ARCP Rule 26.1. Prompt Disclosure of Information

(a) Duty to Disclose, Scope. Within the times set forth in subdivision (b), each party shall disclose in writing to every other party:

(1) The factual basis of the claim or defense. In the event of multiple claims or defenses, the factual basis for each claim or defense.

(2) The legal theory upon which each claim or defense is based including, where necessary for a reasonable understanding of the claim or defense, citations of pertinent legal or case authorities.

(3) The names, addresses, and telephone numbers of any witnesses whom the disclosing party expects to call at trial with a fair description of the substance of each witness’ expected testimony.

(4) The names and addresses of all persons whom the party believes may have knowledge or information relevant to the events, transactions, or occurrences that gave rise to the action, and the nature of the knowledge or information each such individual is believed to possess.

(5) The names and addresses of all persons who have given statements, whether written or recorded, signed or unsigned, and the custodian of the copies of those statements.

(6) The name and address of each person whom the disclosing party expects to call as an expert witness at trial, the subject matter on which the expert is expected to testify, the substance of the facts and opinions to which the expert is expected to testify, a summary of the grounds for each opinion, the qualifications of the witness and the name and address of the custodian of copies of any reports prepared by the expert.

(7) A computation and the measure of damage alleged by the disclosing party and the documents or testimony on which such computation and measure are based and the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all damage witnesses.

(8) The existence, location, custodian, and general description of any tangible evidence, relevant documents, or electronically stored information that the disclosing party plans to use at trial and relevant insurance agreements.

(9) A list of the documents or electronically stored information, or in the case of voluminous documentary information or electronically stored information, a list of the categories of documents or electronically stored information, known by a party to exist whether or not in the party’s possession, custody or control and which that party believes may be relevant to the subject matter of the action, and those which appear reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence, and the date(s) upon which those documents or electronically stored information will be made, or have been made, available for inspection, copying, testing or sampling. Unless good cause is stated for not doing so, a copy of the documents and electronically stored information listed shall be served with the disclosure. If production is not made, the name and address of the custodian of the documents and electronically stored information shall be indicated. A party who produces documents for inspection shall produce them as they are kept in the usual course of business.

COURT COMMENT TO 1991 AMENDMENT

In March, 1990 the Supreme Court, in conjunction with the State Bar of Arizona, appointed the Special Bar Committee to Study Civil Litigation Abuse, Cost and Delay, which was specifically charged with the task of studying problems pertaining to abuse and delay in civil litigation and the cost of civil litigation.

Following extensive study, the Committee concluded that the American system of civil litigation was employing methods which were causing undue expense and delay and threatening to make the courts inaccessible to the average citizen. The Committee further concluded that certain adjustments in the system and the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure were necessary to reduce expense, delay and abuse while preserving the traditional jury trial system as a means of resolution of civil disputes.

In September, 1990 the Committee proposed a comprehensive set of rule revisions, designed to make the judicial system in Arizona more efficient, more expeditious, less expensive, and more accessible to the people. It was the goal of the Committee to provide a framework which would allow sufficient discovery of facts and information to avoid “litigation by ambush.” At the same time, the Committee wished to promote greater professionalism among counsel, with the ultimate goal of increasing voluntary cooperation and exchange of information. The intent of the amendments was to limit the adversarial nature of proceedings to those areas where there is a true and legitimate dispute between the parties, and to preclude hostile, unprofessional, and unnecessarily adversarial conduct on the part of counsel. It was also the intent of the rules that the trial courts deal in a strong and forthright fashion with discovery abuse and discovery abusers.

After a period of public comment and experimental implementation in four divisions of the Superior Court in Maricopa County, the rule changes proposed by the Committee were promulgated by the Court on December 18, 1991, effective July 1, 1992.

COMMITTEE COMMENT TO 1991 AMENDMENT

This addition to the rules is intended to require cooperation between counsel in the handling of civil litigation. The Committee has endeavored to set forth those items of information and evidence which should be promptly disclosed early in the course of litigation in order to avoid unnecessary and protracted discovery as well as to encourage early evaluation, assessment and possible disposition of the litigation between the parties.

It is the intent of the Committee that there be a reasonable and fair disclosure of the items set forth in Rule 26.1 and that the disclosure of that information be reasonably prompt. The intent of the Committee is to have newly discovered information exchanged with reasonable promptness and to preclude those attorneys and parties who intentionally withhold such information from offering it later in the course of litigation.

The Committee originally considered including in Rule 26.1(a)(5) a requirement for disclosure of all cases in which an expert had testified within the prior five (5) years. The Committee recognized in its deliberations that information as to such cases might be important in certain types of litigation and not in others. On balance, it was decided that it would be burdensome to require this information in all cases.

