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OF SHORTS AND TORTS — DEFENDING LIBEL LITIGATION WITH UNMENTIONABLES Being a party to an often vicious legal fight doesn’t mean you have to lose your sense of humor. Michelangelo Delfino and Mary Day — who have been locked in a contentious libel lawsuit with former employer Varian Medical Systems Inc. for three years — sell copies of books detailing their lawsuit through a link on their Web site, www.mobeta.com. They also sell anti-SLAPP clothing items — among them thong panties, boxer shorts and baby bibs. The thong panties read, “Be careful who you SLAPP.” The boxer shorts are adorned with a small red box and text that reads: “Varian videotaped me going potty,” no doubt referring to charges Delfino and Day made in Internet chat rooms that led to the lawsuit. “We’ve actually had some sales,” Day said last week. “The bib and the boxers have been big hits.” Varian tried to stop Delfino and Day from selling the items, complaining to vendor CafePress.com that they should receive any profits, according to Day. The California Supreme Court issued a stay blocking the effort. Thomas Loran III, a partner at Pillsbury Winthrop representing Varian, said, “We didn’t think they should be commercializing this so we took steps to try and claim the revenue. “It’s the kind of false message that these people have proclaimed from day one,” he said. Day said the move only boosted sales. “There’s not many places you can buy SLAPP products, and we’ve made it an art form.” If the thongs and bibs are too risque, then potential customers could always pick from more subdued items, including coffee mugs and baseball hats. — Justin M. Norton PIZZA FEED Something was fishy at National Pizza Corp., and it wasn’t anchovies. The Securities and Exchange Commission says it was Hershey Moss, a St. Louis ex-con who netted $620,000 selling a company that had no employees or infrastructure. Moss, who registered his company with the SEC, told regulators that he planned to build a frozen pizza distribution network and would take National Pizza public. But instead of going forward with the IPO, Moss sold the shell company to One Link 4 Travel for $500,000 and 440,000 shares of the San Francisco-based company. Later, Moss sold some of the One Link shares for $120,000. This month, the SEC announced it is bringing fraud charges against Moss. The complaint alleges that the “Show Me” state businessman misled regulators by engaging in secret talks to sell the company. “He went through the registration process and lied about it,” said SEC regional trial counsel James Howell. The San Francisco SEC office is seeking the return of Moss’s allegedly ill-gotten money and a fine of $240,000. Moss’s lawyer says that the whole issue is a misunderstanding. National Pizza went public 20 years ago, said Theodore Schwartz, a Clayton, Mo.- based attorney. While the company used to have employees, it has been inactive for a long time. Moss �� who was convicted of mail fraud several years ago �� intended to revive the company but decided to sell it instead, the attorney said. Moss didn’t intentionally mislead the SEC, Schwartz said. “Everything that Hershey Moss was doing was under the advice of counsel,” said Schwartz. Schwartz later added that he, however, wasn’t the lawyer who handled the deal. — Jahna Berry ARNOLD DOLL BRANCHES OUT The Washington, D.C., lobbyist responsible for funding the Arnold Schwarzenegger bobblehead doll is mad as heck — and he’s not going to take it anymore. Recently, John Edgell was added to a suit the governor filed against the Bosley Bobbing Head Doll Co. of Canton, Ohio, to block the production and sale of bobbleheads featuring the smiling face of the California governor toting an assault rifle. An irate Edgell posted an advertisement on the Washington, D.C., page of craigslist.org, looking for someone to design a new “groping Arnold” doll satirizing allegations of fondling made against the governor during last year’s gubernatorial campaign. “I’m doing this new thing because they added me,” said Edgell about the move by Lavely & Singer, the Los Angeles firm representing Schwarzenegger, to include him in the suit. “I’m trying to drive the point home that satire is every American’s right. Every serious mind should be concerned when any public official tries to take away their First Amendment right to poke fun at them,” Edgell said. Edgell, who paid Bosley Bobbing Head Doll Co. to make the original Arnold doll, had hoped to sell the trinkets as a fund-raiser for the Kristen Ann Carr Fund to fight sarcoma. He said this week that he had not yet hired legal representation but has attorneys lining up to take the case, including one “$700-an-hour name attorney who doesn’t like Arnold’s attorneys.” Meanwhile, the case against the doll company and owner Todd Bosley has been removed from Los Angeles County Superior Court to federal court for “strategic reasons,” according to William Gallagher, the Townsend and Townsend and Crew attorney representing Bosley pro bono. Gallagher said he didn’t want to weigh in on Edgell or his latest creation. “We aren’t involved in it, so I really don’t want to comment,” said Gallagher. The Bosley Bobbing Head Doll Co. has created and sold bobbleheads of other famous figures, including John Kerry, Hillary Clinton and Jesus. — Jill Duman

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