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You can search the entire site. or go to the recent opinions, or the chronological or subject indices. Sayer v. Bashaw (08/28/2009) sp-6404

Sayer v. Bashaw (08/28/2009) sp-6404

     Notice:   This opinion is subject to correction  before
     publication  in  the  Pacific  Reporter.   Readers  are
     requested to bring errors to the attention of the Clerk
     of  the  Appellate  Courts, 303  K  Street,  Anchorage,
     Alaska 99501, phone (907) 264-0608, fax (907) 264-0878,
     e-mail corrections@appellate.courts.state.ak.us.


            THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF ALASKA


PAUL SAYER, )
) Supreme Court No. S- 12966
Appellant, )
) Superior Court No. 3KN-05-138 CI
v. )
) O P I N I O N
ELIZABETH BASHAW, )
) No. 6404 August 28, 2009
Appellee. )
)

          Appeal  from the Superior Court of the  State
          of  Alaska,  Third Judicial District,  Kenai,
          Harold M. Brown and Joel H. Bolger, Judges.

          Appearances:  Tim Dooley, Law Office  of  Tim
          Dooley, Anchorage, for Appellant. Jeffrey  A.
          Friedman  and Richard H. Friedman,  Friedman,
          Rubin & White, Anchorage, for Appellee.

          Before:     Fabe,  Chief  Justice,  Eastaugh,
          Carpeneti, and Winfree, Justices.  [Matthews,
          Justice, not participating.]

          EASTAUGH, Justice.

I.   INTRODUCTION
          This appeal turns on the validity of a defendants offer
of  judgment that required dismissal of the lawsuit, but did  not
provide for entry of judgment.  The plaintiff did not accept  the
defendants  pretrial  offer  to  pay  $10,111  in  exchange   for
immediate  dismissal with prejudice.  The defendant prevailed  at
trial,  but  the  superior court denied his motion  for  enhanced
attorneys  fees under Alaska Civil Rule 68.  He argues here  that
he  made  a  valid offer of judgment.  Because a valid  offer  of
judgment  in Alaska must allow for entry of judgment, not  merely
dismissal  with prejudice, we affirm the order denying defendants
motion for Rule 68 attorneys fees.
II.  FACTS AND PROCEEDINGS
          In March 2005 Elizabeth Bashaw sued several defendants,
including Dr. Paul Sayer, alleging that she was unlawfully  fired
from  her  position at South Peninsula Hospital.1   On  June  10,
2005,  Dr.  Sayer served a document titled Offer of  Judgment  on
Bashaws attorney.  The document stated that the defendant  hereby
makes  a  Rule 68 offer of judgment by which Paul Sayer will  pay
[$10,111]  to  plaintiff Elizabeth Bashaw and that  [t]his  offer
contemplates  that if it is accepted, Elizabeth  Bashaws  lawsuit
against Paul Sayer will be immediately dismissed with prejudice.2
Bashaw did not accept the offer.  The case went to trial, and the
jury  found Dr. Sayer not liable.  In May 2007 he filed a  motion
asking the superior court to enter judgment for him and to  award
him  Rule  68  attorneys fees of $74,925.  Superior  Court  Judge
Harold  M.  Brown denied the motion, holding that  [t]he  express
language  of Rule 68 requires a party to offer to allow  judgment
to  be entered in the case, and that the offer did not meet  Rule
68s  requirements because it did not allow judgment to  be  taken
for  or  against  either party.  When final  judgment  was  later
entered  against  Bashaw, Superior Court  Judge  Joel  H.  Bolger
awarded  Dr.  Sayer  $31,498.20 in partial attorneys  fees  under
Alaska Civil Rule 82.3
          Dr. Sayer appeals the denial of Rule 68 fees.
III. DISCUSSION
     A.   Standard of Review
          We  use our independent judgment in reviewing questions
of  law, including the interpretation of Rule 68.4  We will adopt
the  rule  of law that is most persuasive in light of  precedent,
policy, and reason.5
     B.   Whether  the Offer Was a Valid Offer of Judgment  Under
          Rule 68
          
