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.