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Offer-of-judgment rules

Once you get past the introductory section, which puts forth a wholly unconvincing defense of forum-shopping, the American College of Trial Lawyers has compiled (PDF) a highly useful survey of state provisions relating to "offers of judgment", which operate as a sort of scaled-down version of loser-pays kicking in when one party to a lawsuit turns down a settlement offer from the other and then does less well at trial. Most (but not all) such provisions around the 50 states allow only miscellaneous costs, and not attorneys' fees, to be awarded in such a case; most allow only the defense side to set the process in motion, but some extend the right to plaintiffs; a few states use such an offer as the trigger for the accrual of prejudgment interest; and there are many other local wrinkles which deserve consideration by states seeking to strengthen their own practice in this area.



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.