hostile witness
hostile witness see witness

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

hostile witness
n.
A witness who is so obviously antagonistic to the party who has called him or her that the party is allowed to cross-examine him or her as if he or she had been called by the opposing party.

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.


hostile witness
a witness expected to give testimony favourable to the examiner but who in fact begins to give testimony not only unhelpful to the case but directed against it. In general, a person called as a witness may not be cross-examined (See cross-examination) by the party calling him. However, where a witness in the examination in chief demonstrates hostility to the party who called him, that witness may, with the leave of the judge, be cross-examined by the party calling him. A witness is not to be regarded as hostile by reason only of the fact that he gives evidence unfavourable to the party calling him.
This phrase has no technical meaning in Scotland, the advocate or solicitor being free to challenge a witness he himself has called, without the leave of the court.

Collins dictionary of law. . 2001.


hostile witness
A witness who testifies against the party who has called the person to testify. The examiner may ask a hostile witness leading questions, as in cross-examination. Also called an adverse witness.
Category: Small Claims Court & Lawsuits

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.


hostile witness
A witness at a trial who is so adverse to the party that called him or her that he or she can be cross-examined as though called to testify by the opposing party.

Dictionary from West's Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005.


hostile witness
I
A witness at a trial who is so adverse to the party that called him or her that he or she can be cross-examined as though called to testify by the opposing party.
II A witness whose testimony is not favorable to the party who calls him or her as a witness. A hostile witness may be asked leading questions and may be cross-examined by the party who calls him or her to the stand.

Short Dictionary of (mostly American) Legal Terms and Abbreviations.

hostile witness
n.
   technically an "adverse witness" in a trial who is found by the judge to be hostile (adverse) to the position of the party whose attorney is questioning the witness, even though the attorney called the witness to testify on behalf of his/her client. When the attorney calling the witness finds that the answers are contrary to the legal position of his/her client or the witness becomes openly antagonistic, the attorney may request the judge to declare the witness to be "hostile" or "adverse." If the judge declares the witness to be hostile (i.e. adverse), the attorney may ask "leading" questions which suggest answers or are challenging to the testimony just as on cross examination of a witness who has testified for the opposition.
   See also: adverse witness, leading, witness

Law dictionary. . 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • hostile witness — hostile or adverse witness A witness who manifests so much hostility or prejudice under examination in chief that the party who has called him, or his representative, is allowed to cross examine him, i.e., to treat him as though he had been… …   Black's law dictionary

  • hostile witness — hostile or adverse witness A witness who manifests so much hostility or prejudice under examination in chief that the party who has called him, or his representative, is allowed to cross examine him, i.e., to treat him as though he had been… …   Black's law dictionary

  • Hostile Witness — is a 1968 British courtroom based drama film directed by Ray Milland based on a play by Jack Roffey and starring Milland, Sylvia Sims, Raymond Huntley and Julian Holloway. [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0063093/] References …   Wikipedia

  • Hostile witness — A hostile witness is a witness in a trial who testifies for the opposing party or a witness who offers adverse testimony to the calling party during direct examination.A witness called by the opposing party is presumed hostile. A witness called… …   Wikipedia

  • hostile witness — noun a witness whose relationship to the opposing party is such that his or her testimony may be prejudiced against the opposing party a hostile witness can be asked leading questions and cross examined • Syn: ↑adverse witness • Hypernyms:… …   Useful english dictionary

  • hostile witness — witness who testifies in a contrary manner to what is expected …   English contemporary dictionary

  • hostile witness — noun In a legal trial, a person called to testify as a witness by a party to whom that witness is opposed …   Wiktionary

  • hostile witness — /ˌhɒstaɪl ˈwɪtnəs/ (say .hostuyl witnuhs) noun Law a witness who deliberately obstructs the party who called them and who therefore may be made subject to cross examination by that party. Also, adverse witness …   Australian English dictionary

  • hostile witness — noun Law a witness who is antagonistic to the party calling them and, being unwilling to tell the truth, may have to be asked leading questions …   English new terms dictionary

  • hostile witness — A witness who is subject to crossexamination by the party who called him, because of his evident antagonism toward that party as exhibited in his direct examination …   Ballentine's law dictionary

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