Trial Advocacy

Leading Question

A leading question is one that suggests a certain answer.


  • "You're wearing a purple shirt, right?"
  • "Wasn't the light green?"
  • "You were at the bank, weren't you?"

Leading questions are usually formed by adding a tagline to statement.


A tagline is a phrase added to the end of an otherwise declaratory statement to turn it into a leading question.

Common taglines include "...correct?", "...isn't that right?", "is that correct?", "weren't you?"

Mix up taglines; don't just repeat the same phrase over and over again.

An otherwise declarative sentence can be turned into a leading question by tone and context. (Just saying a sentence is not a question though, despite what Prof. Rost says.)

Leading questions not permitted on direct examination, only cross-examination.