A type of questioning in that the form of the question suggests the answer. In general, leading questions are not allowed during the direct examination of a witness, however, they are allowed on the cross-examination of a witness. Rule Rule 611(c) of the Federal Rules of Evidence, lists the situations in which leading questions are appropriate, which include on cross-examination, when dealing with preliminary matters, when there is difficulty eliciting testimony from a witness, and when a hostile or adverse witness is being questioned.
Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary
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
Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.
August 19, 2010, 5:19 pm