Parties can decide to settle their case any time before there is a judgment in the case but formal offers to settle using Part 4 of the Queen’s Bench Rules of Court must be made at least 10 days before the trial is scheduled to start. Below is a brief summary of these rules. If you are going to make or accept a formal offer to settle you should read these rules in full.
Unless the parties agree otherwise, a formal offer is assumed to have been ‘without prejudice’ and is not an admission of anything. Formal offers that are not accepted cannot be disclosed to the court until after a judgment is made.
A formal offer to settle is made using Form 4-26 of the Queen’s Bench Forms. The offer should be very specific. For example, if a sum of money must be paid the exact amount must be stated. An offer to settle cannot ask for everything you asked for in your claim. It must offer some kind of compromise. It must include:
A formal offer cannot be withdrawn without the permission of the court and is open for acceptance for at least 30 days or a longer period set out in the offer. The party that wants to accept the offer must serve the other party with notice that it has been accepted. After that the party who made the offer can apply to court for a judgment based on the terms of the offer.