Barratry

1. The act of a vessel’s captain or crew knowingly endangering the vessel’s crew, cargo and/or the vessel itself. Acts that are considered barratry include intentionally sinking the ship, transporting illegal immigrants, stealing cargo, deserting the ship, or taking commodities on board that would subject the vessel to seizure for smuggling.

2. An illegal act whereby an attorney instigates a dispute or otherwise encourages the filing of a lawsuit in order to profit from legal fees. Barratry typically involves the filing of a groundless claim in order to receive payment from clients. It is an illegal practice in all states and subject to criminal punishment and discipline by the state bar. An attorney found guild of barratry would generally face disbarment.

1. In maritime law, barratry refers to instances where a ship’s crew or captain intentionally commits acts that result in personal injury or financial losses. Barratry constitutes a breach of duty on the part of a ship’s captain or crew, and creates a cause of action under the Jones Act or General Maritime Law.

2. In law, barratry refers to an attorney’s illegal instigation of lawsuits with no legitimate claim. For barratry to be a criminal act, the accused must perform repeated and persistent acts of litigation. It is against the law for an attorney to look for accident victims in hospitals or at home in an attempt to solicit business. Such “ambulance chasers” could be found guilty of barratry.


Investment dictionary. . 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • barratry — bar·ra·try / bar ə trē/ n pl tries [Middle French baraterie deception, from barater to deceive, cheat] 1: an unlawful act or fraudulent breach of duty by a ship s master or crew that injures the interests of the ship s or cargo s owners often… …   Law dictionary

  • Barratry — is the name of two legal concepts, one in criminal and civil law, and one in admiralty law.Criminal and civil lawBarratry, in criminal and civil law, is the act or practice of bringing repeated legal actions solely to harass. Usually, the actions …   Wikipedia

  • Barratry — Bar ra*try, n. [Cf. F. baraterie, LL. barataria. See {Barrator}, and cf. {Bartery}.] 1. (Law) The practice of exciting and encouraging lawsuits and quarrels. [Also spelt {barretry}.] Coke. Blackstone. [1913 Webster] 2. (Mar. Law) A fraudulent… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • barratry — early 15c., sale of ecclesiastical or state offices, from O.Fr. baraterie deceit, guile, trickery, from barat malpractice, fraud, deceit, trickery, of unknown origin, perhaps from Celtic. In marine law, wrongful conduct by a ship s crew or… …   Etymology dictionary

  • barratry — [bar′ətrē, ber′ətrē] n. [Fr baraterie, orig., misuse of office < barater: see BARRATOR] 1. Obs. the buying or selling of ecclesiastical or civil positions 2. the criminal offense of habitually bringing about quarrels or lawsuits 3. Maritime… …   English World dictionary

  • barratry — Any act committed wilfully by the master or crew of a ship to the detriment of its owner or charterer. Examples include scuttling the ship and embezzling the cargo. Illegal activities (e. g. carrying prohibited persons) leading to the forfeiture… …   Big dictionary of business and management

  • barratry —   n. unlawful action by captain or seamen injuring owner or freighter of ship; inciting to litigation or riot; simony.    ♦ barrator, n. person habitually entering into quarrels and law suits.    ♦ barratous,    ♦ barratrous, a. quarrelsome;… …   Dictionary of difficult words

  • barratry — /baeratriy/ barratry or barretry The offense of frequently exciting and stirring up quarrels and suits, either at law or otherwise. State v. Batson, 220 N.C. 411, 17 S.E.2d 511, 512, 513. In maritime law, an act committed by master or mariners of …   Black's law dictionary

  • barratry — noun (plural tries) Etymology: Middle English (Scots) barratrie, from Anglo French *baraterie, literally, deception, from Old French barater to be active, do business, cause strife, deceive, perhaps from Vulgar Latin *prattare, from Greek… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • barratry — barratrous, adj. /bar euh tree/, n. Law. 1. fraud by a master or crew at the expense of the owners of the ship or its cargo. 2. the offense of frequently exciting and stirring up lawsuits and quarrels. 3. the purchase or sale of ecclesiastical… …   Universalium

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