LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Superior Court Judge Lance Ito joked that attorney F. Lee Bailey should have been shot Monday for walking too close to the judge's bench.

``Is that a custom in Florida?'' Ito asked as Bailey strayed into the narrow space between the counsel table and the judge's bench to reach the clerk's cubicle and return a piece of evidence.

``Pardon me?'' Bailey asked, apparently unaware he had broken a protocol common to most courtrooms.

``Never mind,'' the judge said. ``Proceed.''

He then turned to one of his courtroom deputies and said with a grin, ``You're supposed to shoot when they do that.''

Bailey then addressed Ito.

``If I may do so, your honor, the configuration (of the courtroom) is one that I am not familiar with, so if I have stepped in the wrong area, I am well advised.''

``Thank you,'' the judge said. ``Proceed.''