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In Examination of witnesses, a 'leading' question is one that allows a witness simply to confirm facts put to him by Counsel. Leading questions are discouraged at certain stages of a trial because they can give listeners the misleading impression that certain things are agreed, when they are in dispute. For example, it would be a leading question to ask Did the driver stop his car after hitting you? if the question whether the witness was hit be a car was still at issue. If would not be a leading question to ask What happened after the car hit you? because it is clearer that we are still seeking the witnesses view of events.
Leading questions are strongly discouraged during ExaminationInChief, but may sometimes be permitted during Cross-examination andre examination. In addition, it is accepted that questions such as Are you Fred Bloggs of 13 Acacia Avenue, East Dogpatch? -- while technically leading questions -- are allowed in the interests of expediency.