Settlement Offer as Evidence, Admissibility

Because the law encourages settlement and compromise, “offers of compromise of an existing controversy are privileged and inadmissible and the offeree may object to testimony as to another’s offer of compromise.” Chase Third Century Leasing Co., Inc. v. Williams, 782 S.W.2d 408, 412 (Mo. Ct. App. 1989).

There is at least one prominent exception to this general rule. “[I]f an offer of settlement also constitutes an admission of an independent fact relevant to an issue between the parties, the offer of settlement will be deemed admissible on that issue.” Ulrich v. CADCO, Inc., 244 S.W.3d 772, 780 (Mo. Ct. App. 2008). For this reason, it is good practice for attorneys and parties to be careful with the language of any settlement communications.

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