Florida law allows the parties in civil litigation to make an "offer of judgment," which is a proposal to settle the case presented to the other party. If the plaintiff makes such an offer, the defendant has 30 days to accept. If the defendant rejects or fails to accept the offer within that time frame, the plaintiff may recover reasonable costs and attorney's fees if the judgment is at least 25% greater than the offer.
Section 768.79, Florida Statutes, sets forth the requirements of the offer. Such offers must be in writing and indicate they are being made under the statute. They must name both the party making the offer and the party to whom the offer is made. The offer must state the total amount of the offer and provide the amount offered to settle punitive damages claims with particularity.
Section 1.442 of the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure provides further clarification of the requirements for an offer. These requirements include naming the "party or parties making the proposal...," stating any conditions with particularity, and stating "the amount and terms attributable to each party" when the offer is a joint proposal. The Florida Supreme Court recently decided what happens when an offer names only one of the plaintiffs as the party making the offer and does not attribute the amounts to the plaintiffs, but does clearly state that both plaintiffs will dismiss their claims if the offer is accepted.