Legal Dictionary

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Beyond the Scope

“Beyond the Scope” is an objection that an attorney can use at trial or in a hearing when the opposing attorney is examining a witness (other than on direct examination) in a way that goes into matters that were not asked about in the immediately preceding examination. Questions during cross examination, redirect, and re-cross-examination must be related to information that was obtained during direct examination.

Questions during redirect cannot go beyond the scope of cross examination, and questions during re-cross-examination cannot go beyond the scope of redirect, etc. For example, if a witness has only been asked about his interaction with the defendant on the night of the alleged crime, after that, the attorneys cannot suddenly start asking the witness about his interaction with the defendant in the period after the crime.