Proposals for settlement (PFS) are governed by Florida Statute 768.79 and Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.442. A PFS can be a powerful tool to put pressure on the opposition to settle a case. Essentially, a PFS can award attorneys’ fees and costs for a party that offered to settle a case prior to trial for a reasonable amount.
Under Florida Statute 768.79 and Rule 1.442, if the Plaintiff files a proposal for settlement and a jury verdict exceeds the offer by twenty five percent or more, then the Defendant is responsible for all of the Plaintiff’s attorneys’ fees and costs. Of course, a Defendant can also serve a PFS to put pressure on a Plaintiff. If the Defendant offers to settle and there is a defense verdict or the verdict is less than seventy five percent of the PFS, then the Plaintiff is responsible for the Defendant’s reasonable attorney’s fees and costs. Parties have thirty days from receipt of the PFS to either accept or reject it.
The PFS statute and rule contain very specific requirements as to the precise language that must be included in the PFS and how it is to be served. An experienced attorney will be able to advise you on the pros and cons of serving a PFS.