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No lawyer worth her salt should be caught dead in court without a briefcase and a Palm Pilot. Apparently she should also make sure to pack her trusty steel. That’s the way it seems in Los Angeles, where in the five months since L.A. County tightened security at its downtown civil courthouse, more than 1,800 weapons and three loaded guns have been confiscated, superior court officers say. Half those weapons — mostly knives — were taken from lawyers. The complete list of confiscated weapons includes: 1,438 knives (including pocket knives and nail files), 311 mace or pepper spray cans, 17 martial arts implements and 41 firearms. L.A. Sheriff’s Sgt. Gordon Crowl said just last week he arrested an attorney for trying to carry a shuriken — a.k.a. a ninja star — into the courthouse, claiming it was a letter opener. At San Francisco Superior Court, the Sheriff’s Department says it has nabbed three guns, 17 knives, two cans of mace and one poor guy’s pot pipe since this city’s superior court building opened in 1997. But sheriff’s chief of staff Eileen Hirst said she didn’t know if any of the weapons came off lawyers.

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