Rule 26. General Provisions Governing Discovery
Arizona Revised Statutes AnnotatedRules of Civil Procedure for the Superior Courts of ArizonaEffective: January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2023
Effective: January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2023
16 A.R.S. Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 26
Rule 26. General Provisions Governing Discovery
<For applicability of amending Order No. R-17-0010, effective July 1, 2018, see the Application Provisions note at the beginning of the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure.>
(1) Scope in General. Unless otherwise limited by court order, the scope of discovery is as follows: Parties may obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense and proportional to the needs of the case, considering the importance of the issues at stake in the action, the amount in controversy, the parties' relative access to relevant information, the parties' resources, the importance of the discovery in resolving the issues, and whether the burden or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely benefit. Information within this scope of discovery need not be admissible in evidence to be discoverable.
(i) Generally. A party need not provide discovery or disclosure of electronically stored information from sources that the party shows are not reasonably accessible because of undue burden or expense, including sources that are unduly burdensome or expensive to access because of the party's past good-faith operation of an electronic information system or good-faith and consistent application of a document retention policy. If a party makes that showing, the court may nonetheless order disclosure or discovery from such sources if the requesting party shows good cause, considering the limits of Rule 26(b)(1). The court may specify conditions for the disclosure or discovery. Rule 26(e) applies in determining whether electronically stored information is not reasonably accessible as provided in this rule.
(ii) Specific Limits. A party is not entitled to obtain discovery of electronically stored information that is sought for purposes unrelated to the case. A party is not entitled to image or inspect an opposing party's data sources or data storage devices, or to discover electronically stored information that would require restoration of data through forensic means, unless the court finds: (1) that the information sought is relevant to a claim of fraud or other intentional misconduct; (2) that restoration is reasonably required to address prejudice arising from spoliation of evidence or a party's failure to comply with its obligation to preserve evidence under Rule 37(g); or (3) other good cause.
(A) Documents and Tangible Things Prepared in Anticipation of Litigation or for Trial. Ordinarily, a party may not discover documents and tangible things that another party or its representative (including the other party's attorney, consultant, surety, indemnitor, insurer, or agent) prepared in anticipation of litigation or for trial. But, subject to Rule 26(b)(4)(B), a party may discover those materials if:
(B) Protection Against Disclosure of Opinion Work Product. If the court orders discovery of materials under Rule 26(b)(3)(A), it must protect against disclosure of the mental impressions, conclusions, opinions, or legal theories of a party's attorney or other representative concerning the litigation.
(C) Discovery of Own Statement. On request and without the showing required under Rule 26(b)(3)(A), any party or other person may obtain his or her own previous statement about the action or its subject matter. If the request is refused, the party or other person may move for a court order, and Rule 37(a)(5) applies to the award of expenses. A statement discoverable under this rule is either:
The dates on which the expert received facts or data from the party's attorney that the expert considered in forming the opinions to be expressed, and any portions of communications between the party's attorney and the expert that evidence those dates are discoverable.
(D) Expert Employed Only for Trial Preparation. Ordinarily, a party may not discover facts known or opinions held by an expert who has been retained or specially employed by another party in anticipation of litigation or preparation for trial and who is not expected to be called as a witness at trial. A party may discover such facts or opinions only:
(i) Generally. Unless the parties agree or the court orders otherwise for good cause, each side is presumptively entitled to call only one retained or specially employed expert to testify on an issue. When there are multiple parties on a side and those parties cannot agree on which expert to call on an issue, the court may designate the expert to be called or, for good cause, allow more than one expert to be called.
(ii) Standard-of-Care Experts in Medical Malpractice Actions. Notwithstanding the limits of Rule 26(b)(4)(F)(i), a defendant in a medical malpractice action may--in addition to that defendant's standard-of-care expert witness--testify on the issue of that defendant's standard of care. In such an instance, the court is not required to allow the plaintiff an additional expert witness on the issue of the standard of care.
(5) Notice of Nonparty at Fault. No later than 150 days after filing its answer, a party must serve on all other parties--and should file with the court--a notice disclosing any person: (A) not currently or formerly named as a party in the action; and (B) whom the party alleges was wholly or partly at fault under A.R.S. § 12-2506(B). The notice must disclose the identity and location of the nonparty allegedly at fault, and the facts supporting the allegation of fault. A party who has served a notice of nonparty at fault must supplement or correct its notice if it learns that the notice was or has become materially incomplete or incorrect and if the additional or corrective information has not otherwise been disclosed to the other parties through the discovery process or in writing. A party must supplement or correct its notice of nonparty at fault under this rule in a timely manner, but in no event more than 30 days after it learns that the notice is materially incomplete or incorrect. The trier of fact may not allocate any percentage of fault to a nonparty who is not disclosed in accordance with this rule except on stipulation of all the parties or on motion showing good cause, reasonable diligence, and lack of unfair prejudice to all other parties.
