February 2014 – Recent Change to the Proposal for Settlement

Clients and practitioners should be aware of the recent change to Rule 1.442, Florida Rules of Civil Procedure, governing the procedural aspects of the strictly-construed Proposal for Settlement (the “PFS”) in civil litigation.  The PFS is an effective tool to generate litigation leverage by creating the risk of attorneys’ fee entitlement against your opponent, whether or not such entitlement otherwise exists.  Effective this year, subdivision (C)(2)(B) of Rule 1.442 is amended to clarify that a PFS must resolve all pending damages claims, not just particular claims within a lawsuit (settlement of claims for attorneys’ fees is still at the discretion of the proponent).  Whereas the Rule used to state that the PFS shall “identify the claim or claims the proposal is attempting to resolve,” the Rule now states that the PFS shall “state that the proposal resolves all damages that would otherwise be awarded in a final judgment in the action in which the proposal is served . . .”


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