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The FindLaw Legal Dictionary -- free access to over 8260 definitions of legal terms. Search for a definition or browse our legal glossaries.



bar n

often attrib
1 a : the railing in a courtroom that encloses the area around the judge where prisoners are stationed in criminal cases or where the business of the court is transacted in civil cases compare bench, dock, jury box, stand
b : court tribunal [the younger judge brought a fresh viewpoint to the ]
2 a : the whole body of lawyers
: those qualified to practice in the courts of a particular jurisdiction [admitted to the Arizona ] [the bankruptcy ] compare bench
b : the profession or occupation of lawyer
c : bar examination [passed the ]
3 : something that prevents admission, progress, or action: as
a : an intangible impediment, obstacle, or barrier [the restrictive covenant raised a racial ] [consent of the victim is a to conviction]
b : the permanent preclusion of a claim or action esp. due to the loss of a previous suit based on the same cause of action and between the same parties [its earlier successful suit against the purchaser for the price was a to the present suit "Martino v. McDonald's System, Inc., 598 F.2d 1079 (1979)"] [a statute of limitations to the present action] compare collateral estoppel at estoppel, merger, res judicata

at bar
: before the court [in the case at bar]

at the bar
: in the legal profession [pressures faced by women at the bar "R. E. Hauser"]

vt barred
1 : to keep out
: exclude [cannot the items from sale]
2 : to prevent from doing or accomplishing (something) [plaintiff's conduct may her recovery] [the contract s his reinstatement]
3 : preclude : as
a : to act as a bar to (as a claim or action) [liberative prescription s actions "Louisiana Civil Code"] [final judgment barred the subsequent claim]
b : to prevent (a party) from bringing a claim or action [plaintiffs are barred by the judgment…from relitigating their claims "Roach v. Teamsters Local Union No. 688, 595 F.2d 446 (1979)"] see also estop compare merge
bar·ra·ble adj

Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.

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