The Volokh Conspiracy

Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent

What does "equity" mean?


If you've ever wondered what "equity" means, as distinct from "law," here's a primer I recently posted on SSRN. It's called "A Student's Guide to the Meanings of Equity." Here is the abstract:

Equity remains a significant part of our legal system, but the different meanings of "equity" often cause confusion. This essay distinguishes three meanings of the term: the distinctive treatment of an exceptional case, a moral reading of the law, and the doctrines and remedies developed in the Court of Chancery. By distinguishing these meanings, carefully and without an excess of technicality, this essay illuminates a difficult but important part of law in the United States.