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 ?
The advice to never ask an adverse witness a question whose answer you don't know often leads to cross-examinations in which attorneys ask questions but do not listen to answers since they believe they already know the answers.
His motto is, Never conduct courtroom demonstrations with an adverse witness.
With few holds barred in trying to discredit an adverse witness and easy access to databases storing personal information, almost anyone could turn out to be a problem witness.