Understanding Best V. C&M Door Controls

Law360, New York (March 19, 2010, 3:09 PM EDT) -- The New Jersey Supreme Court recently ruled in Best v. C&M Door Controls Inc.[1] that a defendant can never be awarded counsel fees under the offer-of-judgment rule in any case involving a statutory fee-shifting provision.

Under Best, however, a trial court may consider a plaintiff’s unreasonable rejection of an offer-of-judgment in calculating plaintiff’s award under the fee-shifting statute.

The Offer-of-Judgment Rule

Historically, the offer-of-judgment rule allowed the court to award counsel fees and costs to a party that offered a reasonable settlement, which was rejected, but,...
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