COMMITTEE COMMENT TO 1996 AMENDMENT

Rule 26.1(a)(3). With regard to the degree of specificity required for disclosing witness testimony, it is the intent of the rule that parties must disclose the substance of the witness’ expected testimony. The disclosure must fairly apprise the parties of the information and opinion known by that person. It is not sufficient to simply describe the subject matter upon which the witness will testify.

Rule 26.1(a)(5) was not intended to require automatic production of statements. Production of statements remains subject to the provisions of Rule 26(b)(3).

Rule 26.1(a)(6). A specially retained expert as described in Rule 26(b)(4)(B) is not required to be disclosed under Rule 26.1.

(b) Time for Disclosure; a Continuing Duty.

(1) The parties shall make the initial disclosure required by subdivision (a) as fully as then possible within forty (40) days after the filing of a responsive pleading to the Complaint, Counterclaim, Crossclaim or Third Party Complaint unless the parties otherwise agree, or the Court shortens or extends the time for good cause. If feasible, counsel shall meet to exchange disclosures; otherwise, the disclosures shall be served as provided by Rule 5. In domestic relations cases involving children whose custody is at issue, the parties shall make disclosure regarding custody issues no later than 30 days after mediation of the custody dispute by the conciliation court or a third party results in written notice acknowledging that mediation has failed to settle the issues, or at some other time set by court order.

(2) The duty prescribed in subdivision (a) shall be a continuing duty, and each party shall make additional or amended disclosures whenever new or additional information is discovered or revealed. Such additional or amended disclosures shall be made seasonably, but in no event more than thirty (30) days after the information is revealed to or discovered by the disclosing party. A party seeking to use information which that party first disclosed later than (A) the deadline set in a Scheduling Order, or (B) in the absence of such deadline, sixty (60) days before trial, must seek leave of court to extend the time for disclosure as provided in Rule 37(c)(2) or (c)(3).

(3) All disclosures shall include information and data in the possession, custody and control of the parties as well as that which can be ascertained, learned or acquired by reasonable inquiry and investigation.

COMMITTEE COMMENT TO 1991 AMENDMENT

The Committee does not intend to affect in any way, any party’s right to amend or move to amend or supplement pleadings as provided in Rule 15.

COURT COMMENT TO 1991 AMENDMENT

The above rule change was part of a comprehensive set of rule revisions proposed by the Special Bar Committee to Study Civil Litigation Abuse, Cost and Delay, which was specifically charged in March, 1990 with the task of proposing rules to reduce discovery abuse and to make the judicial system in Arizona more efficient, expeditious, and accessible to the people.

For more complete background information on the rule changes proposed by the Committee, see Court Comment to Rule 26.1(a).

(c) Deleted effective Dec. 1, 1996.

(d) Signed Disclosure. Each disclosure shall be made in writing under oath, signed by the party making the disclosure.

(e) Deleted effective Dec. 1, 1996.

COMMITTEE COMMENT TO 1991 AMENDMENT

Rule 26.1(e) is intended specifically to deal with the party and/or attorney who makes intentionally inaccurate or misleading responses to discovery.

COURT COMMENT TO 1991 AMENDMENT

The above rule change was part of a comprehensive set of rule revisions proposed by the Special Bar Committee to Study Civil Litigation Abuse, Cost and Delay, which was specifically charged in March, 1990 with the task of proposing rules to reduce discovery abuse and to make the judicial system in Arizona more efficient, expeditious, and accessible to the people.

For more complete background information on the rule changes proposed by the Committee, see Court Comment to Rule 26.1(a).

(f) Claims of Privilege or Protection of Trial Preparation Materials.

(1) Information Withheld. When information is withheld from disclosure or discovery on a claim that it is privileged or subject to protection as trial-preparation materials, the claim shall be made expressly and shall be supported by a description of the nature of the documents, communications, or things not produced or disclosed that is sufficient to enable other parties to contest the claim.

(2) Information Produced. If a party contends that information subject to a claim of privilege or of protection as trial-preparation material has been inadvertently disclosed or produced in discovery, the party making the claim may notify any party that received the information of the claim and the basis for it. After being notified, a party must promptly return, sequester, or destroy the specified information and any copies it has made and may not use or disclose the information until the claim is resolved. A receiving party may promptly present the information to the court under seal for a determination of the claim. If the receiving party disclosed the information before being notified, it must take reasonable steps to retrieve it. The producing party must preserve the information until the claim is resolved.

STATE BAR COMMITTEE NOTE
2008 Amendment

As with its federal counterpart, the amendment is intended merely to place a “hold” on further use or dissemination of an inadvertently produced document that is subject to a privilege claim until a court resolves its status or the parties agree to an appropriate disposition. The amendment, however, “does not address whether the privilege or protection that is asserted after production was waived by the production.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(5)(B), Advisory Committee Notes on 2006 Amendment.

(g) Deleted effective Dec. 1, 1996.