To move towards the bench in order to have a conversation with the judge and opposing counsel off the record and/or out of the jury's earshot. An attorney or juror (during voir dire) must request to approach the bench, i.e. "Your honor, may I approach the bench?"
See, e.g. People v. Maher, 675 N.E.2d 833 (N.Y. 1996).
Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary
The term lawyers use when they would like to have a conversation with opposing counsel and the judge, out of the earshot of the jury, as in,"Your honor, may I approach the bench?" Judges who initiate the conversation will ask, "Will counsel approach?"
Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.
August 19, 2010, 5:11 pm