          Rule  68(a)  allows  either party  to  serve  upon  the
adverse  party  an  offer  to allow judgment  to  be  entered  in
complete satisfaction of the claim.6  (Emphasis added.)   If  the
offeree does not accept, and the final judgment is at least  five
percent (if there is a single defendant) or ten percent (if there
are  multiple defendants) less favorable to the offeree than  the
offer,  the  offeree  shall pay [a specified percentage  of]  all
costs  [and]  reasonable actual attorneys fees  incurred  by  the
offeror from the date the offer was made.7
          The  issue here is whether the offer was a valid  offer
of  judgment under Rule 68.  The superior court held that it  was
not,  because [t]he express language of Rule 68 requires a  party
to  offer  to  allow judgment to be entered in the case  and  the
offer  did not offer to allow judgment to be taken for or against
either  party.  Instead, the offer allowed only for dismissal  of
the  lawsuit with prejudice.  The superior court therefore denied
Dr.  Sayers  request  for Rule 68 fees, but awarded  him  partial
attorneys fees under Rule 82.
          Dr.  Sayer  argues  that the superior  court  erred  in
requiring  that a Rule 68 offer of judgment must  offer  to  have
judgment taken for or against a party.  Bashaw responds that  the
superior court correctly interpreted the rule as revised by us in
1987 to incorporate prior legislative amendments.8
          In  choosing the language an offer to allow judgment to
be  entered, the legislature appears to have intended for parties
to  choose  between forgoing the protections of Rule 68 attorneys
fees  and offering to allow judgment to be entered.9  Unlike some
other states rules that explicitly allow cost-shifting after  the
offeror  makes an offer of settlement or compromise,10  the  rule
allows  cost-shifting only after the offeror makes  an  offer  of
judgment.11   Since Rule 68 was first adopted  in  1959,  it  has
presupposed an offer of judgment.
          Dr.  Sayer  advances  policy  arguments  that  favor  a
broader interpretation of Alaskas rule.  He correctly notes  that
we  have  stated  that  Rule 68 has the  purpose  of  encouraging
settlements and avoiding protracted litigation.12  He argues that
as  a physician, his reputation, malpractice insurance rates, and
practice  would  be  negatively impacted  by  having  a  judgment
entered  against  him  on the record.  He argues  that  requiring
parties in his position to offer to have judgment entered against
themselves  in  order to be eligible for Rule 68s enhanced  cost-
shifting might deter them from offering to settle at all.  And at
least one state, California, considers offers for dismissal  with
prejudice  in  lieu  of entry of judgment to  be  valid  for  the
purpose of its offer of judgment rule.13
          These   considerations  might  be   relevant   to   the
legislature  if it were considering whether to amend the  statute
that  presently specifies the text of our rule.  But we hold that
the  plain language of the existing statute and rule requires  an
offeror  to make an offer that allows for entry of judgment.   We
also  hold that a dismissal with prejudice is not a judgment  for
purposes  of Rule 68.  We will not rewrite textually clear  rules
of  procedure  to  advance  the broad,  abstract  goals  arguably
attributed to those rules.  Not all offers of settlement  satisfy
Rule  68.14   Only  offers to allow judgment to  be  entered  can
satisfy Rule 68.
          Because the offer did not offer to allow judgment to be
entered,  it  was not a valid offer under Rule  68.   Dr.  Sayers
offer  reflected  his  unwillingness  to  have  judgment  entered
against him.  He was entitled to make that choice, but he is  not
entitled  to  reap  the  benefits of Rule 68  without  subjecting
himself to its detriments.
          In   Haberkorn  v.  Chrysler  Corp.  (Two  Cases),  the
          Michigan Supreme Court similarly interpreted its offer of
judgment rule, Michigan Court Rule 2.405.15  The court held  that
an  offer  of  judgment  was defective  because  it  expressed  a
willingness to settle and to bring an end to the case, but not to
stipulate to the entry of judgment in a sum certain, as  required
by the rule.16  The court reasoned that the plain language of Rule
2.405  required  entry of judgment, not merely dismissal  of  the
case with prejudice, because dismissal would bring an end to  the
proceedings but not an adjudication on the merits.17
          Dr.  Sayer makes a number of additional arguments.   He
first asserts that the superior court erroneously required that a
valid  offer  allow for entry of judgment for or  against  either
party.   Bashaw responds that the superior court did not  require
any  specific  phrasing.  Because we hold that a valid  offer  of
