cause
cause 1 n
1: something that brings about an effect or result
the negligent act which was the cause of the plaintiff's injury
◇ The cause of an injury must be proven in both tort and criminal cases.
actual cause: cause in fact in this entry
but–for cause: cause in fact in this entry
cause in fact: a cause without which the result would not have occurred – called also actual cause, but-for cause;
concurrent cause: a cause that joins simultaneously with another cause to produce a result – called also concurring cause; compare intervening cause and superseding cause in this entry
di·rect cause: proximate cause in this entry
ef·fi·cient in·ter·ven·ing cause: superseding cause in this entry
intervening cause
1: an independent cause that follows another cause in time in producing the result but does not interrupt the chain of causation if foreseeable – called also supervening cause; compare concurrent cause and superseding cause in this entry
2: superseding cause in this entry
legal cause: proximate cause in this entry
procuring cause: one (as a broker) that sets in motion a continuous series of events culminating esp. in the sale or leasing of real estate
entitled to a commission as the procuring cause of the sale even though the listing had expired
pro·duc·ing cause: an efficient, exciting, or contributing cause (as an act, practice, or event) that produces an injury which would not have occurred without it
claimed that the workplace accident was a producing cause of his disability
— used esp. in workers' compensation and consumer protection cases
◇ A producing cause lacks the element of foreseeability associated with a proximate cause, being more exclusively concerned with causation in fact.
proximate cause: a cause that sets in motion a sequence of events uninterrupted by any superseding causes and that results in a usu. foreseeable effect (as an injury) which would not otherwise have occurred – called also direct cause, legal cause; see also palsgraf v. long island railroad co. in the important cases section compare remote cause in this entry
re·mote cause: a cause that is followed by a superseding cause interrupting the chain of causation; also: a cause that in ordinary experience does not lead to a particular effect compare proximate cause in this entry
su·per·sed·ing cause: an unforeseeable intervening cause that interrupts the chain of causation and becomes the proximate cause of the effect – called also efficient intervening cause, intervening cause; compare concurrent cause and intervening cause 1 in this entry
supervening cause: intervening cause in this entry
2: a reason or justification for an action or state (as belief): as
a: good cause in this entry
an appeal dismissed for cause
b: just cause in this entry
behavior that constitutes cause to terminate an employee
◇ The circumstances under which cause, good cause, just cause, probable cause, reasonable cause, or sufficient cause exists are determined on a case by case basis. These terms are often used interchangeably, and the distinctions between them are sometimes unclear.
good cause: a substantial reason put forth in good faith that is not unreasonable, arbitrary, or irrational and that is sufficient to create an excuse for an act under the law
unable to show good cause for failure to pay child support
neglect of duty is good cause for removal of a trustee
just cause
1: cause that a person of ordinary intelligence would consider a fair and reasonable justification for an act
— used esp. in cases involving termination of employment and denial of unemployment benefits
2: good cause in this entry
prob··a·ble cause /'prä-bə-bəl-/
1: a reasonable ground in fact and circumstance for a belief in the existence of certain circumstances (as that an offense has been or is being committed, that a person is guilty of an offense, that a particular search will uncover contraband, that an item to be seized is in a particular place, or that a specific fact or cause of action exists)
when supported by probable cause, warrantless search of vehicle may extend to every part of vehicle where objects of search might be concealedState v. Nixon, 593 N.E.2d 1210 (1992) – called also reasonable cause, sufficient cause; compare reasonable suspicion
◇ The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution stipulates that “no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause.” Probable cause is also required for a warrantless arrest. Probable cause is an objective standard rather than a function of subjective opinion or suspicion not grounded in fact or circumstance. However, the facts or circumstances need not be of the nature of certainty necessary to establish proof in court.
2: justification for an administrative search based on a showing that it is to be conducted in accordance with standardized nonarbitrary regulatory procedures designed to further public interest in regulatory enforcement that outweighs the intrusiveness of the search
reasonable cause
1: probable cause in this entry; also: a fact or circumstance that justifies a reasonable suspicion compare reasonable suspicion
2: a reason that would motivate a person of ordinary intelligence under the circumstances
reasonable cause to believe abuse had occurred
3: something (as an event or the exercise of ordinary care or prudence) that excuses or justifies failure to file a tax return on time
suf·fi·cient cause: cause that is deemed enough to provide an excuse under the law: as
a: good cause in this entry
— often used in the phrase good and sufficient cause
b: probable cause in this entry
3 a: a ground of a legal action
tortious conduct is not a cause of divorce embraced within the statutory cause of cruel and inhuman treatmentCase & Comment
b: case
questions of law...determinative of the cause then pending — R. T. Gerwatowski
4 in the civil law of Louisiana: the reason for making a contract compare frustration 2
◇ Under the Louisiana Civil Code, if a contract's cause is illicit or immoral, the contract is absolutely null. If the cause fails after the contract is made (as when a leased building cannot be occupied because of a fire), the contract may either be not enforced or only partially enforced.
cause 2 vt caused, caus·ing
1: to serve as the cause of
the scales struck the plaintiff causing injuries for which she suesPalsgraf v. Long Island R.R. Co., 162 N.E.99 (1928)
2: to effect by command, authority, or force
the administrator shall cause an investigation to be made

