Caucus Law and Legal Definition

A caucus may refer to several related concepts. The term caucus may refer to a meeting of the local members of a political party especially to select delegates to a convention or register preferences for candidates running for office. It may also refer to a closed meeting of party members within a legislative body to decide on questions of policy or leadership. A minority caucus is a group within a legislative or decision-making body seeking to represent a specific interest or influence a particular area of policy. Caucuses are also formed outside of legislative bodies to represent various political interests..

Under the law of some states, an individual participating in either the Republican or Democratic caucuses must be eligible to register to vote in the state with residency in one of the state's precincts. Identification issued by the government such as a driver's license is one legitimate proof of residency.

The term caucus when used in mediation refers to a private meeting with the mediator and one of the parties. Rather than meeting at a common table the parties retreat to a private setting to confer privately with counsel and/or with the mediator.

This type of caucusing has many advantages like:

  • The mediator gets opportunity to ask probing questions which the party may be reluctant to talk about in the presence of others.
  • It gives the mediator opportunity to explore the conditions under which a party may exercise flexibility or modify its position