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Apr 9, 2021

An Offer You Can’t Accept: Section 998 Pitfalls to Avoid

[Published in the Los Angeles & San Francisco Daily Journal, April 5, 2021]

Code of Civil Procedure Section 998 was enacted to encourage settlement of lawsuits before trial. The statute provides a cost shifting financial disincentive to a party who fails to achieve a better result at trial than that party could have achieved by accepting his or her opponent’s settlement offer. The offer must be in writing and (1) shall include a statement of the offer; (2) containing the terms and conditions of the judgment or award; and (3) a provision that allows the accepting party to indicate acceptance of the offer by signing a statement that the offer is accepted. CCP Section 998(b).

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