Texas Causes of Action & Affirmative Defenses

Texas Causes of Action & Affirmative Defenses

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Judicial Estoppel: Purpose and Applicability

Judicial Estoppel is an equitable doctrine Judicial estoppel generally prevents a party who has succeeded in maintaining a certain position in a proceeding from assuming a contrary position "simply because his interests have changed." New Hampshire v. Maine, 532 U.S. 742, 749, 121 S. Ct. 1808, 1814 (2001) (quoting Davis v. Wakelee, 156 U.S. 680, 689, 15 S. Ct. 555 (1895)). The purpose of judicial estoppel and the cirumstances when it is properly applied The purpose of judicial estoppel is "to protect the integrity of the judicial process." Id., 121 S. Ct. at 1814. Judicial estoppel is an equitable doctrine, and as such, all the circumstances of the case may be relevant. See id. at 750, 121 S. Ct. at 1815. The factors that "typically inform the decision whether to apply the doctrine" are: (1) a party's position must be "clearly inconsistent" with its earlier positions, (2) whether the parties urging of inconsistent positions threatens judicial integrity by creating a "risk of inconsistent court determinations," and (3) whether the party seeking to assert an inconsistent position would gain an unfair advantage or impose an unfair detriment on the opposing party. Id. at 750-51, 121 S. Ct. at 1815. SOURCE: 01-08-00373-CV (9/10/09)