Remote cause. A cause that contributes to, but is not necessary for, the production of an effect or result.
Sole cause. The only cause responsible for the production of an effect or result.
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 of action n. 1 A collection of facts that, if true, would entitle a party to be awarded a remedy from another party by a court; the facts that give a person the legal right to sue. 2 A lawsuit.
Cautionary instruction n. An instruction given to a jury by the judge, usually during trial, to disregard certain testimony or evidence that was improperly introduced, in lieu of calling a mistrial.