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In criminal and civil law, the act or practice of bringing repeated legal actions solely to harass. Usually, the actions brought lack merit. This practice has been declared a crime in some jurisdictions (e.g. the United States). In England and Wales, however, the offence was abolished in 1967. The term has also fallen into disuse in Australia.
Barratry also refers to the act of soliciting legal business from potential clients based on a particular event. For example, a solicitor who stops at the scene of a car accident or follows an ambulance to the hospital in hopes of finding and soliciting business from an injured and aggrieved person might be accused of barratry. A lawyer who engages in this practice is pejoratively termed an 'ambulance chaser'.