(i) When a party withholds information, a document, or electronically stored information in response to a written discovery request on the claim that it is privileged or subject to protection as work product, the party must promptly identify in writing the information, document, or electronically stored information withheld and describe the nature of that information, document, or electronically stored information in a manner that--without revealing information that is itself privileged or protected--will enable other parties to assess the claim.
(B) Inadvertent Production. If a party contends that a document or electronically stored information subject to a claim of privilege or of protection as work-product material has been inadvertently produced in discovery, the party making the claim may notify any party who received the document or electronically stored information of the claim and the basis for it. After being notified, a party: (i) must promptly return, sequester, or destroy the specified document or electronically stored information and any copies it has; (ii) must not use or disclose the document or electronically stored information until the claim is resolved; (iii) must take reasonable steps to retrieve the document or electronically stored information if the party disclosed it before being notified; and (iv) may promptly present the document or electronically stored information to the court under seal for a determination of the claim. The producing party must preserve the document or electronically stored information until the claim is resolved.
(1) Generally. A party or any person from whom discovery is sought may move for a protective order in the court where the action is pending--or alternatively, on matters relating to a deposition, the court in the county where the deposition will be taken. A person receiving a request to preserve electronically stored information may move for a protective order in the court in the county where the action is pending, as provided in Rule 45.2(d)(2). Subject to Rule 26(c)(4), the court may, for good cause, enter an order to protect a party or person from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense, including one or more of the following:
(A) Burden of Proof. Before the court may enter an order that limits a party or person from disclosing information or materials produced in the action to a person who is not a party to the action and before the court may deny an intervenor's request for access to such discovery materials: (i) the party seeking confidentiality must show why a confidentiality order should be entered or continued; and (ii) the party or intervenor opposing confidentiality must show why a confidentiality order should be denied in whole or in part, modified, or vacated. The burden of showing good cause for an order remains with the party seeking confidentiality.
(B) Findings of Fact. When ruling on a motion for a confidentiality order, the court must make findings of fact concerning any relevant factors, including but not limited to: (i) any party's or person's need to maintain the confidentiality of such information or materials; (ii) any nonparty's or intervenor's need to obtain access to such information or materials; and (iii) any possible risk to the public health, safety, or financial welfare to which such information or materials may relate or reveal. No such findings of fact are needed if the parties have stipulated to such an order or if a motion to intervene and to obtain access to materials subject to a confidentiality order is unopposed. A party moving for entry of a confidentiality order must submit with its motion a proposed order containing proposed findings of fact.
(1) When Applicable. Unless the court decides to permit full briefing, this procedure applies to all disputes between parties to the action that could properly be addressed in motions for protective order under Rule 26(c) or motions to compel discovery or disclosure under Rule 37(a). The filings in a Rule 26(d) proceeding are not motions.
(2) Joint Statement of Discovery or Disclosure Dispute. When the parties have a dispute that could properly be addressed under Rule 26(c) or Rule 37(a), they must file with the court a joint statement of discovery or disclosure dispute. The joint statement must not exceed 3 pages of explanatory text, with each party entitled to submit one and one-half pages of that text. The parties must also attach a good faith consultation certificate complying with Rule 7.1(h) and may not attach exhibits. The purposes of the joint statement are to notify the court of the dispute, and to make a record of the discovery or disclosure sought. Briefing on the dispute is permitted only if ordered by the court.
(2) Affidavit of Burden or Expense. A party or person contending that the disclosure or discovery of electronically stored information should be disallowed or limited because of undue burden or expense must file with their joint statement under Rule 26(d)(2) or their motion for protective order under Rule 26(c) an affidavit describing the burden and estimating the expense that would be incurred.
(1) Generally. A party who has responded to an interrogatory, request for production, or request for admission must supplement or correct its response if it learns that the response was or has become materially incomplete or incorrect and if the additional or corrective information has not otherwise been disclosed to the other parties during the discovery process or in writing.
(2) Timing. A party must supplement or correct a discovery response under this rule in a timely manner, but in no event more than 30 days after it learns that the response is materially incomplete or incorrect. If the party knows or reasonably should know the additional or corrective information is relevant to a hearing or deposition scheduled to occur in less than 30 days, the party must supplement or correct the discovery response reasonably in advance of the hearing or deposition.
Added Sept. 2, 2016, effective Jan. 1, 2017. Amended Aug. 31, 2017, effective July 1, 2018; Aug. 28, 2018, effective Jan. 1, 2019; Aug. 27, 2019, effective Jan. 1, 2020.
16 A. R. S. Rules Civ. Proc., Rule 26, AZ ST RCP Rule 26
State Court Rules are current with amendments received through November 15, 2023. The Code of Judicial Administration is current with amendments received through November 1, 2023.
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