champerty


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champerty

n. an agreement between the party suing in a lawsuit (plaintiff) and another person, usually an attorney, who agrees to finance and carry the lawsuit in return for a percentage of the recovery (money won and paid.) In Common Law this was illegal on the theory that it encouraged lawsuits. Today it is legal and often part of a "contingent fee" agreement between lawyer and client. It is not the same as barratry which is active encouragement of lawsuits. (See: barratry)

champerty

see MAINTENANCE AND CHAMPERTY.

CHAMPERTY, crimes. A bargain with a plaintiff or defendant, campum partire, to divide the land or other matter sued for between them, if they prevail at law, the champertor undertaking to carry on the suit at his own expense. 1 Pick. 416; 1 Ham. 132; 5 Monr. 416; 4 Litt. 117; 5 John. Ch. R. 44; 7 Port. R. 488.
     2. This offence differs from maintenance, in this, that in the latter the person assisting the suitor receives no benefit, while in the former he receives one half, or other portion, of the thing sued for. See Punishment; Fine; Imprisonment; 4 Bl. Com. 135.
     3. This was an offence in the civil law. Poth. Pand. lib. 3, t. 1; App. n. 1, tom. 3, p. 104; 15 Ves. 139; 7 Bligh's R. 369; S. C. 20 E. C. L. R. 165; 5 Moore & P. 193; 6 Carr. & P. 749; S. C. 25 E. C. L. R. 631; 1 Russ. Cr. 179 Hawk. P. C. b. 1 c. 84, s. 5.
     4. To maintain a defendant may be champerty. Hawk. P. C. b. 1, c. 84, s. 8 3 Ham. 541; 6 Monr. 392; 8 Yerg. 484; 8 John. 479; 1 John. Ch. R. 444;, 7 Wend. 152; 3 Cowen, 624; 6 Cowen, 90.

References in periodicals archive ?
Even assuming the general prohibition against financial assistance is applicable to these circumstances, the committee is of the opinion that the underlying basis for the rule, the common law concerns of champerty and maintenance, does not appear to be present with the inquirer's facts.
thus never bound colonial jurisdictions), the doctrine of champerty was
maintenance and champerty from "the legal development of the
The current direct and indirect regulation of litigation finance, through common law doctrines such as champerty (direct) and legal ethics (indirect) should be radically revised to reflect economic reality.
Although the doctrines of champerty generally do not distinguish between the consumer and commercial purposes of legal investment and, therefore, treat all such contracts as legal or illegal depending on their structure, consumer credit laws (as their name implies) do not typically apply to commercial litigation investment.
Restrictions on champerty and maintenance traveled with English common law into the U.
While the practice of litigation financing has grown, and while courts in some states have essentially approved of the practice by abandoning the doctrines of champerty and maintenance, the practice operates in many states under a cloud of uncertainty regarding its legality.
Most recently, the New York Court of Appeals gave a narrow reading of the state's champerty laws in an Oct.
Meanwhile, trainer Arthur Moore has a great record at Downpatrick, winning the Ulster National with Champerty in 1980, and Green Black is likely to carry Moore's hopes.
Early decisions invoked the doctrines of maintenance and champerty to invalidate litigation funding agreements with commercial funders.
Things have changed in two ways: first, the definition of champerty has been narrowed, so that the concept prohibits less than it once did; second, a few states, such as Massachusetts and New Jersey, have done away with the practice altogether (51).
The court declared the practice of advancing funds secured only by an interest in a pending lawsuit--and in this case, at a rate exceeding 180 percent per year--to be maintenance and champerty, both of which are prohibited by state statutes.