Mostafavi Law Group, APC v. Larry Rabineau, APC, et al., 2021 WL 803685 (March 3, 2021); Second Appellate District Court of Appeal, Division Four, Case No. B302344 (March 3, 2021).
California Code of Civil Procedure section 998 Offers to Compromise are an effective and widely-used settlement tool in litigation. The main objective of a Section 998 Offer “is to encourage settlement by providing a strong financial disincentive to a party – whether it be a plaintiff or a defendant – who fails to achieve a better result than the party could have achieved by accepting his or her opponent’s settlement offer.” Bank of San Pedro v. Sup. Ct., 3 Cal.4th 797, 804 (1992). In the event an offeree rejects a Section 998 Offer and fails to achieve a better result at trial, Section 998 shifts certain costs to the offeree, including the offeror’s reasonable expert costs. This case answers whether acceptance of a Section 998 Offer, served without a required acceptance provision, gives rise to a valid judgment. It does not.
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