The term the bench refers to judges and comes from the name of the place in the courtroom where the judge sits.
Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary
The desk and seat (usually a chair rather than an actual bench) where a judge sits in the courtroom. Sometimes the word "bench" is used in place of the word "judge" -- for example, a party to a lawsuit might ask for a bench trial, meaning a trial by a judge without a jury. And lawyers in a trial sometimes "approach the bench," meaning they step up to speak to the judge.
Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.
August 19, 2010, 5:11 pm