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

cause
I (lawsuit) noun action, action in court, case, legal action, legal proceedings, litigation, proceedings, subject of dispute, suit, suit at law, trial associated concepts: accrual of a cause of action, adversary cause, cause of action, cause pending, meritorious cause, trial of a cause II (reason) noun agent, aim, allurement, base, basis, causa, causation, consideration, derivation, design, determinative, end, enticement, factor, foundation, generator, genesis, goal, ground, impulse, incitement, inducement, influence, instigation, intent, intention, mainspring, motivation, motive, object, objective, origin, prompting, purpose, rationale, root, source, spur, stimulant, stimulation, stimulus, temptation, underlying principle associated concepts: accidental cause, adequate cause, cause and consequence, cause and effect, cause for removal, cause of death, cause of loss, cause of the injury, cause shown, challenge for cause, compelling cause, concurrent cause, contributing cause, controlling cause, dependent cause, direct cause, discharged for cause, dominant cause, due cause, effective cause, efficient cause, external cause, for cause, good cause, immediate cause, independent cause, initial cause, intervening cause, just cause, justifiable cause, legal cause, meritorious cause, natural cause, nature of the cause, originating cause, primary cause, probable cause, proper cause, proximate cause, reasonable cause, related concepts, remote cause, removal for cause, resulting cause, show cause, sole cause, sufficient cause, superseding intervening cause, supervening cause, unforeseen cause, without cause, without just cause III verb be responsible, be the author of, breed, bring, bring about, bring down, bring into existence, bring on, bring to pass, causa, compel, conduce to, contribute to, contrive, create, cultivate, develop, direct, effect, effectuate, elicit, engender, engineer, evoke, foment, generate, give occasion for, give origin to, give rise to, inaugurate, incite, induce, influence, initiate, inspire, institute, launch, lay the foundations, lead to, make, motivate, occasion, originate, precipitate, produce, prompt, provoke, sow the seeds of, start, stimulate, superinduce associated concepts: causa causans, causa remota, causa sine qua non foreign phrases:
- Causa et origo est materia negotii. — The cause and its origin are the essence of a transaction.
- Causa proxima non remota spectatur. — The direct and not the remote cause is regarded.
- Causa vaga et incerta non est causa rationabilis. — A vague and uncertain cause is not a reasonable cause
- Cessante causa, cessat effectus. — The cause ceasing, the effect ceases
- Effectus sequitur causam. — The effect follows the cause
- Eventus est qui ex causa se quitur; et dicitur eventus quia ex causis evenit. — An event is that which follows from the cause, and is called an "event" because it eventuates from causes
- Malum non habet ef ficientem, sed deficientem, causam. — Evil has not an efficient, but a deficient, cause.
- Scire proprie est rem ratione et per causam cognoscere. — To know properly is to know a thing by its cause and its reason
- Ubi lex aliquem cogit ostendere causam, necesse est quod causa sit justa et legitima. — Where the law compels a man to show cause, it is necessary that the cause be just and legal
- Causae dotis, vitae, libertatis, fisci, sunt inter favorabilia in lege. — Causes of dower, life, liberty, revenue are among the things favored in law
IV index action (proceeding), activity, answer (solution), avail (bring about), base (foundation), basis, bear (yield), campaign, case (lawsuit), catalyst, cause of action, compel, compose, conduce, contention (argument), contrive, controversy (lawsuit), create, derivation, effectuate, elicit, endeavor, engender, enterprise (undertaking), evoke, factor (ingredient), forge (produce), generate, gist (ground for a suit), ground, impel, incentive, incite, induce, inducement, inflict, inspire, issue (matter in dispute), make, matter (case), motivate, occasion, operate, origin (source), originate, origination, proceeding, procure, prompt, provocation, provoke, rationale, reason (basis), redound, require (compel), side, source, stimulus, suit, trial (legal proceeding)

