Friday, May 23, 2014

Seisenger v. Siebel case brief summary

Seisenger v. Siebel
Az. Sup. Ct. 2009
 
Facts: An “ARIZONA STATUTE” Passed by the “ARIZONA LEGISLATURE” Seeks to Raise the “BURDEN OF PROOF” set by the Arizona “RULES OF EVIDENCE” for Admitting EXPERT TESTIMONY.
RULE:  The Legislature and Supreme Court BOTH have Rulemaking Power, BUT, in the event of “IRRECONCILIABLE CONFLICT” Between a “PROCEDURAL STATUTE” and a “COURT OR EVIDENTIARY RULE,” the “COURT RULE PREVAILS.”
TEST: 
1.  It is the “ARIZONA COURT’S” DUTY to “SAVE” the STATUTE, By “HARMONIZING” it With the COURT RULE, if possible, By CONSTRUING it so that it does Not Violate the Constitution.
-Reading the Statute as “SUPPLEMETING” the Arizona Court Rule, Rather Than “ABROGATING” the Rule.
2.  If Harmony CANNOT be Effected, and there is a Conflict, we must determine whether the ARIZONA STATUTE is SUBSTANTIVE or PROCEDURAL.
-SUBSTANTIVE Statute- A statute that “creates, defines, regulates RIGHTS.”
-PROCEDURAL Statute- A statute that “prescribes METHOD of enforcing the right or obtaining redress.
Holdings: ARIZONA STATUTE requiring an Expert Witness in “A MALPRACTICE TORT ACTION” to Meet Certain Criteria, Even If ‘Otherwise Qualified’  under ARIZONA EVIDENCE RULE Governing Expert Witnesses, was in “DIRECT CONFLICT” with a COURT PROCEDURAL RULE, BUT, Since the STATUTE was “ALSO SUBSTANTIVE” in nature, it did not offend the Separation of Powers Doctrine.
TORT Elements- The “COMMON LAW” “ELEMENTS” of a “TORT” Medical Malpractice Action are Plainly “SUBSTANTIVE.”
Statutes Are NOT Retroactive- Unless Explicitly Declared Therein.  Thus, it won’t apply to these parties, but it will apply to future parties.

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