Offers to settle in California made pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure, §998 are commonly referred to as “statutory offers”. They are generally used in an attempt to recover fees/costs.
A long line of cases include attorney’s fees awards to plaintiffs because defense counsel’s poor drafting of the 998 Offer to Compromise. The counsel preparing the offer should be very careful of the wording to avoid awarding of attorney’s fees to a plaintiff after the plaintiff accepts a 998 Offer.
And don’t forget, you don’t have to expose your client to a judgment as part of a CCP 998 Offer to Compromise. Instead, the offer can be drafted in such a manner that acceptance of the offer will result in a full and complete resolution of all claims raised in the complaint, and that the complaint will be dismissed with prejudice.
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