(A) Definitions. As used in this rule:
(1) “Offer” means a written notification to an adverse party of the offeror’s willingness to stipulate to the entry of a judgment in a sum certain, which is deemed to include all costs and interest then accrued. If a party has made more than one offer, the most recent offer controls for the purposes of this rule.
(2) “Counteroffer” means a written reply to an offer, served within 21 days after service of the offer, in which a party rejects an offer of the adverse party and makes his or her own offer.
(3) “Average offer” means the sum of an offer and a counteroffer, divided by two. If no counteroffer is made, the offer shall be used as the average offer.
(4) “Verdict” includes,
(a) a jury verdict,
(b) a judgment by the court after a nonjury trial,
(c) a judgment entered as a result of a ruling on a motion after rejection of the offer of judgment.
(5) “Adjusted verdict” means the verdict plus interest and costs from the filing of the complaint through the date of the offer.
(6) “Actual costs” means the costs and fees taxable in a civil action and a reasonable attorney fee for services necessitated by the failure to stipulate to the entry of judgment.
(B) Offer. Until 28 days before trial, a party may serve on the adverse party a written offer to stipulate to the entry of a judgment for the whole or part of the claim, including interest and costs then accrued.
(C) Acceptance or Rejection of Offer.
(1) To accept, the adverse party, within 21 days after service of the offer, must serve on the other parties a written notice of agreement to stipulate to the entry of the judgment offered, and file the offer, the notice of acceptance, and proof of service of the notice with the court. The court shall enter a judgment according to the terms of the stipulation.
(2) An offer is rejected if the offeree
(a) expressly rejects it in writing, or
(b) does not accept it as provided by subrule (C)(1).
A rejection does not preclude a later offer by either party.
(3) A counteroffer may be accepted or rejected in the same manner as an offer.
(D) Imposition of Costs Following Rejection of Offer. If an offer is rejected, costs are payable as follows:
(1) If the adjusted verdict is more favorable to the offeror than the average offer, the offeree must pay to the offeror the offeror’s actual costs incurred in the prosecution or defense of the action.
(2) If the adjusted verdict is more favorable to the offeree than the average offer, the offeror must pay to the offeree the offeree’s actual costs incurred in the prosecution or defense of the action. However, an offeree who has not made a counteroffer may not recover actual costs unless the offer was made less than 42 days before trial.
(3) The court shall determine the actual costs incurred. The court may, in the interest of justice, refuse to award an attorney fee under this rule.
(4) Evidence of an offer is admissible only in a proceeding to determine costs.
(5) Proceedings under this rule do not affect a contract or relationship between a party and his or her attorney.
(6) A request for costs under this subrule must be filed and served within 28 days after the entry of the judgment or entry of an order denying a timely motion
(i) for a new trial,
(ii) too set aside the judgment, or
(iii) for rehearing or reconsideration.
(E) Relationship to Case Evaluation. Costs may not be awarded under this rule in a case that has been submitted to case evaluation under MCR 2.403 unless the case evaluation award was not unanimous.