Supreme Court Rules that Unaccepted Rule 68 Offers of Complete Relief Do Not Moot a Plaintiff’s Case – But Payment of Full Relief Just May

25 January 2016
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Key takeaways

  • The Supreme Court ruled last week that unaccepted offers of judgment pursuant to Rule 68 of complete relief to individual plaintiffs will not moot a class action, which may restrict business defendants from using Rule 68 to pick off named plaintiffs and avoid a class action.
  • The Court expressly left open the question of whether a suit could be mooted by depositing the full amount of a plaintiff’s claim in an account and then seeking entry of a judgment, a potential new tactic that defendants facing putative class actions for modest and ascertainable damages will want to consider carefully.
  • The new tactic will be tested and refined in lower courts in the first instance, so it will be important for defense counsel to keep abreast of developments.