Stipulation Definition in Pittsburgh
A stipulation, in a civil case in state or federal courts, is an agreement between the two parties. This is a formal, legal agreement and is often submitted in writing to the court. Often, it related to a procedural matter, such as when the plaintiff and defendant agree to extend time to complete discovery or a deadline to submit their information after discovery.
Stipulations occur regularly in civil actions and can help speed the process along. In some cases, they increase judicial efficiency and make it easier for the jury to deliver a verdict. They can also play a key role in reducing conflict during the litigation process, especially when the opposing parties use them to agree on certain facts before a trial begins.
If you need to take your case to court, the personal injury lawyers at Berger and Green can help you navigate the litigation process. Contact our Pittsburgh office at 412-661-1400 for a free case evaluation.
When Are Stipulations Used in Civil Cases?
Plaintiffs and defendants can agree to a stipulation before or during a hearing or trial. Stipulations are frequently made to dictate procedural matters in a way that is mutually beneficial for both parties. If both litigants need more time to collect evidence, for example, they might agree to an extension. As long as this does not violate laws or orders from the court, this is usually accepted.
Stipulations may also deal with factual matters. In many cases, there are some aspects of the story that both parties can agree on. There is no reason to discuss these in court, since both the plaintiff and the defendant agree on them. Using stipulations, they can help the judge and jury better understand the questions left to answer. When this happens, the parties will often agree to a number of facts about a case in advance of the trial and submit these stipulations in writing.
They can also make stipulations during the court proceedings. These can be about general facts of the case or other factual or procedural matters. For example, it is not uncommon for the plaintiff and defendant to agree on the qualifications of an expert witness or to allow the use of video testimony from a long-distance witness.
How Are Stipulations Used in Pittsburgh Courtrooms?
In general, stipulations made in court are oral, while those made out of court are generally submitted in writing. There are some cases where a judge may accept a verbal stipulation not made in court, such as those in a deposition in the presence of a court reporter. In other cases, they may require a written stipulation even when the oral agreement occurs on the court record.
Judges usually make it as easy as possible for the parties to make stipulations and file them with the court. They generally simplify the case and help the court work more efficiently. Judges typically have to accept a valid stipulation, although they may occasionally question the parties about them. Once a judge presents stipulations to the jury, he or she will instruct them to accept the information in the stipulation as fact.
Berger and Green: Pittsburgh Personal Injury Attorneys
If you suffered injuries in an incident a negligent party caused, we can help you pursue an insurance claim or litigate your case to recover the money you deserve. Call the Berger and Green office at 412-661-1400 today to talk with a knowledgeable member of our legal team.