judgment must allow judgment to be entered, and because the offer
called  only  for  dismissal  with prejudice  and  not  entry  of
judgment,  the offer was not a valid Rule 68 offer  of  judgment.
We  therefore do not need to determine whether a valid  offer  of
judgment  must explicitly allow for judgment to be taken  for  or
against a party.
          Second,  he  argues that the superior court incorrectly
relied  on Alaska case law interpreting an older version of  Rule
68,  which specified that the offeror must allow judgment  to  be
taken against him.18  Bashaw responds that the cases on which the
superior court relied interpreted the most recent version of  the
rule.19   Dr.  Sayers  argument is  not  persuasive  because  the
superior  court  does  not appear to have  relied  on  any  cases
interpreting an older version of Rule 68.
          Third, Dr. Sayer contends that because  Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 68 materially differs from Alaskas rule,20 Bashaw
mistakenly relied below on case law and treatises construing  the
federal  rule.21   Bashaw  responds  that  the  federal  rule  is
analogous because it also requires an offer to allow judgment  to
be  entered.  We have considered interpretations of the analogous
federal  rule  in interpreting Rule 68.22  But the  federal  rule
required that an offer of judgment offer to allow judgment to  be
taken  against  the  defending party,23  whereas  our  rule  only
requires  that an offer allow judgment to be entered.24   Federal
cases  and  treatises interpreting the federal rule are therefore
not  dispositive here.  The federal authority can nonetheless  be
instructive  to the extent the federal rule, like  Alaskas  rule,
requires that the offer offer to allow judgment to be taken.
          Fourth,  he argues that requiring an offer of  judgment
to allow judgment to be taken against a party would lead to silly
results  and  would  serve  no useful purpose.   For  example,  a
plaintiff  or  defendant might offer[] to have  judgment  entered
against  plaintiff, if defendant will pay $10,000  to  plaintiff.
(Emphasis added.)  Bashaw responds that [t]he fact that  creative
attorneys  could  propose  offers  that  are  difficult,  if  not
impossible, to understand does not suggest that the plain meaning
of   Rule  68  should  be  ignored.   We  are  unpersuaded   that
interpreting  Rule  68s requirement of an offer  of  judgment  to
actually  require  an  offer  for  entry  of  a  judgment   would
necessarily  lead to silly results.25  And we have  detailed  the
          useful purposes of such a requirement above.
          Fifth,  he argues that seeking dismissal with prejudice
did  not render the offer invalid under Rule 68.  Bashaw responds
that to be valid the offer must also contain a provision offering
judgment.  Although the inclusion of nonmonetary terms  does  not
necessarily invalidate an otherwise valid offer of judgment,26  a
valid  offer must also include an offer to allow judgment  to  be
entered.
          Sixth, he argues that because an offer of judgment  may
have  to be enforced by the offeree if the offeror does not  pay,
an  offer for dismissal with prejudice is more favorable  to  the
offeree.  Bashaw responds that because a judgment can be directly
enforced  without  filing a new proceeding, a  judgment  is  more
favorable  to  the offeree than an accepted offer followed  by  a
dismissal  with prejudice.  She also argues that this was  not  a
basis  for the superior courts ruling, and that there is risk  of
noncompliance and cumbersome post-agreement litigation with  both
methods.   Dr.  Sayers argument is unpersuasive because  ease  of
enforcement is irrelevant to determining an offers legal validity
under Rule 68, although we note that a judgment may be preferable
as a policy matter because it is more easily enforced.
          Seventh, he argues that because the offer he made would
have  extinguished  all of Bashaws claims, it  was  an  offer  of
judgment.27   Bashaw responds that even though Dr.  Sayers  offer
would have extinguished all of her claims had she accepted it, it
was  still not an offer of judgment for purposes of Rule 68.   We
hold  that  although extinguishment of all claims is a  necessary
component  of a valid offer of judgment,28 it is insufficient  to
render valid an otherwise invalid offer.
          Eighth,   he  argues  that  [a]  provision   that   the
plaintiffs  case  will be dismissed with prejudice  is  routinely
found  in offers of judgment.  Bashaw argues that the cases cited
by  Dr. Sayer do not support his proposition.  The offers in  the
two  cases appear to have contained provisions offering to  allow
judgment to be entered in addition to the provisions allowing for
dismissal  with prejudice.29  They therefore do not  support  the
proposition for which he cites them.

