Leading the Witness

On direct when a questions suggests an answer: Did you notice a handicap?


A question which doesn’t ask for facts from the witness, but suggests something about the case:

"And you expect us to believe that you’re telling the truth even though you’re her cousin?"


A question which does not tend to make a material fact (what’s material is based on the law) more or less likely


An out of court statement offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted (that’s why it’s not hearsay when we impeach – we’re only trying to show the witness lying).

"What did she tell you?"

Note: affidavits are hearsay unless used to impeach.

No personal knowledge

We only allow the witness to testify about things that he or she, the witness, knows.

"why did Ms. Moncrieff apply at your station?"

The question calls for speculation/hypothetical question

Very much like no basis for personal knowledge.

"would you have hired her IF she had no disability?"

Asked and answered

By the same lawyer and the same witness

Counsel is testifying

Only a witness can bring out new facts. Lawyers can’t "testify" in phrasing their questions.

Assumes facts not evidence

Must have a "foundation" for every question.

We have to ask where a witness works before we ask how long he worked there.

Object to introduction of evidence if it has not been shown to you


"Your honor, would you please direct the witness to answer the question; it only calls for yes or no, not a narrative."

Not until you have tried to take control of the witness but failed.


Out of the focus of knowledge of the witness


Not understood, unclear

Compound Question

Too many questions for the witness –give one at a time.