Settlement Agreement and Stipulation

When it comes to legal matters, the terms “settlement agreement” and “stipulation” are often used interchangeably. However, they have different meanings and implications in legal proceedings. As a professional, I have put together an article to shed light on these terms and help people understand their differences.

Settlement Agreement

A settlement agreement is a legally binding document that outlines the terms of a settlement reached between two parties. Settlement agreements are often used in civil cases, such as personal injury lawsuits, business disputes, and employment disputes. Settlement agreements are typically negotiated between the parties involved in the dispute, with the assistance of their lawyers.

The terms of a settlement agreement vary depending on the specifics of the case. However, some common terms in settlement agreements include a release of claims against the other party, an agreement not to sue in the future, a payment of money to one party, and a promise by one party to perform a certain action or refrain from taking a certain action.

Settlement agreements are considered confidential, meaning that the terms of the agreement cannot be disclosed to third parties, unless agreed upon by both parties. Additionally, settlement agreements are often used to avoid the expense and uncertainty of a trial.


A stipulation, on the other hand, is an agreement between the parties involved in a case that outlines certain facts or legal issues. Stipulations are often used in criminal and civil cases to simplify the legal proceedings and avoid unnecessary disputes.

Stipulations can cover a range of issues, including the admissibility of evidence, the identity of witnesses, and the legal standards that apply to the case. Stipulations may also be used to narrow the issues that will be presented at trial, thus making the trial more efficient.

Unlike settlement agreements, stipulations are not usually confidential. Instead, they are filed with the court and become part of the public record. Additionally, unlike settlement agreements, stipulations do not usually resolve the entire case. Instead, they are used to simplify the legal proceedings and make the case more manageable.


In conclusion, settlement agreements and stipulations are both important legal documents that are used to resolve disputes and simplify legal proceedings. Although the terms are often used interchangeably, they have different meanings and implications in legal proceedings. Understanding the difference between settlement agreements and stipulations is important for anyone involved in legal disputes, or who is simply seeking a better understanding of the legal system.