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May I suggest that people are careful to distinguish between the law of different countries, and discussion of the law in general? Otherwise you end up in practice treating common law, and more particularly United States law, as if it was all there was to law. I suspect a lot of the legal terms you are seeking definitions for either don't exist in other legal systems, or are given quite different names.

Simon J Kissane


My legal schooling probably isn't quite up to the task, but someone better versed might consider reorganizing this to actually reflect some hierarchy of legal disciplines rather than the simple list of jargon here. My copy of Blacks Law Dictionary has over 1600 pages of terms, so this page might get a little unwieldy in its present form. ---LDC


Once tax season is behind us, I may have time to divvy it up so that it at least makes a little more sense... AS


Are there terms for:

  • Organized coordinated legal action taken in many jurisdictions throughout the nation against a single industry or entity (e.g., tobacco)
  • Harassing someone via repeated lawsuits

As to the above questions:

I don't believe there is any specific term for the first. For the second, see "barratry" and "vexatious litigation" above.


An organized coordinated legal action of the sort mentioned is called a nationwide class action. The federal courts have an internal mechanism for managing complex litigation and generally assign one judge to oversee the process


What about jurisdiction or locality whose laws apply? Where you sign a contract that is governed by the laws of another state so that the other party can take legal action locally.


As a general rule, parties to a contract can agree that the law of a particular state will control the interpretation of the contract. That is a very different proposition than agreeing that all cases will be brought in Tennessee, for example, which a court would not enforce.


Isn't there a term for this and for defeating a legal challenge by making it expensive for the other party due to the other party's location being in a remote area?


Isn't there a term for what? The question of where the lawsuit can be brought is often different than the question of which law will control. If I live in Alaska and you live in Florida, there will always be an imbalance in where the suit is brought!