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Direct examination

Direct examination is the questioning of a witness by the party who called him or her to the stand. In direct examination, one is generally prohibited from asking leading questions. This prevents a lawyer from feeding answers to a favorable witness. An exception to this rule occurs if one side has called a witness, but it is either understood, or soon becomes plain, that the witness is hostile to the questioner's side of the controversy. The lawyer may then ask the court to declare the person he or she has called to the stand a hostile witness. If the court does so, the lawyer may thereafter ply the witness with leading questions during direct examination.

See also cross-examination.



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