2010 Wisconsin Code
Chapter 906. Evidence--witnesses.
906.11 Mode and order of interrogation and presentation.

906.11

906.11 Mode and order of interrogation and presentation.

906.11(1)

(1) Control by judge. The judge shall exercise reasonable control over the mode and order of interrogating witnesses and presenting evidence so as to do all of the following:

906.11(1)(a)

(a) Make the interrogation and presentation effective for the ascertainment of the truth.

906.11(1)(b)

(b) Avoid needless consumption of time.

906.11(1)(c)

(c) Protect witnesses from harassment or undue embarrassment.

906.11(2)

(2) Scope of cross-examination. A witness may be cross-examined on any matter relevant to any issue in the case, including credibility. In the interests of justice, the judge may limit cross-examination with respect to matters not testified to on direct examination.

906.11(3)

(3) Leading questions. Leading questions should not be used on the direct examination of a witness except as may be necessary to develop the witness's testimony. Ordinarily leading questions should be permitted on cross-examination. In civil cases, a party is entitled to call an adverse party or witness identified with the adverse party and interrogate by leading questions.

906.11 - ANNOT.

History: Sup. Ct. Order, 59 Wis. 2d R1, R185 (1973); 1991 a. 32; 1999 a. 85.

906.11 - ANNOT.

A question is not leading if it merely suggests a subject rather than a specific answer that may not be true. Hicks v. State, 47 Wis. 2d 38, 176 N.W.2d 386 (1970).

906.11 - ANNOT.

It is error for a trial court to restrict cross-examination of an accomplice who was granted immunity, but the conviction will not be reversed if the error was harmless. State v. Schenk, 53 Wis. 2d 327, 193 N.W.2d 26 (1972).

906.11 - ANNOT.

A defendant who testifies in his own behalf may be recalled for further cross-examination to lay a foundation for impeachment. Evidence that on a prior occasion the defendant did not wear glasses and that he had a gun similar to that described by the complainant was admissible when it contradicted the defendant's earlier testimony. Parham v. State, 53 Wis. 2d 458, 192 N.W.2d 838 (1972).

906.11 - ANNOT.

A trial judge should not have stricken the entire testimony of a defense witness for refusal to answer questions bearing on his credibility that had little to do with the guilt or innocence of the defendant. State v. Monsoor, 56 Wis. 2d 689, 203 N.W.2d 20 (1973).

906.11 - ANNOT.

A trial judge's admonitions to an expert witness did not give the appearance of judicial partisanship requiring a new trial. Peeples v. Sargent, 77 Wis. 2d 612, 253 N.W.2d 459 (1977).

906.11 - ANNOT.

The extent of, manner, and right of multiple cross-examinations by different counsel representing the same party can be controlled by the trial court. Hochgurtel v. San Felippo, 78 Wis. 2d 70, 253 N.W.2d 526 (1977).

906.11 - ANNOT.

A defendant has no right to be actively represented in court both personally and by counsel. Moore v. State, 83 Wis. 2d 285, 265 N.W.2d 540 (1978).

906.11 - ANNOT.

Leading questions were properly used to refresh a witness's memory. Jordan v. State, 93 Wis. 2d 449, 287 N.W.2d 509 (1980).

906.11 - ANNOT.

By testifying to his actions on the day a murder was committed, the defendant waived the self-incrimination privilege on cross-examination as to previous actions reasonably related to the direct examination. Neely v. State, 97 Wis. 2d 38, 292 N.W.2d 859 (1980).

906.11 - ANNOT.

The use of leading questions in direct examination of a child is discussed. State v. Barnes, 203 Wis. 2d 132, 552 N.W.2d 857 (Ct. App. 1996), 95-1831.

906.11 - ANNOT.

A chart prepared by the prosecutor during a trial, in the jury's presence, to categorize testimony was not a summary under s. 910.06 but was a "pedagogical device" admissible within the court's discretion under this section. State v. Olson, 217 Wis. 2d 730, 579 N.W.2d 802 (Ct. App. 1998), 96-2142.

906.11 - ANNOT.

The rule of completeness for oral statements is encompassed within this section. A party's use of an out-of-court statement to show an inconsistency does not automatically give the opposing party the right to introduce the whole statement. Under the rule of completeness, the court has discretion to admit only those statements necessary to provide context and prevent distortion. State v. Eugenio, 219 Wis. 2d 391, 579 N.W.2d 642 (1998), 96-1394.

906.11 - ANNOT.

There was no misuse of discretion in allowing a 3-year old child witness to sit on her grandmother's lap while testifying regarding an alleged sexual assault. The trial court has the power to alter courtroom procedures in order to protect the emotional well-being of a child witness and is not required to determine that a child is unable to testify unless accommodations are provided. State v. Shanks, 2002 WI App 93, 253 Wis. 2d 600, 644 N.W.2d 275, 01-1372.

906.11 - ANNOT.

While sub. (1) provides the circuit court with broad discretion to control the presentation of evidence at trial, that discretion is not unfettered and must give way when the exercise of discretion runs afoul of other statutory provisions that are not discretionary. State v. Smith, 2002 WI App 118, 254 Wis. 2d 654, 648 N.W.2d 15, 01-1662.

906.11 - ANNOT.

Whether the trial court erroneously exercised its discretion under sub. (1) (a) to exercise reasonable control over the mode and order of interrogating witnesses and presenting evidence so as to make the interrogation and presentation effective for the ascertainment of the truth must be determined based upon the particular facts and circumstances of each individual case. The discovery provisions of s. 971.23 do not trump the trial court's ability to exercise its discretion to grant a continuance order. State v. Wright, 2003 WI App 252, 268 Wis. 2d 694, 673 N.W.2d 386, 03-0238.

906.11 - ANNOT.

Under the circumstances of the case, when a defendant seeks to introduce evidence of prior specific instances of violence within the defendant's knowledge at the time of the incident in support of a self-defense claim, the circuit court has the authority under this section, in conjunction with s. 901.04 (3) (d), to order the defendant to disclose prior to trial any specific acts that the defendant knew about at the time of the incident and that the defendant intends to offer as evidence so that admissibility determinations can be made prior to trial. State v. McClaren, 2009 WI 69, 318 Wis. 2d 261, 767 N.W.2d 550, 07-2382.

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