The Equity Doctrine

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(calming music) – I do not like the abuse of power, and so the abuse of the law
I think is very similar. If you’re gonna exploit
a right that you have in a way that it’s not intended, I just don’t think people
should get away with that. I think that attracts me to equity law, which is more directly based on doing the right thing. (calming music) So equity is a system of judgment law. It developed to prevent the law’s abuse. It developed to prevent defects in the law because the law is general,
it’s made in advance, and so equity operates as a safety valve on the spot at the time of the decision to make sure the law
achieves its purposes. It’s almost directly
based on moral values, ethical ideals like
following the Golden Rule, preventing people from taking advantage of their own wrong. (calming music) so equity in law in the sense of law being a very strict and equity
being more discretionary, judges have more leeway, obviously that’s going
to be a delicate balance. Equity is gonna have a bright side because it is flexible,
because it can tailor the circumstances of the
case, adapt to that situation, that the law maker
originally you know intended, but there can be a dark side. It can be too subjective. The judge could have too much discretion. There might not be constraints
within the doctrine or the principle they’re applying, and then we have uneven law, and then we have unfair you know equity. (calming music) Prior to academia I was
a business litigator. And during that litigation practice, equitable principles and
doctrines came up all the time. Entire cases were devoted to equity. My longest case was nine years. It was an equity case, all equitable doctrines and principles. There was very little to no
analyses of these doctrines, particularly these defenses
such as unclean hands which is the book is about. And so when I transitioned to academia, I am writing the book
that I wanted to have when I was a lawyer. (calming music)

 

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