legal action

Primary tabs

A phrase that primarily refers to the act of bringing a lawsuit, prosecution, or judicial proceeding to obtain some sort of legal remedy or to ascertain or protect a legal right. In the Fisher Controls Intern., Inc. v. Marrone case, for example, the Supreme Court of Iowa defined legal action as “a formal proceeding in any forum in which a party is entitled to seek the relief being asked under authority of the state,” including bringing a claim before an administrative agency, rendering it “substantially broader than . . . ‘an action.’” Legal action may also be used more broadly refer to any action taken before the law.

[Last updated in June of 2020 by the Wex Definitions Team]