          Ninth, he argues that a dismissal with prejudice  is  a
type  of  judgment.30  Bashaw responds that although a  dismissal
with prejudice may be considered a judgment in other contexts, it
is  not  necessarily a judgment for the purpose of Rule  68.   As
discussed  above, dismissal with prejudice is not a judgment  for
the  purpose of Rule 68; the cases Dr. Sayer cites are not to the
contrary.
          Finally, he argues that although [t]here is very little
in  the  legislative record, the legislative history  supports  a
broader  interpretation of the rule because legislators  referred
to  the  rule  as  both an Offer of Settlement and  an  Offer  of
Judgment  rule.  Bashaw responds that [t]he available legislative
history   sheds   little  light  on  legislative   intent.    The
legislative  history  is not sufficiently clear  or  on-point  to
contradict  the plain meaning of the 1980 statute  that  was  the
source of the relevant words in Rule 68.31
          Bashaw  contingently argues that if we  hold  that  the
offer  was  a  valid  offer of judgment, we should  consider  her
arguments  that the offer was unreasonable or made in bad  faith.
Because  we  conclude that the offer was not  a  valid  offer  of
judgment, we do not need to address these contentions.

IV.  CONCLUSION
          The  superior  courts order denying Rule  68  attorneys
fees is AFFIRMED.
                                                            
_______________________________
     1     Bashaws complaint alleged that she was fired from  her
position  as  a  surgical  services manager  at  South  Peninsula
Hospital  in  violation  of  the Alaska  Whistleblower  Act.   AS
39.90.100   et  seq.   Bashaw  later  filed  amended   complaints
containing  additional allegations, including an allegation  that
Dr.  Sayer  intentionally interfered with her contract  with  the
hospital.

     2    The text of the offer stated:

                       OFFER OF JUDGMENT
          
               1.    Defendant  Dr. Paul Sayer  through
          his  lawyer Tim Dooley of the Law  Office  of
          Tim  Dooley hereby makes a Rule 68  offer  of
          judgment  by  which Paul Sayer  will  pay  to
          plaintiff  Elizabeth  Bashaw  the  amount  of
          $10,111.00 inclusive of costs, interest,  and
          attorney fees.
               2.    This offer contemplates that if it
          is   accepted,   Elizabeth  Bashaws   lawsuit
          against   Paul  Sayer  will  be   immediately
          dismissed with prejudice.
               3.    If  this offer of judgment is  not
          beaten  by Elizabeth Bashaw, Paul Sayer  will
          request that Ms. Bashaw pay the statutory 75%
          of  reasonable actual attorney fees and  100%
          of his costs under AS 09.30.065(a)(1).
          
