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Frequently Asked Questions

Can you provide examples of equitable defenses that address fairness?

Equitable defenses are legal principles that address fairness in the court of law. They are used when the remedy sought is "at law" and are available in the U.S. legal system. Examples of equitable defenses include Mistake, Fraud, Estoppel, Laches, Forum non conveniens, Illegality, Failure of consideration, and unclean hands. For instance, in the case of a Mistake, if there are errors in the contract terms, it can prevent recovery or remedy for a party. The recovery may be limited depending on whether the mistake was mutual or only one party was mistaken. Another example is Laches, where the non-breaching party intentionally delays bringing forth a lawsuit for breach of contract, resulting in prejudice to the breaching party. In the case of an illegal contract, the contract cannot be enforced under legal or equitable principles. This includes contracts for illegal acts such as drug distribution, prostitution, gambling, etc. Unclean hands is another equitable defense where both the non-breaching party and the breaching party have committed the same type of breach. Under the principles of equitable defense, the party claiming relief cannot be in violation of the contract terms.
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