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The Arizona Supreme Court recently adopted amendments to the rules of civil procedure governing matters filed in Arizona state courts. There are a number of important rule revisions that went into effect January 1, 2018; however, the differentiated case management structure that becomes effective July 1, 2018, marks a drastic change in Arizona’s civil litigation landscape.

Under this new regime, any new civil case filed in Arizona state court must plead that the case falls into one of three “tiers.” The parties must address the tier designation during the initial case discovery conference. The Court may apply a different case tier by motion or at its own discretion.

Each case tier, differentiated by the dollar amount at issue, has discovery limits - the higher the dollar amount, the higher the tier and the more discovery is available.

This new differentiated case management structure with discovery limits is intended to address the notion of proportionality of discovery. The chart below summarizes the three case tiers and the applicable discovery limitations.


Tier 1

Tier 2

Tier 3

Amount at Issue

$0 - $50,000

$50,000 - $300,000

$300,000 +

Case Types

Cases tried in 1-2 days. Minimal documentary evidence and few witnesses.

Cases involving more than minimal documentary evidence and witnesses, including potential experts. Might involve multiple theories of liability, counterclaims or cross-claims.

Complex cases with voluminous documentary evidence and an expectation for numerous pretrial motions and difficult or novel legal issues. Anticipation for numerous witnesses or multiple plaintiffs or defendants.


Automobile tort, intentional tort, premises liability, insurance coverage claims arising from those types of claims.

Cases that don’t easily fit into either Tier 1 or 3, actions claiming nonmonetary relief alone or in conjunction with claims for damages under $300,000.

Class actions, antitrust, multi-party commercial or construction cases, securities cases, environmental torts, construction defect cases, products liability cases, medical malpractice cases, mass torts.

Discovery Limits

Each side gets 5 total hours of fact witness depositions, 5 interrogatories, 5 requests for production, 10 requests for admission, and 120 days to complete discovery.

Each side gets 15 total hours of fact witness depositions, 10 interrogatories, 10 requests for production, 10 requests for admission, and 180 days to complete discovery.

Each side gets 30 total hours of fact witness depositions, 20 interrogatories, 10 requests for production, 20 requests for admission, and 240 days to complete discovery.


All of the recent rules changes, including those with January 1, 2018, and July 1, 2018, effective dates, can be found at http://www.azcourts.gov/rules/Recent-Amendments/Rules-of-Civil-Procedure.