Setting Aside Default Judgments

The law favors resolving cases on their merits. Sometimes defendants fail to timely answer a lawsuit. The insured may provide notice to the insurance carrier, but for some reason, there is delay and an answer is not timely filed. Rule 60(b) allows a defendant to later move to set aside...

Intent

In a recent Arizona Court of Appeals case involving the use of a canine to subdue a suspect, the Court discussed whether the intentional release of the canine was an intentional tort (battery) or was a consequence of a negligent act, i.e., a misperception of fact. The distinction was important...

Too Trivial to Be Actionable

Recognizing the earth is not flat, New York’s premises liability law holds: A property owner may not be cast in damages for negligent maintenance by reason of trivial defects on a walkway, not constituting a trap or nuisance as a consequence of which a pedestrian might merely stumble, stub his...

The Half Death of the Irreparable Injury Rule

The irreparable injury rule is based on a body of cases where courts have denied injunctive relief when the complainant has an adequate legal remedy, i.e., monetary damages. In 1990, Douglas Laycock wrote a law review article entitled The Death of the Irreparable Injury Rule, 103 Harv. L. Rev. 687 (1990)....

Supreme Court Nominee Judge Gorsuch

I have reviewed several of Judge Gorsuch’s opinions from the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals involving claims against public officials and governmental entities. The Supreme Court’s docket always includes several §1983 cases. Cases this term include: District of Columbia v. Wesby (Fourth Amendment claims against officers for citing partygoers for trespass); Manuel v. City...

Qualified Immunity as a Civil Rights Defense

Qualified immunity is often the strongest defense in a civil rights lawsuit. In a case where an officer shot at a fleeing vehicle to try to disable it, but missed and hit the driver instead, the Supreme Court in Mullenix v. Luna, 136 S.Ct. 305, 308 (2015) reiterated: The doctrine of qualified...

Construction Related Litigation Insurance Coverage Issues in Arizona

Construction defect litigation and insurance coverage is a quagmire. There are longstanding disputes over policy language and exclusions, public policy concerns, and in every individual case, significant questions regarding causation and damages. For the complete article, contact Humphrey & Petersen, P.C. at rdesk@humphreyandpetersen.com, or call (520) 795-1900.