Barratry meaning

bărə-trē
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The act or practice of bringing a groundless lawsuit or lawsuits.
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An unlawful breach of duty on the part of a ship's master or crew resulting in injury to the ship's owner.
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Sale or purchase of positions in church or state.
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(obs.) The buying or selling of ecclesiastical or civil positions.
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The criminal offense of habitually bringing about quarrels or lawsuits.
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(maritime law) Wrongful conduct on the part of a ship's officer or crew that results in loss to the owners.
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The persistent incitement or initiation of groundless lawsuits and quarrels. Was a crime under the common law and is a statutory crime in most states. See also abuse of process, champerty, and maintenance.
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(admiralty law) Unlawful or fraudulent acts by the crew of a vessel, harming the vessel's owner.
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Origin of barratry

  • Middle English barratrie the sale of church offices from Old French baraterie deception, malversation from barater to cheat barrator

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Early 15th century, in sense “sale of offices”, from Old French baraterie (“deceit, trickery”), from barat (“fraud, deceit, trickery”), of Unknown origin, perhaps Celtic. In marine sense of “unlawful acts causing loss to owner”, 1620s.

    From Wiktionary