     3     Dr.  Sayer had also requested $20,115 in Alaska  Civil
Rule 79 costs and was awarded costs of $16,670.50.

     4     Mackie  v. Chizmar, 965 P.2d 1202, 1204 (Alaska  1998)
(The  interpretation  of Rule 68 is a question  of  law  that  we
review de novo . . . .); see also Lowell v. Hayes, 117 P.3d  745,
750  (Alaska 2005) (Whether Rule 68 is applicable to a given case
is  a question of law. (citing Van Deusen v. Seavey, 53 P.3d 596,
603-04 (Alaska 2002))).

     5     Mackie,  965  P.2d at 1204 (internal  quotation  marks
omitted)  (quoting Jaso v. McCarthy, 923 P.2d  795,  801  (Alaska
1996)).

     6     Rule  68(a),  as applied to cases filed  on  or  after
August 7, 1997, reads in pertinent part:

               (a)   At  any  time more  than  10  days
          before  the  trial begins, either  the  party
          making a claim or the party defending against
          a  claim may serve upon the adverse party  an
          offer  to  allow judgment to  be  entered  in
          complete  satisfaction of the claim  for  the
          money  or property or to the effect specified
          in the offer, with costs then accrued.
               . . . .
          
     7    Alaska R. Civ. P. 68(b).  Rule 68(b) allows the offeror
to recover seventy-five, fifty, or thirty percent of the offerors
reasonable  actual post-offer attorneys fees, depending  on  when
the offeror made the offer.  The parties appear to agree that the
offer  was  made no later than 60 days after the date established
in  the pretrial order for initial disclosures required by  Civil
Rule  26,  so if the offer was a valid offer of judgment,  Bashaw
would  be required by Rule 68(b)(1) to pay Dr. Sayer seventy-five
percent of his reasonable actual attorneys fees incurred after he
made the offer.  Alaska R. Civ. P. 68(b)(1).

     8     As adopted in 1959, former Rule 68 stated in pertinent
part a party defending against a claim may serve upon the adverse
party an offer to allow judgment to be taken against him.  Alaska
Supreme Court Order No. 5 (October 9, 1959) (emphasis added).  In
1980  the  legislature added a new subsection to AS 45.45.010  (a
statute  relating to offers of judgment) that read  in  pertinent
part  either  the  party making a claim or  the  party  defending
against  a  claim may serve upon the adverse party  an  offer  to
allow  judgment  to be entered.  Ch. 107,  3, SLA 1980  (emphasis
added).   This  appears to be the first time the  to  be  entered
language appears in the statutes or rules pertaining to offers of
judgment.  The 1980 act stated that it was not amending Rule  68.
Ch.  107,   5,  SLA  1980.   In 1981 the  legislature  moved  the
subsection of AS 45.45.010 quoted above from Title 45 to Title 9.
Ch.  48,   1,  SLA  1981.   In 1986 the legislature  amended  the
language  of AS 09.30.065 in a way not relevant to the issues  in
this  case.  See ch. 139,  2, SLA 1986.  In 1987 we amended  Rule
68  to  incorporate the to be entered language from AS 09.30.065.
Alaska  Supreme  Court  Order No. 818 (April  22,  1987).   Later
amendments  to the statute and rule in 1997 and to  the  rule  in
2005  are not relevant to the issues in this case.  See  ch.  26,
16-17,  52, SLA 1997; Alaska Supreme Court Order No. 1281 (August
7, 1997); Alaska Supreme Court Order No. 1565 (February 1, 2005).

     9    AS 09.30.065; Alaska R. Civ. P. 68.

     10    See, e.g., Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann.  13-17-202 (2008) (an
offer  of  settlement); Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann.  52-192a (2008)  (a
written  offer of compromise . . . offering to settle  the  claim
underlying  the  action); Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.442 (a  proposal  for
settlement); N.D. R. Civ. P. 68(a) (an offer. . . to enter into a
stipulation  dismissing  the  claim);  Tex.  R.  Civ.  P  167.1-7
(settlement offer); Utah R. Civ. P. 68 (an offer); Wyo.  R.  Civ.
P. 68 (an offer . . . to settle a claim).

