in chief

Also found in: Dictionary.
Related to in chief: Chief Secretary, Chief architect
See: a fortiori

IN CHIEF. Evidence is said to be in chief when it is given in support of the case opened by the leading counsel. Vide To Open, Opening. The term is used to distinguish evidence of this nature from evidence obtained on a cross- examination. (q.v.) 3 Chit. 890. By evidence in chief is sometimes meant that evidence, which is given in contradistinction to evidence which is obtained on the witness voir dire.
     2. Evidence in chief should be confined to such matters as the pleadings and the opening warrant, and a departure from this rule, will be sometimes highly inconvenient, if not fatal. Suppose, for example, that two assaults have been committed, one in January and the other. in February, and the plaintiff prove his cause of action to have been the assault in January, he cannot abandon that, and afterwards prove another committed in February unless the pleadings and openings extend to both. 1 Campb R. 473. See also, 6 Carr. & P. 73; S. C. 25 E. C. L. R. 288; 1 Mood. & R. 282.

References in classic literature ?
With this object he intended to meet the regiment; so the worse the condition it was in, the better pleased the commander in chief would be.
The commander in chief is expected and you leave your place?
INS Kalpeni that would operate under the Flag Officer Commanding in Chief Southern Naval Command and based at Kochi is commanded by Lieutenant Commander Subhal Nathan and has a crew of three officers and 38 sailors onboard.