bench n1 : the place where a judge sits in court [asked counsel to approach the ] compare bar , dock , jury box , sidebar , stand
2 : the court or system of courts serving an area [the state ] [the federal ]
3 a : the office of a judge [appointed to the ]
b : the body of persons who hold positions as judges [members of the and bar] compare bar
c : a judge or panel of judges hearing a case [unless the lawyer is responding to a question from the "R. H. Bork"]
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.