Lane v. City of Tempe

In Lane v. City of Tempe, 202 Ariz. 306, 308, PP 9-11, 44 P.3d 986, 989 (2002), the Arizona Supreme Court held that, although a personal appearance by a party is not always required, "in some situations, a personal appearance may be necessary." Id. at 309, P 17, 44 P.3d at 989. There, the defendant in an automobile negligence suit failed to personally appear at the arbitration hearing and the plaintiff moved to strike his trial court pleading on that basis. Id. at 307, PP 2-4, 44 P.3d at 987. The court found that a personal appearance by the defendant was not necessary because of adequate prehearing discovery and because the plaintiff did not take steps to secure his presence. Id. at 309-10, PP 18-20, 44 P.3d at 989-90. The court reasoned that, with completed discovery, the plaintiff "was able to win the case in front of the arbitrator" and that the plaintiff failed to "show . . . how the defendant's presence would have made a significant difference in either the conduct of the proceedings or their outcome." Id. at 309, P 18, 44 P.3d at 989.