Rule 408. Compromise Offers and Negotiations.

 (a)  Prohibited Uses. Evidence of the following is not admissible—on behalf of any party—either to prove or disprove the validity or amount of a disputed claim or to impeach by a prior inconsistent statement or a contradiction:

   (1)  furnishing, promising, or offering—or accepting, promising to accept, or offering to accept—a valuable consideration in compromising or attempting to compromise the claim; and

   (2)  conduct or a statement made during compromise negotiations about the claim.

 (b)  Exceptions. The court may admit this evidence for another purpose, such as proving a witness’s bias or prejudice, negating a contention of undue delay, or proving an effort to obstruct a criminal investigation or prosecution.

Comment

   Pa.R.E. 408(a) differs from F.R.E. 408(a) in that the federal rule in paragraph (a)(2) contains language that seems to permit the use in criminal cases of statements made to government investigators, regulators, or enforcement authority in negotiations in civil cases. That language has not been adopted because the use of such statements might conflict with the policies underlying Pa.R.Crim.P. 586 (relating to dismissal of criminal charges not committed by force or violence upon payment of restitution) or Pa.R.Crim.P. 546 (relating to dismissal upon satisfaction or agreement).

   This rule does not require the exclusion of any evidence otherwise discoverable merely because it is presented in the course of compromise negotiations.

   Pa.R.E. 408(b) is identical to F.R.E. 408(b).

   Admissibility of conduct and statements in mediations pursuant to the Mediation Act of 1996, 42 Pa.C.S. §  5949, is governed by that statute.

   Pa.R.E. 408 is consistent with 42 Pa.C.S. §  6141 which provides, in pertinent part, as follows:

    §  6141. Effect of certain settlements

    (a) Personal Injuries. Settlement with or any payment made to an injured person or to others on behalf of such injured person with the permission of such injured person or to anyone entitled to recover damages on account of injury or death of such person shall not constitute an admission of liability by the person making the payment or on whose behalf the payment was made, unless the parties to such settlement or payment agree to the contrary.

    (b) Damages to Property. Settlement with or any payment made to a person or on his behalf to others for damages to or destruction of property shall not constitute an admission of liability by the person making the payment or on whose behalf the payment was made, unless the parties to such settlement or payment agree to the contrary.

    (c) Admissibility in Evidence. Except in an action in which final settlement and release has been pleaded as a complete defense, any settlement or payment referred to in subsections (a) and (b) shall not be admissible in evidence on the trial of any matter.

   Official Note

   Adopted May 8, 1998, effective October 1, 1998; amended March 10, 2000; effective July 1, 2000; Comment revised March 29, 2001, effective April 1, 2001; amended September 18, 2008, effective October 30, 2008; rescinded and replaced January 17, 2013, effective March 18, 2013.

   Committee Explanatory Reports:

   Final Report explaining the March 10, 2000 amendments concerning the inadmissibility of evidence of conduct or statements made in compromise negotiations published at 30 Pa.B. 1643 (March 25, 2000).

   Final Report explaining the March 29, 2001 revision of the Comment published with the Court’s Order at 31 Pa.B. 1995 (April 14, 2001).

   Final Report explaining the September 18, 2008 amendments published with the Court’s Order at 38 Pa.B. 5423 (October 4, 2008).

   Final Report explaining the January 17, 2013 rescission and replacement published with the Court’s Order at 43 Pa.B. 651 (February 2, 2013).

Source

   The provisions of this Rule 408 amended March 10, 2000, effective immediately, 30 Pa.B. 1639; amended March 29, 2001, effective April 1, 2001, 31 Pa.B. 1993; amended September 18, 2008, effective October 30, 2008, 38 Pa.B. 5423; rescinded and replaced January 17, 2013, effective in sixty days, 43 Pa.B. 620. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (338880) to (338881).



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