In my practice, it's rare that an opposing lawyer asks at a deposition if I'll agree to "the usual stipulations." When it happens, I always say no. Until I know exactly what the usual stipulations are, how can I agree to them? I need them spelled out first, preferably on the record.
The meaning of a request to agree to the usual stipulations also depends on the jurisdiction. Here are some articles from specific jurisdictions that discuss "the usual stipulations"--
- Connecticut: "Defending the Witness," by Ralph Monaco;
- New York: "Tips for Deposing a Personal Injury Plaintiff," by David A. Glazer;
- California: "The Dangers of the 'Usual Stipulation' in Deposition Practice," by Steven Archer.
There are also a few thoughts about the usual stipulations in "Deposition Tips," by Ernest Svenson. The gist of all of these sources is as follows: why would you let your opposing lawyer bully you into agreeing to something you don't understand? Have the stipulation spelled out, then agree or disagree based on whether it serves your client's interests. Follow this simple rule and you can't go wrong.