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intervene

v. to obtain the court's permission to enter into a lawsuit which has already started between other parties and to file a complaint stating the basis for a claim in the existing lawsuit. Such intervention will be allowed only if the party wanting to enter into the case has some right or interest in the suit and will not unduly prejudice the ability of the original parties to the lawsuit to conduct their case. Example: Little Buttercup Butter Co. has been sued by Market Bag Grocers for selling below standard butter. Better Buy Market has also been buying Buttercup's butter and wishes to intervene (join in the lawsuit) to avoid either a loss by Market Bag which would affect Better Buy's possible claim, and also to avoid two separate suits. Or another butter company might want to join the suit on Buttercup's side in order to put up a united front with Buttercup against the markets.

See also: intervention  joinder  multiplicity of suits 

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The People's Law Dictionary by Gerald and Kathleen Hill Publisher Fine Communications