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'Recalling a Witness' or 'Reopen an Examination' under 611(a)

In an unpublished opinion from the Fourth Circuit, the court looked at the ability for a party to recall a witness and reopen examination. In this case, the government questioned on direct examination a witness who spoke Spanish and thus was using a translator. The translator misinterpreted an important question and the government didn't realize until after they finished their redirect. The government sought, and was allowed to, reopen the examination of the witness and clarify the question.

Under 611(a), the court held that the trial court has broad discretion in allowing a party to recall a witness or to reopen examination:

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff ­ Appellee, v. ERIC ANTONIO MEJIA-RAMOS, a/k/a Flaco, Defendant - Appellant. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff ­ Appellee,, No. 17-4030, 2019 WL 6698120, (4th Cir. Dec. 9, 2019)

Also see SC Rule 611(a) which specifically addresses re-examination and recall:


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