Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary

    The offense of practicing the excitement of quarrels or litigation. See 36 Am. Rep. 579. A grossly negligent or unlawful act of a master or crew of a ship, without the owner’s authority. See 3 L. Ed. (U. S.) 481.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    In maritime law. An act committed by the master or mariners of a vessel, for some unlawful or fraudulent purpose, contrary to their duty to the owners, whereby the latter sustain Injury. It may include negligence, if so gross as to evidence fraud. Marcardier v. Insurance Co., 8 Cranch, 49, 3 L. Ed. 481; Atkinson v. Insurance Co., 65 N. Y. 538; Atkinson v. Insurance Co , 4 Daly (N. Y.) 16; Patapsco Ins. Co. v. Coulter, 3 Pet. 231, 7 L. Ed. 659; Lawton v. Insurance Co., 2 Cush. (Mass.) 501; Earle v. Rowcroft, 8 East, 135. Barratry is some fraudulent act of the master or mariners, tending to their own banefit, to the prejudice of the owner of the vessel, without his privity or consent. Kendrick v. Delafield, 2 Caines (N. Y.) 67. Barratry is a generic term, which includes many acts of various kinds and degrees. It comprehends any unlawful, fraudulent, or dishonest act of the master or mariners, and every violation of duty by them arising from gross and culpable negligence contrary to their duty to the owner of the vessel, and which might work loss or injury to him in the course of the voyage insured. A mutiny of the crew, and forcible dispossession by them of the master and other officers from the ship, is' a form of barratry. Greene v. Pacific Mut. Ins. Co.., 9 Allen (Mass.) 217. In criminal law. Common barratry is the piactice of exciting groundless judicial proceedings. Pen. Code Cal. § 158; Pen. Dak. § 191; Lucas v. Pico, 55 Cal. 128; Com. v. McCulloch, 15 Mass. 229. Also spelled "Barretry," which see. In Scotch law. The crime committed by a judge who receives a bribe for hls judgment. Skene; Brande.