Offers To Settle

Most civil disputes are settled by the people involved before the lawsuit goes to trial. If you are involved in a civil dispute, you may want to try to settle the matter to save time and money. Sometimes there are rules and penalties that may apply if the lawsuit has to be decided by a judge.

What is an offer to settle?

An offer to settle usually includes a statement by the plaintiff or defendant about how they are willing to resolve the lawsuit without going to trial. An offer to settle can be made by anyone involved in a lawsuit at any time. An offer to settle can be withdrawn as long as it has not been accepted by the other side. If you make an offer to settle, and the other side accepts it, then a settlement agreement has been made. If someone makes you a reasonable offer, and you do not accept it, you may have to pay extra costs after a trial. The consequences of not setting will depend on who made the offer and whether the amount awarded by the judge is more or less than the offer.

What are the consequences if an offer to settle is turned down?

If a party makes an offer and the judge awards judgment an amount that is as good as or better than the plaintiff’s offer, the losing party may have to pay two times the winning party’s costs of the case.
If the situation is reversed, and a plaintiff does not accept a reasonable offer to settle, the plaintiff may have to pay two times the defendant’s costs of the lawsuit from the day the offer was made.

How to prepare a settlement agreement

A legally binding settlement is best facilitated and prepared by your legal representative. Please speak to us about your legal rights and obligations.


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Everett Russell,  a licenced paralegal specializing in mediation.

Not all disputes between parties involve money or the monetary amount may be less than the costs involved to proceed through the judicial system. Save $$ by resolving your issues, disputes through mediation.

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