Estoppel Services in Portland and Seattle
In order to serve clients across the Northwest region, we offer business litigation services in Portland and Seattle as well as for the surrounding counties. Our Oregon and Washington business attorneys are happy to discuss your estoppel needs and concerns to make sure business agreements are fair.
If you require estoppel legal assistance whether equitable or legal, please give us a call to get started.”Contact
Equitable and Legal Estoppels
Sometimes actions speak louder than words, and that’s exactly why there is a legal doctrine called estoppel. According to Legal dictionaries define “estoppel” as a principle that prohibits someone from alleging or denying facts in a manner that is inconsistent with their past conduct or allegations. In laymen’s terms, it is meant to prevent injustice due to inconsistencies or false claims.
In business litigation – especially when facing claims of breach of contract or claims in equity – estoppel can provide a useful defense where the facts show that your opponent is claiming something inconsistent with his actions or with his own positions. Since this doctrine applies both at law and in equity, you may see it referred to as either “equitable estoppel” or “legal estoppel,” although simply “estoppel” is most common.
A note on defenses at law vs. defenses at equity: Most American common law descends from British common law. In British common law, there were traditionally courts at law (effectively dealing with rules and regulations) and courts of equity (effectively dealing with fairness). In American jurisprudence, it is deemed that courts have powers both at law and in equity. Certain facts can have implications at both law and equity, but courts ordinarily address the two schools of jurisprudence separately, and law and equity do not always resolve in the same way, even given the same facts.
Most businesspeople and entrepreneurs know about statutes of limitation, but the concept of laches is less well understood. Laches is effectively a type of equitable estoppel that does the same thing in equity that a statute of limitations does at law.