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Fox, O'Reilly face suit over on-air comment

Where's Lance Ito when you need him?

That question could resonate in both media and entertainment circles if a lawsuit brought by Zsa Zsa Gabor's husband against Fox and its talk show host Bill O'Reilly ever makes it to court.

Only a jurist such as Judge Ito, who presided over the O.J. Simpson murder trial, could do justice to this celebrity-driven case.

Ms. Gabor's husband, Prince Frederic von Anhalt, recently filed a defamation suit in Los Angeles County Superior Court against Mr. O'Reilly after the conservative commentator called him a "fraud" during his Feb. 22 edition of "The O'Reilly Factor" for claiming that he might be the father of the daughter of the late Anna Nicole Smith.

According to the Associated Press, the prince said that people now give him dirty looks when he goes shopping.

"They say, 'Look, here comes the fraud,' " the prince told the news wire service.

The prince has requested DNA tests to determine whether he is the father of the infant girl. At least two other men have claimed paternity.

So far, the results of DNA tests to determine the girl's father have not been revealed, but in the meantime, Mr. O'Reilly may want to check the fine print on his libel and defamation insurance policy--the results of the DNA analysis may put that coverage to the test as well.

Ruling in cover fight puts insurer in the rough

Perhaps the judge should have bellowed "fore" before hitting an insurer with his ruling in a duty-to-defend dispute.

Although Allied Insurance Co.'s advertising injury coverage excluded claims alleging intentional trademark and copyright infringement, the judge ruled that the insurer must defend golf equipment supplier Cam Golf against claims that the company intentionally marketed fake high-end golf balls.

Lansing, Ill.-based Cam Golf has been sued by Fairhaven, Mass.-based Acushnet Co. for allegedly marketing counterfeit reproductions of Acushnet's Titleist Pro V1 golf balls. Acushnet, a subsidiary of Fortune Brands Inc., charged that Cam Golf "willfully and intentionally" infringed upon its trademark and copyright.

Des Moines, Iowa-based Allied refused to defend Cam Golf, saying that its advertising injury insurance policy expressly bars coverage for such allegations.

But Illinois federal district Judge Harry D. Leinenweber late last month dropped responsibility for Cam Golf's defense against Acushnet squarely on Allied.

The judge ruled that simple allegations of willful and intentional misconduct are not enough to relieve Allied of its duty to defend Cam Golf.

That's because, under federal trademark law, Cam Golf could be found liable even if Acushnet does not prove that the defendant acted with intent or knowledge, the judge said.

But Judge Leinenweber noted that Allied would have no duty to indemnify Cam Golf if Acushnet proves that the golf supplier acted willfully and intentionally.

Berkshire boss always pays his own way, company says

Warren Buffett, chairman and chief executive officer of Omaha, Neb.-based Berkshire Hathaway Inc., has reimbursed the company for $50,000 in personal expenses last year, according to the company's proxy statement.

Mr. Buffett, who is the world's second-richest man, has received just $100,000 in compensation annually for the past 25 years, "and he would not expect or desire it to increase in the future," according to the proxy statement that was filed March 14 with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman Charles T. Munger, who has also had a $100,000 salary for the past 25 years, repaid the company $5,500 in personal expenses, including postage and telephone calls, according to the statement.

The company's vp and chief financial officer, Marc D. Hamburg, receives a higher six-figure annual income. He was paid $662,500 in salary during 2006.

The proxy also says neither Mr. Buffett nor Mr. Munger use company cars, belong to clubs to which the company pays dues or use corporate-owned aircraft for personal use.

Perhaps that's because there is no need. Despite giving a record charitable donation to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the so-called Oracle of Omaha's net worth rose $10 billion last year to $52 billion, according to Forbes magazine.

Hartford courts attention with NCCA tourney events

Hartford Financial Services Group Inc.'s marketing team has found a way to put a little more spark into the NCAA men's basketball tournament next weekend in Atlanta.

The Hartford, Conn.-based insurer is hosting several events in Atlanta for college hoops fans, including a wheelchair basketball exhibition, a financial education kiosk and a free-throw contest, whose winner will receive two tickets to the championship game to be held April 2.

The insurer also will sponsor an award presentation honoring this year's top NCAA point guard.

"This year The Hartford is bringing together basketball greats from many arenas--champion disabled athletes, outstanding collegiate student-athletes, former professional stars and gifted, successful coaches--to underscore how ability, teamwork and leadership help win in every aspect of life," said Ann Glover, Hartford's group senior vp and chief marketing officer.

Hartford is an official corporate sponsor of the NCAA, the founding sponsor of the U.S. Paralympics, a sponsor of Coaches vs. Cancer and a partner of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. James Naismith, who invented basketball as a physical education instructor in the late 19th century, was the first basketball coach at the University of Kansas, a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament this year.

Contributing: Judy Greenwald, Mark A. Hofmann, Dave Lenckus, Matt Scroggins