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Maxim

"he Who Seeks Equity Must Do Equity."

This maxim is not a moral persuasion but an enforceable RULE OF LAW. It does not require every plaintiff to have an unblemished background in order to prevail, but the court will refuse to assist anyone whose CAUSE OF ACTION is founded on his or her own misconduct toward the other party. If, for example, a wealthy woman tricks her intended spouse into signing a prenuptial agreement giving him a token $500 should they DIVORCE and after marriage she engages in a consistent pattern of conduct leading to a divorce, a court could refuse to enforce the agreement. This maxim reflects one aspect of the principle known as the clean hands doctrine.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationFree Legal Encyclopedia: Marque and Reprisal to MinisterMaxim - The Foundations Of Equity, "he Who Seeks Equity Must Do Equity.", "he Who Comes Into Equity Must Come With Clean Hands." - "Equity follows the law.", "Equity acts specifically.", "Equity regards substance rather than form."