Miss Clay has retreated to the sidelines, which is too bad, because I suppose it means I have to go back to work. But her parting shot seems to be calling for someone else to take up her cause, and that might just constitute the tort of champerty. Here’s what she posts:
Submitted on 2013/02/05 at 4:09 pm
Who would like to take this case? Seriously, I have no time working 24/7. Call me if you want it. I wasn’t “canned” by David Boies, so I think we’re set. I alerted Crius that this was going on as it’s a circus show now thanks to cf. This will be the last post I make. You all have been great fun. Thanks for all the kind comments. Best to you all.
And here’s how Wikipedia defines Champerty – I wouldn’t know whether they got it right, having failed law school and all that, but it seems to jibe with the definition I once read on the back of an “Inspiring Tales for Young Lawyers” card set, back in the day.
Champerty and maintenance are doctrines in common law jurisdictions, that aim to preclude frivolous litigation. “Maintenance” is the intermeddling of a disinterested party to encourage a lawsuit. It is “A taking in hand, a bearing up or upholding of quarrels or sides, to the disturbance of the common right.” “Champerty” is the “maintenance” of a person in a lawsuit on condition that the subject matter of the action is to be shared with the maintainer. Among laypersons, this is known as “buying into someone else’s lawsuit.”
In modern idiom maintenance is the support of litigation by a stranger without just cause. Champerty is an aggravated form of maintenance. The distinguishing feature of champerty is the support of litigation by a stranger in return for a share of the proceeds.
At common law, maintenance and champerty were both crimes and torts, as was barratry, the bringing of vexatious litigation. This is generally no longer so as during the nineteenth century, the development of legal ethics tended to obviate the risks to the public, particularly after the scandal of the Swynfen will case (1856–1864). However, the principles are relevant to modern contingent fee agreements between a lawyerand a client and to the assignment by a plaintiff of his rights in a lawsuit to someone with no connection to the case. Champertous contracts can still, depending on jurisdiction, be void for public policy or attract liability for costs.