     11    AS 09.30.065; Alaska R. Civ. P. 68.

     12     Cook  Schuhmann & Groseclose, Inc. v. Brown  &  Root,
Inc.,  116  P.3d  592, 598 (Alaska 2005); see also  Fernandes  v.
Portwine, 56 P.3d 1, 9 (Alaska 2002).

     13    Californias offer of judgment rule was amended in 1997.
The  pre-amendment  rule was similar to ours,  stating  that  any
party  may serve an offer in writing upon any other party to  the
action  to  allow judgment to be taken.  Cal. Code Civ.  P.   998
(amended  1997).   The  current version allows  offers  to  allow
judgment  to be taken or an award to be entered.  Cal. Code  Civ.
P.   998.   California courts have held that an offer of judgment
is  valid under either the pre- or post-amendment version of  the
rule if it calls for dismissal with prejudice in lieu of entry of
judgment.   Peterson v. John Crane, Inc., 65 Cal. Rptr.  3d  185,
189  (Cal.  App. 2007) (holding, under post-amendment version  of
rule,  that [a]lthough section 998 refers to entry of a  judgment
or  award, an offer that provides for the plaintiffs dismissal of
the  action with prejudice is a valid form of offer under section
998);  American  Airlines, Inc. v. Sheppard,  Mullin,  Richter  &
Hampton,  117 Cal. Rptr. 2d 685, 713-14 (Cal. App. 2002) (holding
that  offer calling for dismissal with prejudice in lieu of entry
of  judgment  was  valid under pre-amendment  offer  of  judgment
rule); Goodstein v. Bank of San Pedro, 32 Cal. Rptr. 2d 740, 743-
44  (Cal.  App.  1994) (defining judgment for  purposes  of  pre-
amendment rule as any final disposition of lawsuit).

     14    Myers v. Snow White Cleaners & Linen Supply, Inc., 770
P.2d  750,  752-53  (Alaska 1989) (holding that  only  settlement
offers that are sufficiently definite, irrevocable for ten  days,
and  made  more  than  ten  days before trial  offer  protections
required to earn fee award under Rule 68).

     15     Haberkorn v. Chrysler Corp. (Two Cases),  533  N.W.2d
373,  378  (Mich.  1995).  Four states currently  have  offer  of
judgment rules similar to ours.  Ariz. R. Civ. P. 68 (stating any
party  may serve upon any other party an offer to allow  judgment
to  be entered in the action); Mich. R. Civ. P. 2.405(B) (stating
a  party  may  serve  on the adverse party  a  written  offer  to
stipulate to the entry of a judgment); Minn. R. Civ. P.  68.01(a)
(stating   any   party   may  serve   upon   an   adverse   party
a[n]  . . . offer to allow judgment to be entered); N.M. R.  Civ.
P.  1-068(A) (stating any party may serve upon any adverse  party
an  offer  to allow an appropriate judgment to be entered).   But
only  Michigan has addressed the issue whether a valid  offer  of
judgment must allow judgment to be entered.

     16    Haberkorn, 533 N.W.2d at 386.

     17    Id. at 385-86.

     18     Former  Alaska  R. Civ. P. 68(a), amended  by  Alaska
Supreme Court Order No. 818 (April 22, 1987).

     19     The superior court cited Smith v. CSK Auto, Inc., 132
P.3d  818, 820 (Alaska 2006), and Lowell v. Hayes, 117 P.3d  745,
760 (Alaska 2005), both of which were decided under the new rule.

     20     Fed. R. Civ. P. 68 (amended 2007).  As of December 1,
2007,  the federal rule no longer requires that judgment be taken
against  the  defending party.  Fed. R. Civ.  P.  68  &  advisory
committees notes.

