate and not actual contingent fee.
  • 2011:
  • Young v. Beck, 227 Ariz. 1 251 P.3d 380 (April 5, 2011) (J.Pelander): Family Purpose Doctrine renders son the agent of his parents in operation of family vehicle placing the doctrine outside the abolition of joint liability in UCATA and son's minor deviation from scope of permission to use vehicle does not excuse parents from liability for his negligent driving.
  • 2010:
  • Lips v. Scottsdale Healthcare Corp., 224 Ariz. 266, 229 P.3d 1008 (2010): Arizona does not recognize cause of action for first-party spoliation of evidence.
  • Flagstaff Affordable Hous. Ltd. P'ship v. Design Alliance, Inc., 223 Ariz. 320, 223 P.3d 664 (2010): economic loss doctrine applies to construction contracts.
  • 2009:
  • Quintero v. Rogers, 221 Ariz. 536, 212 P.3d 874 (Ct. App. 2009): damages for loss of enjoyment of life are precluded by survival statute, but punitive damages are not.
  • Seisinger v. Siebel, 220 Ariz. 85 203 P.3d 483 (March 13, 2009): Requirement that affidavit signed by expert in same medical speciality as defendant establishing breach of standard of care be filed with disclosure is substantive and not procedural, thus not within rule-making purview of the courts and therefore not in violation of the separation of powers.
  • 2008:
  • Haab v. County, 532 Ariz. Adv. Rep. 8 (Ariz. Ct. App. Div. 1, on June 17, 2008) (Judge Irvine): Arizona revised statute §12-2604(A) requiring affidavit by medical doctor in same specialty as defendant to support filing lawsuit violate separate of powers unconstitutional. The plaintiff filed a medical malpractice lawsuit claiming that a defendant doctor negligently administered a spinal epidural. The plaintiff filed an affidavit from a medical doctor who was not in the same specialty as the defendant.

Our team works together - for you!

Our award-winning lawyers are backed by a talented, caring team of legal professionals, paralegals, bilingual assistants, notaries, and others - all dedicated to you, your case, and the compensation you deserve.

No fees and no costs until we win.

As such we always have your case and your best interest in mind. When you win, we win too by providing the best legal care possible.

Thorough investigation and preparation.

We tirelessly and thoughtfully prepare every case we represent as though it was going to trial. This lets insurance companies know that we are a force to be reckoned with. As such, we settle successfully 98% of the time.