Nolo's Plain-English Law Dictionary

Leading Question

A question asked of a witness who is under oath, which suggests the answer. An improper leading question would be "Didn't the defendant appear to you to be going too fast in the limited visibility?" The proper question would be: "How fast do you estimate the defendant was going?" followed by "What was the visibility?" and "How far could you see?" Leading questions are not allowed on direct examination (questioning by the side that called the witness), but are allowed on cross-examination (questioning by adverse parties) or when a party's own witness has been declared a "hostile witness" by the judge. (See: hostile witness)