Champerty & Maintenance
Champerty is the process whereby one person bargains with a party to a lawsuit to obtain a share in the proceeds of the suit. Maintenance is the support or promotion of another person’s suit initiated by intermeddling for personal gain. Both champerty and maintenance have been illegal for two basic public policy reasons since early Common Law: (1) It is considered desirable to curb excess litigation for the operation of an efficient judicial system. (2) Champerty and maintenance bring money to an individual who was not personally harmed by the defendant. An attorney found guilty of either champerty or maintenance will be subject to the payment of any damages that may have been incurred by the parties to the lawsuit and to disciplinary proceedings, which can result in his or her disbarment.