Burton's Legal Thesaurus. . 2006


cause
v.
To make something happen.
n.
(1) That which makes something happen.
(2) A legal case;
see also cause of action

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.


cause
1) To make something happen.
2) The reason something happens. In order to hold someone responsible for harm to another person, the one must have caused the injury to the other.
Category: Accidents & Injuries
Category: Small Claims Court & Lawsuits

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.


cause
n.
1 An action, event, or force that produces or contributes to an effect or result. Also called causation.
2 The ground or reason for a choice made or action taken.
3 A matter to be decided by a court.
@ but-for cause
A cause without which the events or results that follow could not occur. Also called causa sine qua non.
=>> cause.
@ concurrent cause
1 One of multiple causes that simultaneously produce an effect or result that no single cause could.
2 One of multiple causes that simultaneously produce an effect or result that any one of the causes could have produced alone.
@ direct cause
proximate cause A cause that directly, without the contribution of any subsequent action, event, or force, produces an effect or result, and without which the effect or result would not have occurred. Furthermore, the effect or result produced by the proximate cause would have occurred even if there were a subsequent action, event, or force that contributed to the eventual effect or result. For example, if a person is fatally injured in an accident, the cause of the accident is the proximate cause of his death and not the poor medical care they received after the accident.
@ efficient cause
proximate cause A cause that directly, without the contribution of any subsequent action, event, or force, produces an effect or result, and without which the effect or result would not have occurred. Furthermore, the effect or result produced by the proximate cause would have occurred even if there were a subsequent action, event, or force that contributed to the eventual effect or result. For example, if a person is fatally injured in an accident, the cause of the accident is the proximate cause of his death and not the poor medical care they received after the accident.
Also called causa proxima, direct cause, proximate cause, and legal cause.
@ for cause
In support of a request made or an action taken.
See also challenge, excuse.
n. Of an action, such as the termination of a contract or a relationship of employment, that it is based on a breach, misfeasance, or other inappropriate action of the other party.
@ good cause
A substantial or legally sufficient reason for a choice made or action taken or for seeking a particular court order. What constitutes good cause usually rests upon the circumstances of a particular situation. See also insufficient cause
n. A necessary showing by a litigant to convince a court to issue an order favorable to that litigant.
@ immediate cause
The last of a series of causes, although not necessarily the proximate cause, of an effect or result.
=>> cause.
@ insufficient cause
An insubstantial or legally insufficient reason for a choice made or action taken or for seeking a particular court order.
See also good cause
=>> cause.
@ intervening cause
A contributing cause that arises or occurs after the initial action, event, or force and alters the sequence of later actions, events, or forces to produce a final effect or result. For example, if a person walks into a ditch, the digging of the ditch is the initial (that is, but-for) action, and the subsequent removal of the barricade and warning signs that kept people away is the intervening cause. Also called supervening cause.
n. An event that interrupts the chain of causation by providing an independent cause of the final result, possibly relieving the original actors of liability.
=>> cause.
@ legal cause
=>> cause.
@ proximate cause
A cause that directly, without the contribution of any subsequent action, event, or force, produces an effect or result, and without which the effect or result would not have occurred. Furthermore, the effect or result produced by the proximate cause would have occurred even if there were a subsequent action, event, or force that contributed to the eventual effect or result. For example, if a person is fatally injured in an accident, the cause of the accident is the proximate cause of his death and not the poor medical care they received after the accident.
Also called causa proxima, direct cause, efficient cause, and legal cause.
See also remote cause
=>> cause.
@ remote cause
A cause that contributes to, but is not necessary for, the production of an effect or result.
=>> cause.
@ sole cause
The only cause responsible for the production of an effect or result.
=>> cause.
@ superseding cause
A cause that arises or occurs after the initial action, event, or force, and so substantially alters the sequence of later actions, events, or forces that the persons responsible for all previous causes are not liable for the final effect or result, even if their own actions were a substantial factor in bringing about the final effect or result. For example, a parent may be negligent for letting her 14-year-old child drive a car, but the subsequent theft of the vehicle from the child would absolve the parent of liability for any damages or injuries caused by the thief's use of the vehicle.
=>> cause.
@ supervening cause
=>> cause.
@

