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      CCP 970     


Art. 970.  Motion for judgment on offer of judgment

A.  At any time more than twenty days before the time specified for the trial of the matter, without any admission of liability, any party may serve upon an adverse party an offer of judgment for the purpose of settling all of the claims between them.  The offer of judgment shall be in writing and state that it is made under this Article; specify the total amount of money of the settlement offer; and specify whether that amount is inclusive or exclusive of costs, interest, attorney fees, and any other amount which may be awarded pursuant to statute or rule.  Unless accepted, an offer of judgment shall remain confidential between the offeror and offeree.  If the adverse party, within ten days after service, serves written notice that the offer is accepted, either party may move for judgment on the offer.  The court shall grant such judgment on the motion of either party.

B.  An offer of judgment not accepted shall be deemed withdrawn and evidence of an offer of judgment shall not be admissible except in a proceeding to determine costs pursuant to this Article.

C.  If the final judgment obtained by the plaintiff-offeree is at least twenty-five percent less than the amount of the offer of judgment made by the defendant-offeror or if the final judgment obtained against the defendant-offeree is at least twenty-five percent greater than the amount of the offer of judgment made by the plaintiff-offeror, the offeree must pay the offeror's costs, exclusive of attorney fees, incurred after the offer was made, as fixed by the court.

D.  The fact that an offer is made but not accepted does not preclude a subsequent offer or a counter offer.  When the liability of one party to another has been determined by verdict, order, or judgment, but the amount or extent of the damages remains to be determined by future proceedings, either party may make an offer of judgment, which shall have the same effect as an offer made before trial if it is served within a reasonable time not less than thirty days before the start of hearings to determine the amount or extent of damages.

E.  For purposes of comparing the amount of money offered in the offer of judgment to the final judgment obtained, which judgment shall take into account any additur or remittitur, the final judgment obtained shall not include any amounts attributable to costs, interest, or attorney fees, or to any other amount which may be awarded pursuant to statute or rule, unless such amount was expressly included in the offer.

F.  A judgment granted on a motion for judgment on an offer of judgment is a final judgment when signed by the judge; however, an appeal cannot be taken by a party who has consented to the judgment.

Acts 1996, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 60, §1, eff. May 9, 1996; Acts 1997, No. 354, §1; Acts 2012, No. 557, §1.

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