Legal Question in Civil Litigation in California

preparing and serving offer to compromise (CCP 998)

I want to make a defendant's offer to compromise (i.e., to the plaintiff) under

California's Code of Civil Procedure, Section 998. I need to know what sort form

the offer needs to be in, how to serve it, and anything else I need to do to make

it legal. Also, I want to make the offer without admitting guilt, so that needs to

be part of the letter. Thank you.

Asked on 2/22/06, 9:21 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Sharon Green Sharon Green, Lawyer

Re: preparing and serving offer to compromise (CCP 998)

You can go to the county law library and look at the CEB book on Civil Procedure Before Trial, the forms are in this book. HOWEVER, Section 998 offers can be a trap for the unwary. You really should have an attorney draft the offer for you. If the language is not precisely correct you may end up paying the other side's costs even if your offer is accepted.

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Answered on 2/22/06, 9:46 pm

Robert F. Cohen Law Office of Robert F. Cohen

Re: preparing and serving offer to compromise (CCP 998)

A defendant's offer typically includes language that the total amount the defendant offers to pay is inclusive of plaintiff's costs and attorney's fees and that the payment is in exchange for dismissal of the case with prejudice (rather than entry of judgment).

If there are more than one plaintiff or defendant, you should consult with an attorney to help you draft it.

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Answered on 2/23/06, 3:11 am

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