1) To accept, recognize, confirm, or admit the existence or truth of something.

2) To validate an identity or claim.

3) To authenticate an instrument or writing by declaration or statement under oath by...


1. A declaration before an official that one has executed a particular legal document.

2. An official certificate of a formal acknowledging.

3. A public recognition by a man of an illegitimate child as his own.

- From



To find a defendant in a criminal trial not guilty.

See alsoAcquittalDouble jeopardy



At the end of a criminal trial, a finding by a judge or jury that a defendant is not guilty. An acquittal signifies that a prosecutor failed to prove his or her case beyond a reasonable doubt, not that a defendant is innocent. Thus, a person...


Something done or performed by a person or body (such as a court). Formal product of a legislative body that becomes part of the law. An act may or may not concern a single subject (e.g., air quality). Acts codified in the United States Code can be...

Act of God

At common law, an overwhelming event caused exclusively by natural forces whose effects could not possibly be prevented (e.g., flood, earthquake, tornado). In modern jurisdictions, "act of God" is often broadened by statute to include all natural...

Act of Nature

See: Act of God


1. A judicial proceeding that involves either civil or criminal claims. An action is brought by one or more plaintiffs against one or more defendants.

2. In general, the process of doing something.


Where there exist sufficient facts or circumstances to meet the legal requirements for a party to file a legitimate lawsuit against another party.

Actual Authority

An agent's power to act on behalf of a principal, because such power was expressly or impliedly conferred.

See Express authority, Implied authority, Inherent authority, and Apparent authority.