RACE TO THE COURTHOUSE

RACE TO THE COURTHOUSE

race to the courthouse.

1. Bankruptcy. The competition among creditors to make claims on assets, usu. motivated by the advantages to be gained by those who act first in preference to other creditors. ? Chapter 11 of the Bank-ruptcy Code, as well as various other provisions, is intended to prevent a race to the courthouse and instead to promote equality among creditors. [Cases: Bankruptcy 3442. C.J.S. Bankruptcy ¡ì¡ì 351¨C352.]

2. Civil pro-cedure. The competition between disputing parties, both of whom know that litigation is inevitable, to prepare and file a lawsuit in a favorable or convenient forum before the other side files in one that is less favorable or less convenient. ? A race to the courthouse may result after one party informally accuses another of breach of contract or intellectual-property infringement. When informal negotiations break down, both want to resolve the matter quickly, usu. to avoid further business disruption. While the accuser races to sue for breach of contract or in-fringement, the accused seeks a declaratory judgment that no breach or infringement has occurred. See ANTICIPATORY FILING.


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