     21     See, e.g., Marek v. Chesny, 473 U.S. 1, 6 (1985);  12
Charles  Alan  Wright,  Arthur R. Miller  &  Richard  L.  Marcus,
Federal Practice and Procedure  3002 (2d ed. 1997).

     22    See, e.g., Lowell, 117 P.3d at 760 n.75 (citing federal
cases and treatise to support statement that the general rule  is
that  a  Rule 68 settlement offer may include language  that  the
offer  is not an admission of liability); Mackie v. Chizmar,  965
P.2d  1202, 1204-05 (Alaska 1998) (noting that our rule is  based
on  federal  rule, consider[ing] . . . the scope of Federal  Rule
68,  and quoting from sources discussing federal rule); Rules  v.
Sturn,  661  P.2d  615, 618 (Alaska 1983) (quoting  from  sources
discussing federal rule).

     23    Fed. R. Civ. P. 68 (amended 2007).

     24    Alaska R. Civ. P. 68(a).

     25     For  example, we have approved the use of a  Rule  68
offer  of judgment form containing the following sample language:
Defendant,  pursuant  to Civil Rule 68, hereby  offers  to  allow
entry  of  judgment for plaintiff . . . .  Farnsworth v. Steiner,
601 P.2d 266, 269 & n.3 (Alaska 1979).

     26     Cook Schuhmann & Groseclose v. Brown & Root, 116 P.3d
592,   599   (Alaska  2005)  (holding  valid  offer  of  judgment
containing unambiguous and unconditional nonmonetary provisions);
see  also  Lowell, 117 P.3d at 760 (holding that valid  offer  of
judgment  may  include language that offer is  not  admission  of
liability); Jaso v. McCarthy, 923 P.2d 795, 801-02 (Alaska  1996)
(holding  that  valid  offer of judgment  may  require  party  to
satisfy  liens); Grow v. Ruggles, 860 P.2d 1225, 1227-28  (Alaska
1993)  (holding that valid offer of judgment may state that party
is responsible for liens).

     27     Dr. Sayer cites Fernandes v. Portwine, 56 P.3d  1,  9
(Alaska 2002), for the proposition that a valid offer of judgment
must be comprehensive and must settle all claims.

     28    See Alaska R. Civ. P. 68(a) (requiring that valid offer
complete[ly] satisf[y] claim).

     29    See Fernandes, 56 P.3d at 8 (offering to have judgment
entered  in favor of plaintiffs, but also providing for dismissal
of  counterclaims); Gossett v. Era Meyeres Real Estate, 787  P.2d
1025,  1025 (Alaska 1990) (noting that [t]he offer and acceptance
were  filed and a final judgment was entered as follows: judgment
is  hereby  entered  in  favor of plaintiffs  Perry  Gossett  and
Marilyn M. Gossett in the amount of $100,000 ).

     30    Dr. Sayer cites in support Smith v. CSK Auto, Inc., 132
P.3d   818,  820  (Alaska  2006)  (holding  that  dismissal  with
prejudice  is  judgment  for  purposes  of  res  judicata),   and
Albritton  v.  Larsons Estate, 428 P.2d 379,  382  (Alaska  1967)
(holding  that  dismissal with prejudice is  judgment  under  old
definition from former Rule 54(d)).

     31     Alaska  Natl Ins. Co. v. Northwest Cedar  Structures,
Inc.,  153 P.3d 336, 339 (Alaska 2007) (stating that we  consider
language,   purpose,  and  legislative  history  in  interpreting
statute,  and that [i]n order to interpret a statute contrary  to
its  plain meaning, the plainer the language, the more convincing
contrary  legislative history must be (internal  quotation  marks
omitted)  (citing In re Estate of Maldonado, 117  P.3d  720,  725
(Alaska  2005); Alderman v. Iditarod Props., Inc., 32  P.3d  373,
393 (Alaska 2001))).

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