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Straub v. Reading Co.
United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
220 F.2d 177 (1955)
Straub (plaintiff) worked for Reading Company (Reading) (defendant). While working, Straub fell off a ladder and was injured. Straub sued Reading to recover damages for his injuries. At trial, Straub’s lawyer asked Straub and other witnesses several leading questions that suggested the desired answer within the question. To many of these questions, Straub simply had to confirm what the lawyer asked. For example, when asking Straub about his duties at work, the lawyer did not ask Straub to describe his duties but rather asked: “Does that involve the movements of men that are actually moving trains or assisting in the movements of trains, or in the furtherance of interstate commerce throughout the Reading system?” To this question, Straub simply replied, “Yes, sir.” Reading’s lawyer objected to these questions on occasion but also told the judge that he did not want to object to every leading question because of how it might look to the jury. Reading’s lawyer asked the judge to monitor the leading questions and mitigate them. The judge, at times, instructed Straub’s lawyer to refrain from asking leading questions, but many similarly styled questions continued. The jury ruled in Straub’s favor. Reading appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (McLaughlin, J.)
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