Action (West's Encyclopedia of American Law)
Conduct; behavior; something done; a series of acts.
A case or lawsuit; a legal and formal demand for enforcement of one's rights against another party asserted in a court of justice.
The term action includes all the proceedings attendant upon a legal demand, its adjudication, and its denial or its enforcement by a court. Specifically, it is the legal proceedings, while a CAUSE OF ACTION is the underlying right that gives rise to them. In casual conversation, action and cause of action may be used interchangeably, but they are more properly distinguished. At one time, it was more correct to speak of actions at law and of proceedings or suits in EQUITY. The distinction is rather technical, however, and not significant since the merger of law and equity. The term action is used more often for civil lawsuits than for criminal proceedings.
Parties in an Action
A person must have some sort of legal right before starting an action. That legal right implies a duty owed to one person by another, whether it is a duty to do something or a duty not to do something. When the other person acts wrongfully or fails to act as the law requires, such behavior is a breach, or violation, of that person's legal duty. If that...
(The entire section is 898 words.)
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