NEGOTIABLE. That which is capable of being transferred by assignment; a thing, the title to which may be transferred by a sale and indorsement or delivery.
2. A chose in action was not assignable at common law, and therefore contracts or agreements could not be negotiated. But exceptions have been allowed to this rule in relation to simple contracts, and others have been introduced by legislative acts. So that, now, bills of exchange, promissory notes, bills of lading, bank notes, payable to order, or to bearer, and, in some states, bonds and other specialties, may be transferred by assignment, indorsement, or by delivery, when the instrument is payable to bearer.
3. When a claim is assigned which is not negotiable at law, such, for example, as a book debt, the title to it remains at law in the assigner, but the assignee is entitled to it in equity, and he may therefore recover it in the assignor's name. See, generally, Hare & Wall. Sel. Dec. 158 to 194 Negotiable paper.