type

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

Action

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.

Actionable

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.

Actual Cause

A factor without which the result in question could not happen. The but-for test is often used to determine actual causation.

Actual Controversy

An actual controversy is a constitutional requirement (Found in found in Art. III, Section 2, Clause 1) for federal courts that demands there be a real dispute between two parties capable of being resolved by the court, as opposed to a hypothetical...

Actual Damages

Overview

In tort law, actual damages is a type of damages which refers to compensation awarded by a court in response to a loss suffered by a party.

The Supreme Court held in Birsdall v. Coolidge, 93 U.S. 64 (1876) that the phrases "compensatory...

Actual Innocence

Definition

An absence of facts required for conviction under a criminal statute. For example, a defendant accused of robbery who never illegally took anyone's property is actually innocent of the charge.

Overview

Defendants often claim...

Actual Notice

Someone receiving notice (being informed of a case that could affect their interest - see: Notice) in fact, as opposed to Constructive Notice (where although that person did not receive notice in fact, the law will consider them to have received notice...

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