If a witness is presumed hostile, or declared hostile by the judge, it changes a few things. The most important is the way that the attorney is allowed to ask a hostile witness questions. Normally, an attorney cannot ask its own, non-hostile witnesses leading questions. A leading question is one whose answer is presumed in the question, often answerable with a simple "yes" or "no."For example, a non-leading question would be, "What color was the light?" A leading question would be, "The light was red, wasn't it?" Leading questions tend to coach the witness because they tell the witness what to say. Non-leading questions force the witness to come up with his or her own answers.
How to Handle a Hostile Witness
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