Here is what you need to know about proportionality in a commercial lawsuit. When you are engaged in a commercial lawsuit, it is important to retain an experienced Arizona business litigation attorney who can help you prepare your case. Understanding various aspects of your case, such as proportionality, are critical for potential success.

Rising Discovery Costs

Electronic discovery is becoming an increasingly higher percentage of overall commercial litigation costs. As a result, legal professionals and judges have actively begun exploring the concept of proportionality. This takes attention away from high volume prohibitively expensive discovery options to a more focused analysis of whether the costs associated with discovery are proportionate in relation to the value and importance of the case in question.

The Argument for Proportionality

Proportionality refers to making an effort to ensure that the scope of the discovery is in line with the case itself. Part of the concern across individuals involved with commercial cases is that there seems to be an underlying perception that limitless and broad discovery is normal, meaning that discovery costs in most cases can skyrocket very quickly.

The expense of discovery, and especially electronic discovery, can seem overwhelming if you are new to business litigation. This is why proportionality has frequently been overlooked or ignored in the past although it appears now that there is a major shift happening in the judiciary. If approved across the board, judges would have discretion to determine whether discovery scope is reasonable.

Considering Proportionality in Your Own Case

Proportionality may involve limiting the potential discovery and keeping it as reasonable as possible.   When you are being requested to provide information to the other side of the case and requesting information from them, it is important to think about the possible expenses associated with conducting that discovery in line with either the amount of money you have already lost as a business or the amount that you stand to lose or win depending on the case outcome.  Maricopa County’s new pilot program for “Business Court” cases is one opportunity to obtain an early ruling limiting discovery to what is reasonable for the amount involved.

Before working through a commercial case like this, it’s a good idea to think about all the potential costs associated with pursuing the lawsuit. Remember that this is a two-way street, and in some situations, showing that you are serious by filing a suit could actually help you by prompting the other party to resolve things rather than letter them continue to escalate and rack up expenses. You should consult more with your Arizona business litigation attorney to determine how proportionality may impact your case.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Proportionality in a Commercial Lawsuit, or any other litigation issues,  please feel free to contact us at 480.461.5300, log on to,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.