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In legal parlance, a party is a person or entity who takes part in a legal transaction, for example a person with an immediate interest in an agreement or deed, or a plaintiff or a defendant in a lawsuit.  A “third party” is a person who is a stranger to a transaction, contract, or proceeding. Parties in a lawsuit are the plaintiff or petitioner bringing the case, or the defendant or respondent defending against one. 

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