Direct examination

The Direct Examination or Examination-in-Chief is one stage in the process of adducing evidence from witnesses in a court of law. Direct examination is the questioning of a witness by the party who called him or her, in a trial. Direct examination is usually performed to elicit evidence in support of facts which will satisfy a required element of a party's claim or defense.

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

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  • direct examination — n: the first examination of a witness by the party calling the witness compare cross examination, redirect examination ◇ Leading questions are not allowed on direct examination unless the witness is shown to be hostile. Merriam Webster’s… …   Law dictionary

  • Direct examination — Examination Ex*am i*na tion, n. [L. examinatio: cf. F. examination.] 1. The act of examining, or state of being examined; a careful search, investigation, or inquiry; scrutiny by study or experiment. [1913 Webster] 2. A process prescribed or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Direct examination — Direct Di*rect , a. [L. directus, p. p. of dirigere to direct: cf. F. direct. See {Dress}, and cf. {Dirge}.] 1. Straight; not crooked, oblique, or circuitous; leading by the short or shortest way to a point or end; as, a direct line; direct means …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • direct examination — UK US noun [U] LAW ► a situation in which a lawyer in a court of law asks questions of a person who has been ordered to come to the court and state what they know about a legal case: »Testifying on direct examination, the witness said that sexual …   Financial and business terms

  • direct examination — direct questioning = examination in chief прямой опрос, начальная фаза устных показаний свидетеля или эксперта, состоящая в том, что он отвечает на вопросы стороны, которая пригласила его к участию в процессе. Обычно сводится к подтверждению… …   Glossary of international commercial arbitration

  • direct examination — examination of a witness by the party that summoned him to trial …   English contemporary dictionary

  • direct examination — direct′ examina′tion n. law the initial questioning to elicit a witness s testimony, as at a trial or hearing, by the side that called the witness …   From formal English to slang

  • direct examination — The first interrogation or examination of a witness, on the merits, by the party on whose behalf he is called. The first examination of a witness upon a matter that is not within the scope of a previous examination of the witness. Calif.Evid.Code …   Black's law dictionary

  • direct examination — The examination in chief of a witness by the party who called him to the stand. See examination in chief; question in chief; redirect examination …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • direct examination — noun Date: circa 1859 the first examination of a witness by the party calling the witness compare cross examination …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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