What does approach the bench mean?

approach the bench meaning in Legal Dictionary

v. a lawyer's action from counsel dining table towards front side associated with bench (the big work desk at which the judge sits) to be able to talk to the judge off the record and/or away from earshot of jury. Since the workbench area is the sacred area of judge the attorney must ask permission as "may I approach the workbench," or simply just, "may we approach." If judge consents, after that opposing advice must be allowed to come forward and participate in the conversation. The purpose ranges from outlining your order of witnesses, a technical issue or perhaps the need to take a recess to attend the restroom.