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Rules of Evidence Table of Contents

RULES OF EVIDENCE

ARTICLE VI. WITNESSES

Rule 611. Mode and Order of Examining Witnesses and Presenting Evidence

 

(a) Control by the Court; Purposes. The court should exercise reasonable control over the mode and order of examining witnesses and presenting evidence so as to:

(1) make those procedures effective for determining the truth;

(2) avoid wasting time; and

(3) protect witnesses from harassment or undue embarrassment.

(b) Scope of Cross-Examination. A witness may be cross-examined on any matter relevant to any issue in the case, including credibility. In the interests of justice, the judge may limit cross-examination with respect to matters not testified to on direct examination.

(c) Leading Questions. Leading questions should not be used on direct examination except as necessary to develop the witness's testimony. Ordinarily, the court should allow leading questions:

(1) on cross-examination; and

(2) When a party calls a hostile witness, an adverse party, or a witness identified with an adverse party.

 

2016 NHRE Update Committee Note

The 2016 amendment made stylistic changes to subsections (a) and (c) of the rule. Subsections (a) and (c) mirror Federal Rule of Evidence 611(a) and (c). No change was made to subsection (b). New Hampshire Rule of Evidence 611(b) generally allows for more latitude on the scope of cross-examination than does FRE 611(b). The committee saw no reason to change this practice.

 


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