The following words and phrases as used in this article, have the meaning ascribed to them in this section, unless the context clearly requires otherwise:
(1) WITHOUT SUBSTANTIAL JUSTIFICATION. The phrase "without substantial justification", when used with reference to any action, claim, defense or appeal, including without limitation any motion, means that such action, claim, defense or appeal (including any motion) is frivolous, groundless in fact or in law, or vexatious, or interposed for any improper purpose, including without limitation, to cause unnecessary delay or needless increase in the cost of litigation, as determined by the court.
(2) PERSON. Any individual, corporation, company, association, firm, partnership, society, joint stock company, or any other entity, including any governmental entity or unincorporated association of persons.
(3) ACTION. Any suit, counterclaim, crossclaim or third party claim filed at law or in equity, including any claim therein asserted by one or more parties or against one or more parties in a multi-party action or suit, or an appeal thereof.
(4) DEFENSE. Any affirmative defense under Rule 8(c), Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure, filed in any action at law or in equity.