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
(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
766. A witness must give responsive answers to questions, and
answers that are not responsive shall be stricken on motion of any
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
(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
(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
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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