The Legal System and ADR Analysis
July 17, 2014
The Legal System and ADR Analysis
To: QuickBooks Legal Council
From: Suzanne hardy
Re: Software product liability claim
The current software liability claim falling under the jurisdiction of Arizona court system exceeded the $10.000.00 limit for jurisdiction by consolidated Justice Court. The case if filled in court must be filled with in the Arizona Superior Court. Prior to the filing of any action by either party the option of a settlement that may include financial consideration and possibly a settlement agreement is most likely the best option. A settlement would involve the lowest cost provided the parties could reach an agreement on a resolution. This option may also include an NDA or nondisclosure agreement, which could limit future exposure to future claims. It is advisable to explore the option of mediation which would allow the parties to come to a resolution with or without attorneys that would be mutually agreeable. This may take place in a meeting with the parties or a series of meetings and may include a professional mediator. A mediator will have an expense but would help guide the process. This option would also allow for settlement without public record of civil complaint. In the event that a civil complaint is filed we will have 60 days to respond to complaint once it is served ("Westlawnext", 2014). This is in compliance with Rule 4 of Arizona Rule of Civil Procedure. Should we not respond with in the required time we may be subject to a default judgment. If we decide to oppose a case in court beyond a trial we would have other options of resolution available which may take place prior to or simultaneous to any trial preparation. The first option to explore may be a resolution though a motion to dismiss. Should the claim at first glance not support the prema facia case it may be possible to conclude the case by motion to dismiss. A judge may require hearings or rule on the motion in private dismissing the complaint or allowing the case to go forward. Another pretrial option for resolution may be a motion for summary judgment either in whole or in part depending on the allegations in the complaint. This would allow motions and responses to be filed by either party to request that the judge hearing the case rule on the case in total or on specific allegations with in the complaint. This would be based on evidence submitted to the court via a statement of facts and attached exhibits included with a motion for summary judgment. This may include exhibits collected though the discovery process or testimony provided via deposition. The factors may also contribute to significantly more cost than resolution by previously discussed options. Beyond those options parties may also submit to arbitration. Arbitration is structured similar to a trial with parties each presenting their case before an arbitrator who would function similarly to a judge. This would also have ramifications for any appeals of any awards made by the arbitrator. If either party decided to appeal the decision of the arbitrator it would need to be done within 20 days and if the appeal not result in a decision at least 23% better for the appealing party they will be subject to sanctions. These sanctions could include but are not limited to the other parties’ attorney fees and or any expert witness fees etc. The option of trial would also be available for resolution if any of the previously discussed options are not successful. Due to the large amount of preparation required for a trial either by jury or before a judge, the cost of this option may at times make the alternative methods more attractive. Especially in a case that would require expert testimony and additional fees, it will be important to weight the potential impact of such coast against the initial allegations and claim....
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