from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The offense of persistently instigating lawsuits, typically groundless ones.
- n. An unlawful breach of duty on the part of a ship's master or crew resulting in injury to the ship's owner.
- n. Sale or purchase of positions in church or state.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. the act of persistently instigating lawsuits, often groundless ones
- n. the sale and/or purchase of political positions of power
- n. unlawful or fraudulent acts by the crew of a vessel, harming the vessel's owner.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The practice of exciting and encouraging lawsuits and quarrels.
- n. A fraudulent breach of duty or willful act of known illegality on the part of a master of a ship, in his character of master, or of the mariners, to the injury of the owner of the ship or cargo, and without his consent. It includes every breach of trust committed with dishonest purpose, as by running away with the ship, sinking or deserting her, etc., or by embezzling the cargo.
- n. The crime of a judge who is influenced by bribery in pronouncing judgment.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The purchase or sale of ecclesiastical preferments or of offices of state. See barrator, 1, 3.
- n. In old Scots law, the taking of bribes by a judge.
- n. The fraud or offense committed by a barrator. See barrator, 4.
- n. A vexatious and persistent inciting of others to lawsuits and litigation; a stirring up and maintaining of controversies and litigation. This is a criminal offense at common law.
- n. Also barretry, especially in the last sense.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. traffic in ecclesiastical offices or preferments
- n. (maritime law) a fraudulent breach of duty by the master of a ship that injures the owner of the ship or its cargo; includes every breach of trust such as stealing or sinking or deserting the ship or embezzling the cargo
- n. the crime of a judge whose judgment is influenced by bribery
- n. the offense of vexatiously persisting in inciting lawsuits and quarrels
In criminal and civil law, barratry is the act or practice of bringing repeated legal actions solely to harass.
In another oration of Demosthenes we discover glimpses of what by many has been deemed maritime insurance, or rather of the fraud at present called barratry, which is practised to defraud the insurer: but, as Park in his learned Treatise on Marine Insurance has satisfactorily proved, the ancients were certainly ignorant of maritime insurance; though there can be no doubt frauds similar to those practised at present were practised.
A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels - Volume 18 Historical Sketch of the Progress of Discovery, Navigation, and Commerce, from the Earliest Records to the Beginning of the Nineteenth Century, By William Stevenson
It is not the same as barratry, which is active encouragement of lawsuits.
Texas law prohibits anyone from soliciting clients for lawyers - a third-degree felony known as barratry, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
(The judge passed over the complaint about "barratry" in silence.)
In his court response, he accused Righthaven of "barratry," defined as
Based on past experience, I believe that this earns him an indulgence from the Online Left on anything up to barratry (naval definition).
The police are on the way to charge you with attempted swinicide, assault and battery, kidnapping, grievous bodily harm and barratry.
I seem to recall that barratry is allowed in Canada, though I confess I cannot now find evidence of it via a cursory web search.
Eric @77, how about this: a statue of limitations, honoring the heroic sacrifice of the many downtrodden legal professionals who were tragically disbarred for barratry, in the form of a gigantic bronze were-pit-bull defeating a craven Lady Justice.