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Approach the Bench

Definition - What does Approach the Bench mean?

The act of an attorney moving from their position at the counsel desk to standing directly in front of the bench and in front of the presiding judge is called "approaching the bench." Judges will ask both defense and prosecuting attorneys to approach the bench if they have something to ask either side which lends to the clarification of the subject matter being heard. There can be any number of reasons a judge may request both sides to approach the bench. The conversations held at the bench during these times are outside of the case being heard and are not considered by the jury. Attorneys may also ask the permission of the judge to approach the bench.

Justipedia explains Approach the Bench

A judge may tell both sides to approach the bench if it becomes evident that contradictory facts have been brought about or any mitigating factors or alternative viewpoints that may change the overall outlook. The judge may also warn one or both sides to refrain from questioning witnesses on any specific matter or to stay within certain set limitations as outlined during that period.

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