Duquesne Law Review

Article Title

A Remedy for Rule 238


Rule 238 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure was promulgated in 1979 in an attempt to encourage parties to settle their cases as early as possible in order to avoid the costs, both to the court system and to the litigants themselves, of litigation. Seven years later this "experiment" was deemed a failure, for in Craig v. Magee Memorial Rehabilitation Center the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania declared the Rule to be unconstitutional and therefore suspended its operation. In this same opinion, the court directed the Civil Procedure Rules Committee to propose an amended version of the Rule for its consideration. The author argues that the only way Rule 238 will be able to meet its original expectations is if the Committee overhauls the Rule by amending the already existing "delay damages" provision and combining it with a "costs" provision similar to the one found in F. R. Ctv. P. 68.

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