champerty


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

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 ?
(12) The first motion to dismiss resulted in the court ordering the parties to conduct further discovery based on the champerty defense raised by WestLB, mainly because Justinian had not revealed the Agreement in its entirety.
The concerns raised by Rule 4-1.8(e) are that of the common law doctrines of champerty and maintenance, as well as the conflict of interest created when an attorney has a personal economic interest in the outcome of the matter.
In addition, as we discuss next, their transactions may suffer from an even greater infirmity: champerty.
its early roots in the doctrine of champerty to the rise of the
For further discussions of champerty, see: Laura Alfaro, Noel Maurer, and Faisal Ahmed, "Gunboats and Vultures: Market Reaction to the "Enforcement" of Sovereign Debt," April 2010, working paper.
Thankfully, third party funding is no longer illegal - prohibitions on champerty and maintenance have fallen away in most US states.
Unfortunately, because of path dependence, the academic and regulatory analysis has been trapped in what I call a "legal ethics paradigm": the view that litigation finance, where legal, is an extension of the contingency fee exception to the champerty doctrine (below) and the consequent regulation of litigation finance via the champerty doctrine and the rules of lawyers' professional responsibility.
Proponents make a number of contextual arguments in favor of removing the prohibition on lawyers charging contingency fees, including: lawyers in Australia can enter into costs agreements providing for the payment of conditional fees (conditional fee agreements)-, the abolition of the torts of maintenance and champerty and the more recent development of a litigation funding market in Australia; and the availability of contingency fees in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
(312) More historically, traditional rules against "maintenance" (313) or "champerty" (314) apparently reflected concern that third parties who invested in lawsuits "would foment excessive litigation for the purpose of harassment or personal gain." (315) Thus, both modern analysis and historical experience provide at least some basis for believing that calls for restraints on citizen suits are not without justification, although there is always the danger that an anti-private-enforcement backlash will overreach.
with specific issues, such as champerty and court delays.
Before the case of Arkin v Borchard Lines Ltd & Others (2005), there was considerable uncertainty over the effect of the medieval laws of "champerty" and "maintenance", or in common parlance "buying into someone else's lawsuit".