Sanford v. Rasnick

A 998 offer requiring the opposing party to enter into a settlement agreement is not a valid 998 offer; while cases have allowed a 998 offer to demand a release, a settlement agreement is different, more extensive and more subject to disagreement as to form and contents.  A 998 offer requiring the opposing party to enter into a settlement agreement is not a valid 998 offer and will not shift costs even if the ensuing judgment after a trial is less favorable to the opposing party.  While cases have allowed a 998 offer to demand a release, a settlement agreement is different, more extensive and more subject to disagreement as to form and contents.  Since one party’s share of a mediator’s fee in a court-ordered mediation is not mentioned in either CCP 1033.5(a) or (b), it is a cost that may be awarded in the trial court’s discretion.  Here, the trial court erred in taxing that cost without exercising its discretion.  Since an attorney service’s charges for filing motion papers is not mentioned in either CCP 1033.5(a) or (b), it is a cost that may be awarded in the trial court’s discretion.  Here, the trial court erred in taxing that cost without exercising its discretion.

California Court of Appeal, First District, Division 2 (Richman, J.); April 25, 2016; Case No. A145704

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