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He left the law for his love of art, but now that has come back to bite him. Robert Fastov was a veteran U.S. Commerce Department lawyer when he set out to sell art in 1985. He did well until he tried to sell a picture through auction house Christie, Manson & Woods. He claimed the painting was by 19th-century Austrian Emil Jakob Schindler. Christie’s wasn’t certain and refused to sell it. Fastov demanded $168,000 to stop litigation he warned would cost Christie’s $300,000 in attorney fees. Later, Fastov filed a 225-page pro se complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. In response to Christie’s summary judgment motion, he filed a 59-page opposition, a 90-page declaration and 1,500 pages of exhibits. The court was not amused. “A first-year law student is taught that a filing . . . should be tailored to achieve the paramount goal of assisting the Court in rendering its decision,” wrote Judge William Stafford Jr. of Florida, who is handling the case. “Plaintiff’s filing does the opposite. It is an abuse of the litigation process.” Fastov will have to pay attorney fees to Christie’s worth far more than his $300,000 estimate. Even that won’t be the last word. He is planning to appeal. � LEGAL TIMES Don’t tell the trolls It turns out there are no such things as unicorns, and they don’t drive, either. A Billings, Mont., prosecutor told a judge that Phillip C. Holliday Jr., claimed that a unicorn was driving when his truck crashed into a light pole. In fact, a deputy prosecutor had misunderstood an e-mail from a colleague who used the phrase “unicorn defense” � slang for when a defendant blames a mythical person for a crime. “Mr. Holliday has other serious problems, but this is not one of them,” County Attorney Dennis Paxinos said. � ASSOCIATED PRESS

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