Duhaime's Law Dictionary Examination In Chief Definition: The questioning of your own witness under oath. Related Terms: Cross Examination, Leading Question, Witness Also known as: Examination of witnesses-in-chief; and Direct examination. The questioning of a party's own witness under oath, at trial. Witnesses are introduced to a trial by their examination-in-chief, which is when they answer questions asked by the lawyer representing the party which called them to the stand. After their examination-in-chief, the other party’s lawyer can question them too; this is called cross-examination. In their book on evidence, Justice Alan Bryant and others wrote: "A party who calls a witness examines that witness in chief. Evidence adduced in examination-in-chief is generally designed to serve one of the following purposes, which are not mutually exclusive: build or support the calling party's case; weaken the opponent's case; strengthen the credibility of the witness; (or) strengthen or weaken the credibility of other witnesses. "There are constraints on the form of the examination-in-chief, most importantly in the rule against leading questions." REFERENCES: Bryant, Alan and others, The Law of Evidence in Canada, 3rd Ed. (Toronto: LexisNexis, 2009), page 1106. Categories & Topics: Duhaime's Civil Litigation & Evidence Law Dictionary Always looking up definitions? Save time with our search provider (modern browsers only) If you find an error or omission in Duhaime's Law Dictionary, or if you have suggestion for a legal term, we'd love to hear from you!