California Supreme Court Rules On Expert Witness Fees

In Martinez v. Brownco Construction, Inc., the California Supreme Court (Second Appellate District, Div. 1, B226665), ruled on expert witness costs in multiple settlements.

This case presents the following issue: When a plaintiff makes two reasonable settlement offers under Code of Civil Procedure section 998, both of which expire by operation of law, does the second offer extinguish the first such that the later offer is the operative one for purposes of the cost-shifting provisions of section 998, subdivision (d)? Disposition Date: 06/10/2013

Justice Marvin Baxter ruled that allowing expert witness costs from the date of the earlier offer, “is consistent with section 998’s language and best promotes the statutory purpose to encourage settlements.”

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