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An agreement between attorneys that concerns business before a court and is designed to simplify or shorten litigation and save costs. During the course of a civil lawsuit, criminal proceeding, or any other type of litigation, the opposing attorneys may come to an agreement about certain facts and issues. Such an agreement is called a stipulation. Courts look with favor on stipulations because they save time and simplify the matters that must be resolved. Stipulations are voluntary, however, and courts may not require litigants to stipulate with the other side. A valid stipulation is binding only on the parties who agree to it. Courts are usually bound by valid stipulations and are required to enforce them.

Parties may stipulate to any matter concerning the rights or obligations of the parties. The litigants cannot, however, stipulate as to the validity or constitutionality of a statute or as to what the law is, because such issues must be determined by the court.

Stipulations may cover a variety of matters. Parties are permitted to make stipulations to dismiss or discontinue an action, to prescribe the issues to be tried, or to admit, exclude, or withdraw evidence. During a court proceeding, attorneys often stipulate to allow copies of papers to be admitted into evidence in lieu of originals or to agree to the qualifications of a witness. The parties can also enter into agreements concerning the testimony an absent witness would give if he were present, and the stipulated facts can be used in evidence. Such evidentiary devices are used to simplify and expedite trials by dispensing with the need to prove uncontested factual issues.

Generally, parties to an action can stipulate as to an agreed statement of facts on which to submit their case to the court. Stipulations of this nature are encouraged by the courts. A number of other stipulations have been held to be valid, including those that relate to attorneys' fees and costs.

A stipulation does not need to be in a particular form, provided it is definite and certain. A number of statutes and court rules provide that stipulations reached out of court must be in writing to prevent fraudulent claims of oral stipulation, circumvent disputes concerning the terms of the stipulation, and relieve the court of the burden of resolving such disputes. Though an oral stipulation in open court is binding, a stipulation made in the judge's chamber must be in writing.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


n. an agreement, usually on a procedural matter, between the attorneys for the two sides in a legal action. Some stipulations are oral, but the courts often require that the stipulation be put in writing, signed, and filed with the court.

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.


a term in an agreement or a promise.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

STIPULATION, contracts. In the Roman law, the contract of stipulation was made in the following manner, namely; the person to whom the promise was to be made, proposed a question to him from whom it was to proceed, fully expressing tho nature and extent of the engagement and, the question so proposed being answered in the affirmative, the obligation was complete.
     2. It was essentially necessary that both parties should speak, (so that a dumb man could not enter into a stipulation) that the person making the promise should answer conformably to the specific question, proposed, without any material interval of time, and with the intention of contracting an obligation.
     3. From the general use of this mode of contracting, the term stipulation has been introduced into common parlance, and, in modern language, frequently refer's to any thing which forms a material article of an agreement; though it is applied more correctly and more conformably to its original meaning to denote the insisting upon and requiring any particular engagement. 2 Evans' Poth. on Oblig. 19.
     4. In this contract the Roman law dispensed with an actual consideration. See, generally, Pothier, Oblig. P. 1, c. 1, s. 1, art. 5.
     5. In the admiralty courts, the first process is frequently to arrest the defendant, and then they take the recognizances or stipulation of certain fide jussors in the nature of bail. 3 Bl. Comm. 108; vide Dunlap's Adm. Practice, Index, h.t.
     6. These stipulations are of three sorts, namely: l. Judicatum solvi, by which the party is absolutely bound to pay such sum as may be adjudged by the court. 2 De judico sisti, by which he is bound to appear from time to time, during the pendency of the suit, and to abide the sentence. 3. De ratio, or De rato, by which he engages to ratify the acts of his proctor: this stipulation is not usual in the admiralty courts of the United States.
     7. The securities are taken in the following manner, namely: 1. Cautio fide jussoria, by sureties. 2. Pignoratitia; by deposit. 3. Juratoria, by oath: this security is given when the party is too poor to find sureties, at the discretion of the court. 4. Aude promissoria, by bare promise: this security is unknown in the admiralty courts of the United States. Hall's Adm. Pr. 12; Dunl. Adm. Pr. 150, 151. See 17 Am. Jur. 51.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Instead, the government affirmatively undermined the plea agreement by requesting a sentence inconsistent with its stipulation, effectively tripling its recommended sentence from the 10 months anticipated under the plea agreement to the 30 months at the low end of the post-lab report range calculated by the PSR.
It is noteworthy that the stipulations set for the construction of temporary boundary walls state the distance between the boundary panes must not be more than 5 cm and must not rise more than 20 cm from the ground.
The court thus, denied Estrada's motion in so far as his request to exclude the proposed stipulation and to correct the descriptions.
Despite agreeing with Standard Fire that the damages and attorneys' fees would likely exceed $5 million, a district court ruled that Knowles' suit should go back to state court because of his stipulation that he and the class wouldn't seek more than $5 million in damages.
Defendants have presented a number of arguments in opposition to plaintiffs' attorneys' "binding stipulations" and efforts at making end runs around CAFA.
(19) It emphasized that, because "[a] district court loses all power over determinations of the merits of a case when it is voluntarily dismissed" under Rule 41(a) (1)(A)(ii), it "cannot retain jurisdiction by issuing a postdismissal order to that effect." (20) Thus, rather than treating Kokkonen as an exception to the self-executing nature of stipulations filed under Rule 41(a)(l)(A)(ii), the 11th Circuit interpreted its language "to mean that the parties must agree to the district court's order retaining jurisdiction, not that the district court may enter a dismissal order when it would otherwise lack jurisdiction to do so." (21)
There is a relationship between alcohol and performance, but I wonder how much the officer who suggested the stipulations has relied on empirical research?
Stipulations of fact serve several purposes at trial.
One way to think about the occasional judicial distaste for liquidated damages is to see that nearly all stipulations can beget overliquidation, with its risk of wasteful behavior.
Remember the value of streamlining your case when reviewing whether an issue is appropriate for stipulations. You and your opposing counsel should consider several aspects of the case.
In this subrogation action to recover insurance benefits paid to the plaintiff's insured, the plaintiff failed to comply with a so-ordered stipulation that contained a conditional order of preclusion which had required it to produce discovery responses by a certain date, and the Supreme Court, Queens County (Dorsa, J.), granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint.
The primary objection to the draft was that required stipulations run counter to best practices normally followed in the private sector.