Wright v. Hills

In Wright v. Hills, 161 Ariz. 583, 780 P.2d 416 (App. 1989) the Court held that the "sham affidavit" rule applies in Arizona because "parties cannot thwart the purposes of Rule 56, Ariz. R. Civ. P., 16 A.R.S., Pt. 2, by creating issues of fact through affidavits that contradict their own depositions." 161 Ariz. at 588, 780 P.2d at 421. The rule states that when a party's affidavit is submitted to defeat summary judgment and contradicts the party's own deposition testimony, it should be disregarded in deciding the motion. Wright, 161 Ariz. at 587, 780 P.2d at 420. "Giving great weight to the federal interpretations of rules of civil procedure," the court reasoned that "allowing a party to submit a contradictory affidavit after giving a deposition would greatly diminish the utility of summary judgment as a procedure for screening out genuine issues of fact." Id. at 587-88, 780 P.2d at 420-21. Wright also held that certain exceptions exist to the sham affidavit rule, for instance, "if the affiant was confused at the deposition and the affidavit explains those aspects of the deposition testimony or if the affiant lacked access to material facts and the affidavit sets forth the newly discovered evidence." Id. at 588, 780 P.2d at 421.