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Judicial estoppel

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Definition Edit

Judicial estoppel acts to preclude a party from asserting a position inconsistent with a position previously taken. taken in the same or earlier legal proceeding. The doctrine is meant to protect the integrity of the judicial proceedings.[1]

Discussion Edit

The determination of judicial estoppel is a question of law and is reviewed de novo.[2]

The primary determination made by the court turns on whether a party is attempting to “establish an inconsistent or different cause of action arising out of the same occurrence.”[3] However, judicial estoppel also prevents a litigant from advancing an argument that contradicts a position previously taken that the court was persuaded to accept as the basis for its ruling.[4]

The doctrine is not appropriate in all situations; parties raise many issues throughout a lengthy litigation, and only those arguments that persuade the court can form the basis for judicial estoppel. “[J]udicial estoppel operates only where the litigant’s contradicts another position that the litigant previously took and that the Court was successfully induced to adopt in a judicial ruling.”[5]

References Edit

  1. State v. Chao, 2006 WL 2788180 at *9 (Del. Super. Sep. 25, 2006) (citing Pesta v. Warren, 2004 WL 1282214, at *1 (Del. Super. May 24, 2004)).
  2. B.F. Fish & Co. v. Gray, 933 A.2d 1231, 1241 (Del. 2007)(full-text); Chao, 2006 WL 2788180, at *1.
  3. Chao, 2006 WL 2788180 at *9 (citing Kesterson v. American Cas. Co., 1988 WL 90497, at *3 (Del. Super. Aug. 15, 1988)).
  4. Siegman v. Palomar Med. Techs., Inc., 1998 WL 409352, at *3 (Del. Ch. July 13, 1998).
  5. Id. at *3 (emphasis in original).

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