Barratry Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Barratry, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Barratry?

(n) Barratry is the judicial proceeding or legal actions on a legally un-sustaining or groundless matters initiated as per the advices or directions of the legal advisors who will be benefited when the clients acts on their advice. Barratry is adopted by attorneys to extract fee from their clients.

History and Meaning of Barratry

Barratry is a term that has been used in the legal profession for a long time, and it refers to the act of bringing unmerited legal actions or lawsuits. It is the practice of bringing a groundless legal claim or lawsuits without having a legal interest in the matter by encouraging clients for their own gain.

In the past, barratry has been considered a serious offense and is illegal in most legal jurisdictions. Today, it may be considered more of a breach of ethics for legal professionals, and it can result in disciplinary action or disbarment.

Examples of Barratry

  • A lawyer encourages several clients to file a lawsuit against a company for a minor workplace issue with the intent of justifying his high legal fees.
  • A lawyer might encourage a client to pursue a lawsuit against a person or entity that has harmed the client over the telephone without ever meeting the client.

Legal Terms Similar to Barratry

  • Champerty: Champerty refers to an agreement in which a person agrees to finance a lawsuit for a share of the profits, which is similar to barratry in that it can lead to frivolous lawsuits.
  • Frivolous Lawsuit: Frivolous lawsuits are groundless lawsuits that have no legal merit, much like barratry.
  • Contingency Fee Agreement: In a contingency fee agreement, a lawyer receives a percentage of any settlement or judgment won in the case as payment for legal services. If the case has no merit and the lawyer encourages the client to pursue it for the contingency fee, it is similar to barratry.