In Pari Delicto

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In Pari Delicto

[Latin, In equal fault.] A descriptive phrase that indicates that parties involved in an action are equally culpable for a wrong.

When the parties to a legal controversy are in pari delicto, neither can obtain affirmative relief from the court, since both are at equal fault or of equal guilt. They will remain in the same situation they were in prior to the commencement of the action.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

in pari delicto

adv. (in pah-ree dee-lick-toe) Latin for "in equal fault," which means that two (or more) people are all at fault or are all guilty of a crime. In contract law, if the fault is more or less equal then neither party can claim breach of the contract by the other; in an accident, neither can collect damages, unless the fault is more on one than the other under the rule of "comparative negligence"; in defense of a criminal charge, one defendant will have a difficult time blaming the other for inducing him or her into the criminal acts if the proof is that both were involved.

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.

IN PARI DELICTO. In equal fault; equal in guilt. Neither courts of law nor equity will interpose to grant relief to the parties, when an illegal agreement has been made, and both parties stand in pari delicto. The law leaves them where it finds them, according to the maxim, in pari delicto potior est conditio defendentis et possidendis. 1 Bouv. Inst. n. 769.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Supreme Court applied the concept of 'in pari delicto.' This Latin term connotes that if the two parties to a controversy are equally culpable or at fault, they have no action against each other.
A college whose financial aid director committed fraud could sue its auditor under the doctrine of in pari delicto, the Supreme Judicial Court has ruled, finding that because the employee was not a member of senior management, her conduct could not be imputed to the school.
Q: Is the doctrine of in pari delicto applicable in this ejectment case?
CRIMINAL LAW--Second Circuit Applies Defense of in Pari Delicto to Racketeer Influence Corrupt Organization Act Claim--Republic of Iraq v.
Under the doctrine of in pari delicto ("in equal fault"), an auditor cannot lie held liable for negligently failing lo detect wrongdoing or lor even participating in die wrongdoing if the corporation also participated at least equally.
One of the strongest legal weapons available to audit firms sued by shareholders or creditors following revelations of corporate fraud is the defense of in pari delicto, This legal doctrine, over two centuries old, is grounded in the policy that a court should not intercede between two wrongdoers.
To apply in pari delicto, the illegal transaction must have been entered voluntarily and the fault apportioned equally.
In other words, the legislature has eliminated the potential for a defense against a claim brought by an assignee or by his or her initial assignee, based upon the concept of in pari delicto. (27) Conceptually, the in pari delicto defense will apply "where the fault of the parties is mutual, simultaneous and relatively equal, and where the plaintiff is an active, essential, and knowing participant in the unlawful activity." (28) Because agency principles attribute the actions of an officer or employee of a corporation to the corporation itself, acts of the officers or directors alleged in a complaint are attributable to the company.
Responsibility for Sovereign Debt and the In Pari Delicto Defense
In pari delicto potior est conditio defendentis stands for the proposition that "in the case of equal fault, the position of the defendant is stronger."(20) Many attorneys are employing this defense, in the from of a motion under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, when charged with negligence or malpractice by a client.
Under the in pari delicto principle, public policy dictates that parties who both transgress the law should not be permitted to profit from their wrongdoing.