Laches is an equitable defense which may be asserted when unreasonable delay in bringing a cause of action results in prejudice. While the statute of limitations specifies the outside time limit within which a cause of action must be brought, laches considers the totality of circumstances surrounding delay, and any resulting prejudice, to deny a remedy when a claimant has “slept on his rights.” Continue reading
The statute of limitations period, the period in which a plaintiff must bring suit or be barred, runs from the moment a claim accrues. Traditionally a cause of action accrues when it is complete with all of its elements: wrongdoing, harm, and causation.
This is known as the last element accrual rule. Ordinarily the statute of limitations runs from the occurrence of the last element essential to the cause of action. Over time there has developed a handful of equitable exceptions and modifications to this rule. One such exception is the continuous accrual rule. Continue reading