Unclean Hands Legal Meaning and Definition

Here is a simplified definition of the legal term Unclean Hands.

Unclean Hands (noun):

The doctrine of Unclean Hands refers to a legal defense strategy where the defendant argues against a lawsuit by claiming that the plaintiff has also acted wrongly in regard to the same situation or issue. This defense suggests that the plaintiff should not receive any help from the court because of their own improper behavior. Using the given example, if Mr. Smith pays Mr. Kelly to harm his neighbor and Mr. Kelly doesn't follow through, Mr. Smith cannot sue Mr. Kelly, since Mr. Smith also behaved unethically.