cross-examination


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Related to cross-examination: direct examination

Cross-Examination

The questioning of a witness or party during a trial, hearing, or deposition by the party opposing the one who asked the person to testify in order to evaluate the truth of that person's testimony, to develop the testimony further, or to accomplish any other objective. The interrogation of a witness or party by the party opposed to the one who called the witness or party, upon a subject raised during direct examination—the initial questioning of a witness or party—on the merits of that testimony.

The scope of cross-examination is generally restricted to matters covered during direct examination.

cross-examination

n. the opportunity for the attorney (or an unrepresented party) to ask questions in court of a witness who has testified in a trial on behalf of the opposing party. The questions on cross-examination are limited to the subjects covered in the direct examination of the witness, but importantly, the attorney may ask leading questions, in which he/she is allowed to suggest answers or put words in the witness' mouth. (For example, "Isn't it true that you told Mrs. Jones she had done nothing wrong?" which is leading, as compared to "Did you say anything to Mrs. Jones?) A strong cross-examination (often called just "cross" by lawyers and judges) can force contradictions, expressions of doubts, or even complete obliteration of a witness' prior carefully-rehearsed testimony. On the other hand, repetition of a witness' story, vehemently defended, can strengthen his/her credibility. (See: testimony, trial, direct examination, witness, credibility)

cross-examination

noun asking questions, challenge, checking, cross interrogation, cross questioning, enquiry, evidence-seeking, examination, exploration, forrulating questions, grilling, inquest, inquiry, inquisition, interpellation, interrogation, investigation, leading inquiry, minute examination, probe, prosecution, query, quest, questioning, reexamination, scrutiny, search, search into facts, searching inquiry, trial
Associated concepts: right to cross-examine, scope of crosssxamination

cross-examination

in court practice, the part of a case, whether civil or criminal, where evidence is elicited from the other side's witness. Thus, the defence will cross-examine the investigating police officers after the prosecutor has conducted the examination in chief It serves two functions:
  1. (1) to test the veracity of the witness and the accuracy of the evidence;
  2. (2) to obtain evidence on points on which he has not been questioned in chief and which may support the cross-examiner's case. Failure to cross-examine on any matter generally implies acceptance of evidence on that point.

CROSS-EXAMINATION, practice. The examination of a witness, by the party who did not call him, upon matters to which he has been examined in chief.
     2. Every party has a right to cross-examine a witness produced by his antagonist, in order to test whether the witness has the knowledge of the things he testifies and if, upon examination, it is found that the witness had the means and ability to ascertain the facts about which he testifies, then his memory, his motives, everything may be scrutinized by the cross- examination.
    3. In cross-examinations a great latitude is allowed in the mode of putting questions, and the counsel may put leading questions. (q.v.) Vide further on this subject, and for some rules which limit the abuse of this right, 1 Stark. Ev,. 96; 1 Phil. Ev. 210; 6 Watts & Serg. 75.
     4. The object of a cross-examination is to sift the evidence, and try the credibility of a witness who has been called and given evidence in chief. It is one of the principal tests which the law has devised for the ascertainment of truth, and it is certainly one of the most efficacious. By this means the situation of the witness, with respect to the parties and the subject of litigation, his interest, his motives, his inclinations and his prejudices, his means of obtaining a correct and certain knowledge of the facts to which he testifies the manner in which he has used those means, his powers of discerning the facts in the first instance, and of his capacity in retaining and describing them, are fully investigated and ascertained. The witness, however artful he may be, will seldom be able to elude the keen perception of an intelligent court or jury, unless indeed his story be founded on truth. When false, he will be liable to detection at every step. 1 Stark. Ev. 96; 1 Phil. Ev. 227; Fortese. Rep. Pref. 2 to 4; Vaugh. R. 143.
     5. In order to entitle a party to a cross-examination, the witness must have been sworn and examined; for, even if the witness be asked a question in chief, yet if he make no answer, the opponent has no right to cross- examine. 1 Cr. M. & Ros. 95; 1 16 S. & R. 77; Rosc. Cr. Ev. 128; 3 Car. & P. 16; S. C. 14 E. C. L. Rep. 189; 3 Bouv. Inst. n. 3217. Formerly, however, the rule seems to have been different. 1 Phil. Ev. 211.
     6. A cross-examination of a witness is not always necessary or advisable. A witness tells the truth wholly or partially, or he tells a falsehood. If he tells the whole truth, a cross-examination may have the effect of rendering his testimony more circumstantial, and impressing the jury with a stronger opinion of its truth. If he tells only a part of the truth, and the part omitted is favorable to the client of the counsel cross- examining, he should direct the attention of the witness to the matters omitted. If the testimony of the witness be false, the whole force of the cross-examination should be directed to his credibility. This is done by questioning him as to his means of knowledge, his disinterestedness, and other matters calculated to show a want of integrity or veracity, if there is reason to believe the witness prejudiced, partial, or willfully dishonest. Arch. Crim. Pl. 111. See Credible Witness.

References in periodicals archive ?
Also see the article "Seven Tips for Surviving Cross-Examination," FVS News, August 6,2014, available at tinyurl.
10) Though there are other classes of vulnerable witnesses who may also be unfairly disadvantaged in the trial process, such as adult victims of sexual assault, (11) it is clear that particular problems arise in the cross-examination of children and persons with an intellectual disability.
When that happens, the questions you saved for redirect are now beyond the scope of your opponent's cross-examination and may not be permissible.
The gains you reap from experts being nervous and ill-prepared for cross-examination at trial can outweigh the benefit of the information traditionally obtained by deposing them.
While witnesses sometimes do not enjoy the experience, it is vital cross-examination takes place to ensure that the jury is aware of all of the facts and to ensure justice is done.
being offered at the Chicago Strategic Cross-Examination Course and the upcoming fall Eighteenth Annual National Multidisciplinary Domestic Violence Conference in San Diego.
1) had been amended in 1994 to permit the introduction of "published treatises, periodicals or pamphlets on a subject of history, medicine or other science or art" if the material was "called to the attention of an expert witness upon cross-examination or relied upon by the expert witness in direct examination" and if it had been established that the material is "reliable authority.
Oversold as the advocate's one big chance to unmask a liar, cross-examination is simply another way to communicate with the jury.
BEFORE COUNSEL ATTEMPTS TO UTILIZE ANY PUBLICATION IN CROSS-EXAMINATION OF A WITNESS, HE MUST ASCERTAIN THAT IT IS SO HIGHLY ACCEPTED THAT THERE IS NO QUESTION AS TO ITS AUTHORITY.
Black's lawyers had sought to get Radler back on the stand to challenge his contention on earlier cross-examination that he was unfamiliar with some of the advantages of his plea bargain with U.
A welcome contribution to religious studies reference shelves, due to its meticulous cross-examination of how to properly frame debates of the most profound magnitude.
On cross-examination, he agreed with defense attorney Nicola Hanna's characterization as "dishonest" Muir's solicitation of the Hearst Corp.