hostile witness

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hostile witness

A witness in a trial who testifies for the opposing party and is subject to cross-examination by the same party that called him or her as a direct witness due to antagonism demonstrated during direct examination. Witnesses called by the opposing party are presumed hostile. A witness can be declared hostile by a judge at the request of the examiner, when the witness' testimony is openly antagonistic or when clearly prejudiced to the opposing party.
References in periodicals archive ?
If an adverse witness has testified favorably to a plainfiff's case, there is the overwhelming temptation to go for the kill, to reiterate that testimony with a brilliant" cross-examination.