Under law terminology, to take legal action refers to the process of bring a particular case to court trial. Therefore, legal action itself will vary depending on the nature of the legal issues at hand. Generally speaking, this will involve a process in which an accused person is brought to court to face judgment in a jury of his/her peers, who will ultimately determine whether or not such person is guilty or innocent.
This also includes a situation where two parties enter litigation for the purpose of disputing and settling issues with the assistance of judge and possibly a jury. In the United States, legal action is classified into two general terms, public action and private action.
Legal issues that are considered to be public action is when the state conducts the proceedings against an accused person. This will involve the indictment of the person and bringing the accused to stand before the court and a jury. The basis or ultimate reasoning for legal action will differ depending on the situation at hand. However, even a traffic violation can be considered as a form of public action because the person is still required to appear before the court.
Legal action that falls under the realm of private action will usually occur between two parties. Such a situation arises when there are certain legal issues or disputes between to people or two parties, and thus, bring the dispute before the courts in order to settle the conflict.
This legal action can include various situations, though it will usually involve one party suing another for the purpose of monetary compensation for damages incurred.