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

    An agreement between the owner of a claim and a volunteer, that the latter may take the claim and collect it at his own expense, dividing the proceeds with the owner. See 67 Vt. 233, 48 Am. St. Rep. 233, 31 Atl. 315.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    A bargain made by a stranger with one of the parties to a suit, by which such third person undertakes to carry on the litigation at his own cost and risk, in consideration of receiving, if he wins the suit, a part of the land or other subject sought to be recovered by the action. Small v. Mott, 22 Wend. (N. Y.) 405; Jewel v. Neidy, 61 Iowa,-299, 16 N. W. 141; Weakly v. Hall, 13 Ohio, 175, 42 Am. Dec. 194; Poe v. Davis, 29 Ala. 683 ; Gllman v. Jones, 87 Ala. 691, 5 South. 785, 7 South. 48, 4 L. R. A. 113; Torrence v. Shedd, 112 III. 466; Cas-serleigh v. Wood, 119 Fed. 308, 56 C. C. A. 212. The purchase of an interest in a thing In dispute, with the object of maintaining and taking part in the litigation. 7 Bing. 378. The act of assisting the plaintiff or defendant in a legal proceeding in which the person giving the assistance has no valuable interest, on an agreement that, if the proceeding is successful, the proceeds shall be divided between the plaintiff or defendant, as the case may be, and the assisting person. Sweet. Champerty is the carrying on a suit in the name of another, but at one's own expense, with the view of receiving as compensation a certain share of the avails of the suit. Ogden v. Des Ante, 4 Duer (N. Y.) 275. The distinction between champerty and maintenance lies in the Interest which the interfering party is to have in the issue of the suit. In the former case, he is to receive a share or portion of what may be recovered; In the latter case, he is in no way benefited by the sucoess of the party aided, but simply intermeddles officiously. Thus every champerty includes maintenance, but not every maintenance is champerty. See 2 Inst. 208; Stotsenburg v. Marks, 79 Ind. 196; Lytle v. Sinte, 17 Aria 624.