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Home > EC 765-778

California Evidence Code 765-778

California Evidence Code
Division 6. Witnesses
Chapter 5. Method and Scope of Examination
Article 2. Examination of Witnesses
765. (a) The court shall exercise reasonable control over the mode of interrogation of a witness so as to make such interrogation as rapid, as distinct, and as effective for the ascertainment of the truth, as may be, and to protect the witness from undue harassment or embarrassment.
(b) With a witness under the age of 14, the court shall take special care to protect him or her from undue harassment or embarrassment, and to restrict the unnecessary repetition of questions. The court shall also take special care to insure that questions are stated in a form which is appropriate to the age of the witness. The court may in the interests of justice, on objection by a party, forbid the asking of a question which is in a form that is not reasonably likely to be understood by a person of the age of the witness.
766. A witness must give responsive answers to questions, and answers that are not responsive shall be stricken on motion of any party.
767. (a) Except under special circumstances where the interests of justice otherwise require:
(1) A leading question may not be asked of a witness on direct or redirect examination.
(2) A leading question may be asked of a witness on cross-examination or recross-examination.
(b) The court may in the interests of justice permit a leading question to be asked of a child under 10 years of age in a case involving a prosecution under Section 273a, 273d, 288, or 288.5 of the Penal Code.
768. (a) In examining a witness concerning a writing, it is not necessary to show, read, or disclose to him any part of the writing.
(b) If a writing is shown to a witness, all parties to the action must be given an opportunity to inspect it before any question concerning it may be asked of the witness.
769. In examining a witness concerning a statement or other conduct by him that is inconsistent with any part of his testimony at the hearing, it is not necessary to disclose to him any information concerning the statement or other conduct.
770. Unless the interests of justice otherwise require, extrinsic evidence of a statement made by a witness that is inconsistent with any part of his testimony at the hearing shall be excluded unless:
(a) The witness was so examined while testifying as to give him an opportunity to explain or to deny the statement; or
(b) The witness has not been excused from giving further testimony in the action.
771. (a) Subject to subdivision (c), if a witness, either while testifying or prior thereto, uses a writing to refresh his memory with respect to any matter about which he testifies, such writing must be produced at the hearing at the request of an adverse party and, unless the writing is so produced, the testimony of the witness concerning such matter shall be stricken.
(b) If the writing is produced at the hearing, the adverse party may, if he chooses, inspect the writing, cross-examine the witness concerning it, and introduce in evidence such portion of it as may be pertinent to the testimony of the witness.
(c) Production of the writing is excused, and the testimony of the witness shall not be stricken, if the writing:
(1) Is not in the possession or control of the witness or the party who produced his testimony concerning the matter; and
(2) Was not reasonably procurable by such party through the use of the court's process or other available means.
772. (a) The examination of a witness shall proceed in the following phases: direct examination, cross-examination, redirect examination, recross-examination, and continuing thereafter by redirect and recross-examination.
(b) Unless for good cause the court otherwise directs, each phase of the examination of a witness must be concluded before the succeeding phase begins.
(c) Subject to subdivision (d), a party may, in the discretion of the court, interrupt his cross-examination, redirect examination, or recross-examination of a witness, in order to examine the witness upon a matter not within the scope of a previous examination of the witness.
(d) If the witness is the defendant in a criminal action, the witness may not, without his consent, be examined under direct examination by another party.
773. (a) A witness examined by one party may be cross-examined upon any matter within the scope of the direct examination by each other party to the action in such order as the court directs.
(b) The cross-examination of a witness by any party whose interest is not adverse to the party calling him is subject to the same rules that are applicable to the direct examination.
774. A witness once examined cannot be reexamined as to the same matter without leave of the court, but he may be reexamined as to any new matter upon which he has been examined by another party to the action. Leave may be granted or withheld in the court's discretion.
775. The court, on its own motion or on the motion of any party, may call witnesses and interrogate them the same as if they had been produced by a party to the action, and the parties may object to the questions asked and the evidence adduced the same as if such witnesses were called and examined by an adverse party. Such witnesses may be cross-examined by all parties to the action in such order as the court directs.
776. (a) A party to the record of any civil action, or a person identified with such a party, may be called and examined as if under cross-examination by any adverse party at any time during the presentation of evidence by the party calling the witness.
(b) A witness examined by a party under this section may be cross-examined by all other parties to the action in such order as the court directs; but, subject to subdivision (e), the witness may be examined only as if under redirect examination by:
(1) In the case of a witness who is a party, his own counsel and counsel for a party who is not adverse to the witness.
(2) In the case of a witness who is not a party, counsel for the party with whom the witness is identified and counsel for a party who is not adverse to the party with whom the witness is identified.
(c) For the purpose of this section, parties represented by the same counsel are deemed to be a single party.
(d) For the purpose of this section, a person is identified with a party if he is:
(1) A person for whose immediate benefit the action is prosecuted or defended by the party.
(2) A director, officer, superintendent, member, agent, employee, or managing agent of the party or of a person specified in paragraph
(1), or any public employee of a public entity when such public entity is the party.
(3) A person who was in any of the relationships specified in paragraph (2) at the time of the act or omission giving rise to the cause of action.
(4) A person who was in any of the relationships specified in paragraph (2) at the time he obtained knowledge of the matter concerning which he is sought to be examined under this section. (e) Paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) does not require counsel for the party with whom the witness is identified and counsel for a party who is not adverse to the party with whom the witness is identified to examine the witness as if under redirect examination if the party who called the witness for examination under this section:
(1) Is also a person identified with the same party with whom the witness is identified.
(2) Is the personal representative, heir, successor, or assignee of a person identified with the same party with whom the witness is identified.
777. (a) Subject to subdivisions (b) and (c), the court may exclude from the courtroom any witness not at the time under examination so that such witness cannot hear the testimony of other witnesses.
(b) A party to the action cannot be excluded under this section.
(c) If a person other than a natural person is a party to the action, an officer or employee designated by its attorney is entitled to be present.
778. After a witness has been excused from giving further testimony in the action, he cannot be recalled without leave of the court. Leave may be granted or withheld in the court's discretion.

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