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.


cause
Each separate antecedent of an event. Something that precedes and brings about an effect or a result. A reason for an action or condition. A ground of a legal action. An agent that brings something about. That which in some manner is accountable for a condition that brings about an effect or that produces a cause for the resultant action or state.
A suit, litigation, or action. Any question, civil or criminal, litigated or contested before a court of justice.

Dictionary from West's Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005.


cause
I
Each separate antecedent of an event. Something that precedes and brings about an effect or a result. A reason for an action or condition. A ground of a legal action. An agent that brings something about. That which in some manner is accountable for a condition that brings about an effect or that produces a cause for the resultant action or state.
 
A suit, litigation, or action. Any question, civil or criminal, litigated or contested before a court of justice.
II A lawsuit, litigation, or action. Any question, civil or criminal, litigated or contested before a court of justice.

Short Dictionary of (mostly American) Legal Terms and Abbreviations.

cause
   from Latin causa
   1) v. to make something happen.
   2) n. the reason something happens. A cause implies what is called a "causal connection" as distinguished from events which may occur but do not have any effect on later events. Example: While driving his convertible, Johnny Youngblood begins to stare at pretty Sally Golightly, who is standing on the sidewalk. While so distracted he veers into a car parked at the curb. Johnny's inattention (negligence) is the cause of the accident, and neither Sally nor her beauty is the cause.
   3) n. short for cause of action.

Law dictionary. . 2013.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • cause — [ koz ] n. f. • XIIe; lat. causa « cause » et « procès » → chose I ♦ Ce qui produit un effet (considéré par rapport à cet effet). 1 ♦ (1170) Ce par quoi un événement, une action humaine arrive, se fait. ⇒ origine; motif, objet, raison, 3. sujet.… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Cause — • Cause, as the correlative of effect, is understood as being that which in any way gives existence to, or contributes towards the existence of, any thing; which produces a result; to which the origin of any thing is to be ascribed Catholic… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • cause — CAUSE. s. f. Principe, ce qui fait qu une chose est. Dieu est la première de toutes les causes, la cause des causes, la souveraine cause, la cause universelle. On appelle Dieu, absolument et par excellence, Cause première, comme on appelle les… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • cause — Cause, qui fait faire quelque chose, Causa. La meilleure cause et la pire, Superior causa et inferior. B. ex Cicerone. Les causes durent tousjours et perseverent, Manent causae. Tu as ouy les causes de mon conseil, Audisti consilij mei motus. Par …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • cause — CAUSE. s. f. Principe, ce qui fait qu une chose est. Dieu est la premiere de toutes les causes, la cause des causes, la souveraine cause. On appelle Dieu absolument & par excellence, Cause premiere; comme on appelle les creatures Causes secondes …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Cause — (k[add]z), n. [F. cause, fr. L. causa. Cf. {Cause}, v., {Kickshaw}.] 1. That which produces or effects a result; that from which anything proceeds, and without which it would not exist. [1913 Webster] Cause is substance exerting its power into… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cause — cause, causal explanation In non specialist contexts, to ask for the cause of some particular happening is to ask what made it happen, or brought it about. To give a causal explanation is to answer such questions, usually by specifying some prior …   Dictionary of sociology

  • cause — n 1 Cause, determinant, antecedent, reason, occasion are comparable when denoting what in whole or in part produces an effect or result. Cause is applicable to an agent (as a circumstance, condition, event, or force) that contributes to the… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • cause — [kôz] n. [ME < OFr < L causa, a cause, reason, judicial process, lawsuit: infl. (in CAUSE senses 4 & 5) by CASE1] 1. anything producing an effect or result 2. a person or thing acting voluntarily or involuntarily as the agent that brings… …   English World dictionary

  • causé — causé, ée (kô zé, zée) part. passé. 1°   Produit par une cause. •   Toutes choses étant causées ou causantes, PASC. dans COUSIN. 2°   Occasionné. Un incendie causé par un accident. 3°   Motivé. •   M. de Bouillon voulait une absence, et une… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

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