A release, as the word is used technically in speaking of executory contracts, is a discharge under seal of an existing obligation or right of action. In the law of conveyancing, however, a release operates not only to destroy the right of the party executing the instrument but to create a similar right in the party to whom it is executed. In other words, it is a grant or conveyance, and such was the early theory of a release even when it related to a right of action. But, however important it may be to remember this in order to understand early decisions,1 the instrument to-day is regarded in such case as having merely a destructive operation. Any contract either before or after breach may be discharged by release. Like other sealed instruments it needs no consideration.2
The word release is frequently used even by lawyers in an untechnical sense as including discharge from liability by any method, but to avoid ambiguity the word discharge should be used for this broad meaning, and the word release reserved for its narrow and technical sense. This is important because many transactions (for example covenants not to sue) which operate as a discharge do so because law or equity, with or without a suit for that purpose, in effect specifically enforces a promissory agreement, while a release is a direct and immediate destruction of the claim released.3
1 See, e. g., supra, Sec. 1309.
2 Tiger v. Lincoln, 1 Col. 394; Union Bank v. Call, 5 Fla. 409; Ingersoll v. Martin, 58 Md. 67, 42 Am. Rep. 322; Tyroa v. Dorr, 6 Whart. 266; Benson v. Mole, 9 Phila. 66; Sheer v. Austin, 2
Rich. L. 330. See also Mills v. Lar-rance, 186 111. 635, 58 N. £. 219; Saunders v. Blythe, 112 Mo. 1, 20 S. W. 319; Winter v. Kansas City Ry. Co., 160 Mo. 159, 61 S. W. 606.
The same causes which justify rescission of an executed transfer of property will also justify the rescission of a release, and after such rescission the chose in action is revived. The party claiming to rescind is allowed to manifest his intention by bringing suit to enforce the chose in action and, on plea of release being made, by showing the invalidity of the release. The facts on this issue are generally submitted to the jury with the rest of the case.4