Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary

    Direct, as opposed to consequential; with nothing intervening.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    1. Present; at once; without delay; not deferred by any interval of time. In this sense, the word, without any very precise signification, denotes that action is or must be taken either instantly or without any considerable loss of time. Immediately does not, in legal proceedings, necessarily import the exclusion of any interval of time. It is a word of no very definite signification, and is much in subjection to its grammatical connections. Howell v. Gaddis, 31 N. J. Law, 313.
    2. Not separated in respect to place; not separated by the intervention of any intermediate object, cause, relation, or right. Thus we speak of an action as prosecuted for the "immediate benefit" of A., of a devise as made to the "immediate issue" of B., etc.
    —Immediate cause. The last of a series or chain of causes tending to a given result, and which, of itself, and without the intervention of any further cause, directly produces the result or event. A cause may be immediate ini this sense, and yet not "proximate;" and conversely, the proximate cause (that which directly and efficientlv brings about the result) may not be immediate. The familiar illustration is that of a drunken man falling into the water and drowning. His intoxication is the proximate cause of his death, if it can be snid that he would not have fallen into the water when sober; but the immediate cause of death is suffocation by drowning. See Davis v. Standish. 26 Hun (N. Y.), 615 ; Deisenrieter v. Kraus-Merkel Malting Co... 07 Wis. 279. 72 N. W. 735. Compare Longahaugh v. Railroad Co., 9 Nev. 271. See, also, Proximate.
    —Immediate descent. See Descent.