Thanks for the info..."Action class" is a reference to the hierarchy of classes within the framework:
JSP -> Action Class -> Business Object -> Data Access Object -> Value Object (deprecated) -> Hibernate Mapping
The "Action class" in my context is simply the term I used for the class that (in Jetspeed) indirectly implements (through turbine) the GenericPortlet class. It has a method called "buildNormalContext" that must be defined in the class that JspPortletAction class that functions like the "doView" method does in JPortal. Essentially "Action class" in JPortal is the class that extends the JbossPortlet class.