If there is a disputed claim
, then evidence of the following is inadmissible:
- (a) settlements;
- (b) offers to settle; or
- (c) statements made in settlement discussions,
But, admissible for other purposes, especially impeachment on the ground of bias.
Disputed Claim Requirement
(comes up a lot
The ban only applies if, at the time of the discussion, there is a claim (a demand of some kind) and that claim is disputed by the other side (either as to validity or amount).
- (Claim. immediately post-accident, D offers to settle with P for $100k. Offer is admissible because there was no claim at the time of the statement).
- (Disputed. Same, but P demands $100k and D says “fine.” Settlement is admissible because D did not dispute the claim).
- -Settlements and settlement negotiations with non-parties are fully protected. Rule applies regardless of whether the settlement/talks were among parties.