My very first post for this blog (which is nearly two years old) covered the Arizona Court of Appeals’ decision in RSP Architects, Ltd. v. Five Star Development Resort Communities, LLC, 306 P.3d 93, 232 Ariz. 436 (App. 2013). In RSP Architects, the court held that Arizona’s private sector prompt payment laws (A.R.S. § 32-1129 et seq.) do not apply to architectural service contracts. While this remains the case, Arizona design professionals recently scored a victory on the prompt payment front. The Arizona Design Professional Prompt Pay Act (the “Act”) was created earlier this year when Governor Ducey signed H.B. 2336 into law. The Act, which went into effect on July 3, 2015, establishes requirements for promptly paying “design professionals” performing work on state, county, and municipal construction projects. For purposes of the Act, “design professional services” are defined as “architect services, engineer services, land surveying services, geologist services or landscape architect services or any combination…” thereof.
The Arizona Court of Appeals recently addressed the scope of Arizona’s Prompt Payment Act in RSP Architects, Ltd. v. Five Star Development Resort Communities, LLC, 306 P.3d 93, 232 Ariz. 436 (App. 2013). Specifically, the court was tasked with determining whether an architect performing an architectural services contract was a “contractor” entitled to protection under the Act. Consistent with the ordinary definitions of “architect” and “contractor,” the court ultimately held that the Act does not apply to architectural service contracts. But the case was not as straightforward as one might have expected.