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What Is a Stipulation?

The term stipulation is most often seen in the context of contracts where it is defined as a condition that must be met in order for an agreement to be reached. The inability to meet this condition may result in the voiding of such an agreement, and in some cases, a contract. Another meaning given to the term stipulation is that of a mutual agreement between attorneys of opposing counsels who have agreed to certain conditions in order to save time, money, and effort, in a court trial. In every sense of the word, stipulation is akin to a condition or restriction.

In the first meaning of stipulation, the term does not necessarily appear in the text of a contract but can be manifested by a condition that is necessary to the agreement. For example, a real estate contract includes a stipulation that in the event of any form of fraud, the contract becomes null and void. It is also possible for both buyer and seller to provide their own stipulations before they both can consent to the purchase of the property. It is necessary to note that a stipulation must be reasonable, and that in the event that it is considered to be unreasonable, one must consult a lawyer before signing the contract into agreement.

The second meaning of stipulation involves lawyers of opposing counsels in a current court trial to settle certain facts out of court in order to present only the necessary arguments, evidence, and testimonies. A stipulation in this sense means the acceptance of a certain fact that can no longer be argued in court.

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