There is a difference between "confidential" and "usable." Generally communciations regarding settlement, uncluding offers, cannot be used to establish liability, but they are generally not confidential and may be usable for other purposes.
To either to prove or disprove the validity or amount of a disputed claim.
See California Evidence Code sections 1152 and 1154, and Rule 408 of the Federal Rules of Evidence.
Frank W. Chen is licensed to practice law in the State of California. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney.
This answer is intended to provide general information only. It does not create an Attorney-Client relationship nor should it be construed as legal advice or an opinion on specific situations. Eric D. Ridley is only licensed to practice law in California.
But a settlement offer can by its terms provide that it is to be held confidential as against all others, or as against all but some others. Of course, the offer itself won't be confidential there unless it is accepted. it is also possible for the parties to agree to enter into confidential settlement proceedings in which all offers and discussions will be held confidential. Or, some contend that if the offer occurs in the course of mediation, then it is confidential by virtue of that fact -- that analysis is not universally accepted, but it is common.
In short, when parties are finally ready to talk settlement almost all variables are possible.
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