New Jersey’s offer-of-judgment rule was created to spur settlements by making it risky for a litigant to reject a bona fide offer. But a recent ruling suggests the offer may work to the offerer’s detriment if the defense appeals.

In Jastram v. Kruse, A-0756-06, a two-judge panel ordered remittitur of a $500,000 automobile injury verdict to $50,000, based in part on their observation that the plaintiff made a $12,500 offer of judgment, “reflecting her assessment of a reasonable settlement.”