SMP II Limited Partnership v. Arizona Department of Revenue
In SMP II Limited Partnership v. Arizona Department of Revenue, 188 Ariz. 320, 327, 935 P.2d 898, 905 (App. 1996) the Court rejected an analogous taxpayer argument when 12-348 capped fees at $ 20,000.
As the Court pointed out, the statute's statement of legislative purpose explained that it was intended "to reduce the deterrents and disparity between citizens and the government by entitling prevailing parties to recover an award of reasonable attorney fees, expert witness fees and other costs against the state." Id. (citing 1981 Ariz. Sess. Laws Ch. 208, 1.
Reading subsections (B) and (E)(5) together with the legislative purpose, the Court concluded that the legislature did not contemplate "that a prevailing party could take advantage of the fortuitous circumstance of multiple defendants to receive multiple awards." Id.