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What is the difference between common law and equity?

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Quick Answer

Equity establishes justice if common law is inadequate in certain circumstances, according to Cornell University Law School. The equity route is only an option when legal recourse has been exhausted.

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What is the difference between common law and equity?
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Full Answer

Cornell University Law School notes that equity and common law broke into two separate courts in England, and early courts in the United States created "chancery courts" that dealt with equitable justice. Examples of equitable disputes may stem from real estate or substandard performances. Common law courts, on the other hand, are based on decisions from the judiciary as opposed to statutes. English common law in particular had a profound influence on the American legal system. Even though common law courts held equitable jurisdiction in some states, chancery courts have since been disbanded, and legal courts have the power to issue equitable and legal justice.

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