DEFINITION of 'Barratry'

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 U.S. states and subject to criminal punishment and discipline by the state bar. An attorney found guilty of barratry would generally face disbarment.


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.

  1. Bottomry

    When the owner of a ship borrows money and uses the ship itself ...
  2. Admiralty Court

    Any court governed by admiralty law, whether the court is officially ...
  3. Maritime Law

    A body of laws, conventions and treaties that governs international ...
  4. Incoterms

    Trade terms published by the International Chamber of Commerce ...
  5. Free On Board - FOB

    A trade term requiring the seller to deliver goods on board a ...
  6. Approved Delivery Facility

    A facility authorized by an exchange to be used as a location ...
Related Articles
  1. Insurance

    Are You Trying To Get Sued?!

    Organizational lawsuits are commonplace these days. Knowing how to react to and (more importantly) prevent them can save your business.
  2. Options & Futures

    Handcuffs And Smoking Guns: The Criminal Elements Of Wall Street

    From godfathers to perps, familiarize yourself with the "criminal elements" creeping around Wall Street.
  3. Personal Finance

    How To Pick The Right Lawyer

    Find out what factors to consider before hiring an attorney.
  4. Entrepreneurship

    Government Regulations: Do They Help Businesses?

    These rules are in place to protect consumers and help businesses thrive at the same time.
  5. Professionals

    Why Celebrity Lawyers Make The Big Bucks

    These lawyers take on high-profile, high-stress celebrity cases and are compensated well for it.
  6. Taxes

    Tax Court: Your Last Resort

    Appealing an unfavorable or unfair tax ruling may be your last chance to save your finances.
  7. Professionals

    4 Must Watch Films and Documentaries for Accountants

    Learn how these must-watch movies for accountants teach about the importance of ethics in a world driven by greed and financial power.
  8. Investing Basics

    4 Iconic Financial Companies That No Longer Exist

    Learn how poor management, frauds, scandals or mergers wiped out some of the most recognizable brands in the finance industry in the United States.
  9. Active Trading

    What Is A Pyramid Scheme?

    The FTC announced it had opened an official investigation of Herbalife, which has been accused of running a pyramid scheme. But what exactly does that mean?
  10. Investing Basics

    How Financial Statements Are Manipulated

    Financial statement manipulation is an ongoing problem, and investors who buy stocks or bonds should be aware of its signs and implications.
  1. What are some high-profile examples of wash trading schemes?

    In 2012, the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) was accused of a complex wash trading scheme to profit from a Canadian tax provision, ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What are examples of inherent risk?

    Inherent risk is the risk imposed by complex transactions that require significant estimation in assessing the impact on ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What is the difference between wash trading and insider trading?

    Wash trading is an illegal trading activity that artificially pumps up trading volume in a stock without the stock ever changing ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What impact did the Sarbanes-Oxley Act have on corporate governance in the United ...

    After a prolonged period of corporate scandals involving large public companies from 2000 to 2002, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Who are the most famous people convicted of insider trading?

    In finance, insider trading refers to the buying and selling of security by a person who has access to material non-public ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What's the difference between insider trading and insider information?

    Insider information is the knowledge of nonpublic material about a publicly traded company that may affect the stock's price. ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Barefoot Pilgrim

    A slang term for an unsophisticated investor who loses all of his or her wealth by trading equities in the stock market. ...
  2. Quick Ratio

    The quick ratio is an indicator of a company’s short-term liquidity. The quick ratio measures a company’s ability to meet ...
  3. Black Tuesday

    October 29, 1929, when the DJIA fell 12% - one of the largest one-day drops in stock market history. More than 16 million ...
  4. Black Monday

    October 19, 1987, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) lost almost 22% in a single day. That event marked the beginning ...
  5. Monetary Policy

    Monetary policy is the actions of a central bank, currency board or other regulatory committee that determine the size and ...
  6. Indemnity

    Indemnity is compensation for damages or loss. Indemnity in the legal sense may also refer to an exemption from liability ...
Trading Center