Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Cross Examination Definition:

The examination of a witness called by the other side at trial and for which leading questions are permitted.

Related Terms: Examination In Chief, Trial, Runaway Witness, Redirect Examination, Recross Examination, Leading Question, Disclosure

In trials, each party calls witnesses.

Each party may also question the other’s witness(es).

When you ask questions of the other party’s witness(es), it is called a "cross-examination".

A litigant (or their lawyer) is allowed considerably more latitude in cross-examination then when you question your own witnesses (called an "examination-in-chief").

For example, you are not allowed to ask leading questions to your own witness whereas you can in cross-examination.

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