12-349. Unjustified actions; attorney fees, expenses and double damages; exceptions; definition
A. Except as otherwise provided by and not inconsistent with another statute, in any civil action commenced or appealed in a court of record in this state, the court shall assess reasonable attorney fees, expenses and, at the court's discretion, double damages of not to exceed five thousand dollars against an attorney or party, including this state and political subdivisions of this state, if the attorney or party does any of the following:
1. Brings or defends a claim without substantial justification.
2. Brings or defends a claim solely or primarily for delay or harassment.
3. Unreasonably expands or delays the proceeding.
4. Engages in abuse of discovery.
B. The court may allocate the payment of attorney fees among the offending attorneys and parties, jointly or severally, and may assess separate amounts against an offending attorney or party.
C. Attorney fees shall not be assessed if after filing an action a voluntary dismissal is filed for any claim or defense within a reasonable time after the attorney or party filing the dismissal knew or reasonably should have known that the claim or defense was without substantial justification.
D. This section does not apply to the adjudication of civil traffic violations or to any proceedings brought by this state pursuant to title 13.
E. Notwithstanding any other law, this state and political subdivisions of this state may be awarded attorney fees pursuant to this section.
F. For the purposes of this section, "without substantial justification" means that the claim or defense is groundless and is not made in good faith.