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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the meaning of equitable defenses in contract law?

Equitable defenses in contract law refer to the legal principles that prevent the non-breaching party from receiving equitable relief, which is a remedy for a breach of contract when legal remedies like monetary damages are insufficient. These defenses are based on the principle of fairness or equity. They include situations such as mistakes in the contract, fraud, estoppel, laches (intentional delay in bringing forth a lawsuit), forum non conveniens, illegality, failure of consideration, and unclean hands (both parties committing the same type of breach). Equitable defenses also cover situations where enforcing the contract would result in undue hardship to the breaching party, or where the contract is unconscionable, meaning it is one-sided and unfair to one party. Misrepresentation, undue influence, and duress are other instances where equitable defenses can be applied. The two most common equitable defenses are unclean hands and laches. It's important to note that a party seeking equitable remedy must ensure they have not violated the law. Equitable defenses can be complex and may vary depending on the nature of the contract and the breach. Therefore, it's advisable to consult a lawyer experienced in contract law to understand if an equitable defense is possible in your situation.
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