Florida’s Proposal for Settlement rules allow disputing parties to submit a monetary value that they would be willing to accept to settle their case and avoid court. While it may seem like a simple alternative dispute resolution option on the surface, a proposal for settlement can be used tactically as well.
If a proposal for settlement is submitted by the plaintiff and subsequently rejected by the defendant, the defendant will be on the hook for attorney fees if the judgment ends up 25% higher or more than the proposed amount. The same is true if the defendant submits a proposal for settlement and the plaintiff rejects it: the plaintiff will be required to pay attorney fees if the judgment ends up at least 25% lower than the offer.
Understanding this, there is a risk to rejecting a proposal that may help pressure the opposing party to settle.
However, an improperly developed proposal could end up costing your client far more in the long run, and it’s important to understand the stringent rules that must be followed for a proposal of settlement to be considered valid.