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Unclean Hands

This is a lesson on the equitable defense of unclean hands. The first part of the lesson is designed to introduce the basics of the concept for students before and during its study in class. The "Review" questions at the end are an aide for students who have completed their study, either through class work or this lesson. Students who want simply to review in anticipation of a final exam can go straight to the Review materials and backtrack only as necessary for understanding questions missed.

Unclean hands is one of the "conscience defenses" in equity. The conscience defenses act to bar equitable suitors whose claims are in some way morally tainted even if they are legally sound. Thus, a suitor cannot receive equitable relief if the equitable defense applies even though legal relief may still be available. Other conscience defenses include laches, estoppel, and unconscionability, which are covered in other CALI lessons.

Lesson Completion Time

40 minutes
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Lesson Authors

Lesson ID

REM07