In the United States, the sidebar is an area of a courtroom near the judge's stand where lawyers can be called in to talk to the judge so that the jury can't hear the conversation or can speak unofficially. Lawyers make a formal request saying: "Can I go to court?" or "Can I just get closer?" to start a conference in the sidebar. If granted, opposing counsel must be allowed to come forward and participate in the conversation. During the COVID-19 pandemic, several courts implemented a wireless sidebar in which, instead of having to physically approach the judge, participants used a wireless system to communicate with the judge without the jury listening. When it comes to trials, attorneys may be called upon by the judge to approach the bench or they may request permission to do so.
It is important for lawyers to understand how to properly approach the bench and what is expected of them when doing so. During a trial, the judge can call attorneys to appear in court, or lawyers can request that they be approached in court. Perecman has distinguished himself as one of New York City's top personal injury lawyers, and has defended all types of personal injury cases, including construction accidents, facility accidents, car accidents, and medical negligence, along with cases of employment discrimination, unlawful arrests, and civil rights cases. When a lawyer asks to “approach the court,” they are asking the judge for permission to literally approach the desk and talk to the judge outside of the jury hearing. When lawyers approach the bench, they are typically asking for permission from the judge to discuss something outside of what is being heard by the jury.
This could be anything from a legal argument or clarification on an issue that has been raised during trial. It is important for attorneys to be aware of their surroundings when approaching the bench as they must ensure that their conversation is not heard by any members of the jury. When approaching the bench, attorneys must be respectful and professional. They should address the judge as "Your Honor" and state their purpose for approaching. It is important for attorneys to remain focused on their purpose and not get sidetracked by other topics.
Additionally, attorneys should not make any statements that could be interpreted as disrespectful or unprofessional. When lawyers approach the bench, they are expected to present their case in an organized manner. Attorneys should provide clear and concise arguments that are supported by evidence and legal precedent. Additionally, attorneys should be prepared to answer any questions posed by the judge. Approaching the bench is an important part of any trial and it is essential that attorneys understand how to do so properly. By following these guidelines, attorneys can ensure that their conversations with judges are professional and respectful.