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Arizona Supreme Court Upholds Defense Verdict

On September 13, 2017, shareholder Mandi Karvis argued the Spring v. Bradford matter in front of the Arizona Supreme Court. On October 23, 2017, the Court issued a unanimous decision, authored by Vice Chief Justice Pelander, which affirmed the trial court's judgment and order denying Plaintiff's motion for new trial and thus upholding the defense verdict, that Ms. Karvis and Winn Sammons obtained in October 2014. The issues addressed by the Court were if the Rule of Exclusion applies to expert witnesses and if prejudice should be presumed for a violation of the Rule. The Court held that when Rule 615 (the Rule of Exclusion) is invoked it prohibits a party from providing prospective trial witnesses, including expert witnesses, with trial transcripts prior to their testimony. Experts are not automatically exempt from Rule 615, as being "essential to a party's claim or defense" but can be deemed as such if the party is able to establish that they are essential. That showing must be made in advance. Further, the Court held that violation of the Rule is not presumptively prejudicial in a civil action, but that even when no prejudice is shown, the trial court must take some corrective action by tailoring an appropriate remedy under the circumstances. Spring v. Bradford, 776 Ariz. Adv. Rep. 29, Arizona Supreme Court October 23, 2017, 2017 WL4767137.