The definition of “successful
party” under A.R.S. § 12-341.01,
Arizona’s fee-shifting statute for
actions arising under contract,
applies to a contractual attorneys’
fee provision that does not define
“prevailing” or “successful” party.
In contract disputes, Arizona courts
may award attorneys’ fees to the
“successful party” under A.R.S. §
12-341.01. If a party makes a writ-
ten settlement offer that is rejected
and the final judgment is more
as “compensation” and must be
included in the employers’ pension
contributions. Wade v. Ariz. State
Retirement Sys., CV-16-0087-PR,
COURT OF APPEALS
The State does not owe a duty
to protect residents’ property
from naturally caused wildfires. A
negligence claim requires the plaintiff to establish a duty requiring the
defendant to conform to a certain
standard of care. Public policy militates against imposing a duty on the
State to protect residents’ property
from naturally caused wildfires on
public land. Holding otherwise
would require the State to act as an
insurer. That public policy is consistent with Arizona law regarding
duties owed by a possessor of land.
And a voluntary undertaking to
contain a wildfire likewise does not
establish a duty. Acri v. Arizona, 1
CA-CV 15-0349, 3/30/17.
favorable to the offering party, then
the offering party “is deemed to be
the successful party from the date of
the offer,” even if the judgment is in
the rejecting party’s favor. A.R.S. §
12-341.01(A). Parties are also free
to include fee-shifting provisions in
their contracts. If a contract provides
for attorneys’ fees, § 12-341.01 continues to apply to the parties’ dispute to the extent the statute does
not conflict with the contract. As
a result, if a contractual provision
awards fees to the “prevailing party”
but does not separately define “pre-
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by Eric M. Fraser and Joseph N. Roth (civil), Patrick C. Coppen (criminal), and James M. Susa (tax). Family Law summaries are prepared
by the Case Law Update Committee of the Family Law Section of the State Bar of Arizona.
Eric M. Fraser and Joseph N. Roth are attorneys at Osborn Maledon PA, where their
practices include civil appeals and appellate consulting with trial lawyers. They may be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, and are ably assisted with this column
by Osborn Maledon PA’s appellate group, which maintains www.omlaw.com/azapp-blog/.
AzAPP contributors include Josh Bendor, Hayleigh S. Crawford, William D. Furnish,
Randy McDonald, Brian K. Mosley, Jana Sutton and Andrea Taylor.
Patrick C. Coppen is a sole practitioner in Tucson.
James M. Susa is a shareholder in the Tucson office of DeConcini McDonald Yetwin &
vailing party,” then § 12-341.01
applies to the determination of who
is the prevailing party, including
when a party is deemed to be the
“successful party” because of a
rejected settlement offer. American
Power Prods. Inc. v. CSK Auto Inc.,
An employer’s contributions
into a deferred compensation plan
are “compensation” for purposes
of the Arizona State Retirement
System. The Arizona State Retirement System requires participating
employers to make contributions
based on the amount of “
compensation” they pay to covered employees. In this context, “compensation”
includes “salary or wages including
amounts that are subject to deferred
compensation.” Periodic contributions to a deferred compensation
plan qualify as “salary” because they
are fixed compensation paid at regular intervals. Thus, the deferred
compensation contributions qualify