Leading The Witness Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Leading The Witness, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Leading The Witness?

(n) Leading the witness is the method of questioning a witness by which he is directed to answer them in the way expected by the attorney. In such questioning the answers will be apparent in the questions itself. eg. Attorney asking his witness the question, ‘it was raining then, is that the only reason you are waiting in the shelter ? the answer support his point that it was raining when the incident occur. Leading questions to own witness are generally disallowed by the judges. Leading questions to opposite or hostile witness are generally permitted

History and Meaning of Leading The Witness

Leading the witness is a legal term used to describe the method of questioning a witness by which he is directed to answer in a particular way expected by the attorney asking the question. In such questioning, the answer is apparent in the question itself, often leading the witness to affirm the attorney's point of view. It is considered an unethical and manipulative legal tactic that could yield false or biased information.

Examples of Leading The Witness

  1. Lawyer: "Isn't it true that you were with the defendant when the theft occurred?" Witness: "Yes, it is true."

  2. Lawyer: "Isn't it true that the defendant was wearing a blue shirt at the time of the incident?" Witness: "Uh… yes, I suppose so."

  3. Lawyer: "Wouldn't you say that the defendant's behavior was extremely erratic at the time of the accident?" Witness: "I guess so, yes."

Legal Terms Similar to Leading The Witness

  • Cross-examination: The questioning of a witness by the attorney for the opposing side.

  • Direct examination: The questioning of a witness by the attorney representing the same side.

  • Objection: A formal protest by an attorney during trial regarding the admissibility of evidence or a particular line of questioning.

  • Testimony: The verbal or written evidence given by a witness under oath in a legal proceeding.