class actions

American Civil Liberties Union

Definition

A national organization that engages in litigation, legislative lobbying, and educational outreach in order to preserve and further individual rights and liberties that are guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States. Among the constitutional rights that the ACLU promotes are First Amendment, equal protection, due process, and privacy rights.

American Civil Liberties Union website:

http://www.aclu.org/

Keywords: 

Frivolous

In a legal context, a lawsuit, motion, or appeal that lacks any basis and is intended to harass, delay, or embarrass the opposition. This can result in a successful claim by the other party for the costs of defense, including attorney's fees. Judges are reluctant to find an action frivolous, based on the desire not to discourage people from using the courts to resolve disputes.

Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions

A set of rules, commonly called "CC&Rs," that governs the use of real estate, usually enforced by a homeowners' association. For example, CC&Rs may tell you how big your house can be, how you must landscape your yard, or whether you can have pets. CC&Rs "run with the land," meaning any subsequent owner must also abide by them. Most state laws require that a copy of the CC&Rs be recorded with the county land records office and be provided to any prospective purchaser.

Class

A group that shares common attributes. In legal terms, this might be a group of people with the same level of rights (such as heirs who are equally related to the deceased), or who've suffered from the same discrimination or other injury. Whether a person is part of a class is often crucial in determining who can sue on the person's behalf or collect a share of a class action judgment.

Champerty

An agreement between the party suing in a lawsuit (the plaintiff) and another person, who agrees to finance and carry the lawsuit in return for a percentage of the recovery. In some states, champerty is illegal. However, it is also the basis for the legal and commonly accepted practice of contingency fee arrangements with attorneys, who represent their clients and are paid from any award or settlement the plaintiff receives in the suit.

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