Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Negotiate Definition:

To communicate on a matter of disagreement between two parties, with a view to first listen to the other party's perspective and to then attempt to arrive at a resolution by consensus.

Related Terms: Negotiation, Mediation

In Mason v Mazel, Justice Wood of the California Court of Appeals wrote:

"Negotiate means to treat with a view to coming to terms upon some matter, as a purchase or sale, a treaty, etc.; to conduct communications or conferences as a basis of agreement; as, to negotiate for the purchase of a house."

The Superior Court of Pennsylvania, in Werner v Hendricks (1936), held:

"To negotiate is to transact business, to treat with another respecting a purchase and sale, to hold intercourse, to bargain or trade, to conduct communications or conferences. It is that which passes between parties or their agents in the course of or incident to the making of a contract; it is also conversation in arranging terms of contract."

In Aronovitch & Leipsic v. Berney, Justice Beard spent some time in the judge's library in adopting these words and to bring together this amalgam of the term negotiate:

"Confer with another with a view to compromise or agreement ... Arrange, bring about, by negotiating... To communicate with another party for the purpose of reaching an understanding.

"To bring about by discussion or bargaining."

In bills of exchange or other negotiable instruments, the term negotiate means to sell.1


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