The Law: Spiking Cannon

Although her chambers at one time were done in shocking pink, Los Angeles Municipal Court Judge Noel Cannon often chose language that was decidedly blue. She once inquired in the vernacular whether guards conducting a search had looked up the rectum of a lawyer whom she had just jailed for contempt. On another occasion off the bench, she threatened to give a traffic policeman "a vasectomy with a .38." To round out her reputation, she sometimes heard cases with her pet Chihuahua in her lap, and for a while had a toy canary that punctuated lawyers' arguments with mechanical peeps. Few...

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