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Litigation: Rule 68 offers of judgment—A matter of clarity

Case law demonstrates that defendants must craft clear and unambiguous offers

Rule 68 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure is designed to encourage settlement and avoid litigation and its associated costs. The rule permits a defendant to allow the plaintiff to take judgment against the defendant for a certain amount, with costs then accrued. The plaintiff has 14 days to accept the offer. If it does not, the plaintiff must obtain a more favorable judgment than the offered amount or pay defendants’ post-offer costs. Simple enough, right?

Not quite. If the Rule 68 case law shows anything, it is that defendants must draft clear and unambiguous offers of judgment.

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Jim Steele

Jim Steele is a member at Carr Maloney. He counsels insurers on complex coverage matters and litigates insurance coverage disputes. He also defends clients in...

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