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Top 5 Must Haves to Propose an Order of Settlement under Florida Rules of Civil Procedure.

November 1, 2016

Are you thinking about offering opposing counsel an offer to settle? Did you know this process is governed by the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure? 

Many clients ask what do I need to include in an offer of settlement under the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure? You 

The Florida Rules of Civil Procedure outline for parties to attempt to settle their disputes without court action. Specifically, rule 1.442 of the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure applies to proposals of settlement. 

In some cases, one party may offer the opposing counsel an offer. If opposing counsel refuses the offer and the party recovers at trial, then opposing counsel can be found responsible for their Attorney fees. The idea here is that trial would not have been necessary if opposing counsel would have accepted the proposed order. 

This is not applicable to every situation. Certain Statutory actions grant the winner attorney fees and costs, while others may not. It is important to follow the rule exactly if you or your attorney are attempting to recover under 1.442. This list is not all inclusive but does enumerate the most important implications of the rule. 

1. An offer of settlement needs to be served no sooner than 90 days after being served and no later than 45 days prior to trial. 

2. The offer must be in writing and must state the name of the party to whom the offer is being proposed. 

3. The writing must state the offer will resolve all damage that could otherwise be determined by the Court or Jury. 

4. The Offeror must set out any conditions that must be met as well as the total amount of damages and non-monetary relief. 

5. The Attorney for the party making the offer must include a certificate of service certifying they served the opposing party. 

This rule applies to any court that follows the Florida Rules Of Civil Procedure including Probate Court. 

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