Rost v. Atkinson, 2012COA74 (April 26, 2012)

Timing is everything, especially when making settlement offers with a motion for summary judgment pending.  The facts of this case present a twist on the old “mail box rule.” Defendant sent a statutory settlement offer to plaintiff.  The next day, the trial court ruled in favor of defendant, granting summary judgment in full. Plaintiff then accepted the offer before defendant received actual notice of the ruling, because defendant did not opt for e-file notices. Defendant then attempted, unsuccessfully, to withdraw her offer.  Defendant argued that the ruling extinguished the offer as a matter of law.  The court disagreed; only two events terminate a statutory offer of settlement: withdrawal before acceptance or the end of the 14 day period.  The result was not inequitable because defendant did not condition the offer to expire upon a ruling, and did not receive e-file notices.

http://www.courts.state.co.us/Courts/Court_Of_Appeals/Opinion/2012/11CA0727-PD.pdf

http://www.cobar.org/opinions/opinion.cfm?opinionid=8494&courtid=1

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