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In trouble; in a very uncomfortable situation.

'Hot seat' is American prison slang for the electric chair (a method of execution). The phrase 'in the hot seat' has come to refer to any kind of bad situation.
1) The analysts who promoted the dot-bomb stocks are now in the hot seat with the SEC.

2) Andrew was really in the hot seat after his girlfriend caught him lying to her.
by VAKI5 May 11, 2005