lead a/the witness

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lead a/the witness

To ask a witness at a trial a question that is articulated in such a way as to suggest that a particular answer or piece of information is true or has been established. This practice is forbidden in courts in America. Mr. Smith, I will not allow you to lead a witness in my courtroom. Either ask legitimate questions, or I will find you in contempt of court. Objection! The prosecution is clearly leading the witness.
See also: lead, witness
References in periodicals archive ?
Unless this has become the standard or conduct at the Congress yet again, the two not so gentle gentlemen might want to review their conduct or behavior because it was quite disturbing to listen to them berate a "guest," interrogate her in the same manner seasoned lawyers try to discredit a witness and lead the witness to establish her lack of credibility or ill motive.
In addition to giving the witness context as to where the witness' testimony will ultimately fit in the case, providing this information prepares the witness to address questions from plaintiff's counsel that attempt to lead the witness into providing testimony that is really outside of the witness' knowledge.
Short direct questions lead the witness to the exact topic of discussion, and allow the witness to explain this portion of the industry in his own words, telling a story from the mouth of the witness rather than from counsel.
By carefully constructing questions, then intently listening to the witness's answer, the great cross-examiner can use that answer to lead the witness to give testimony favorable to the client's case.
Highlight important testimony by having the witness explain testimony that may be confusing to the panel.(13) One method of emphasizing important testimony is to begin with a broad overview, then lead the witness back through the testimony in more detail.
Restrictions on cross-examination: The defence counsel could not ask any questions which might lead the witnesses into identifying themselves.