Has syndicated columnist Art Buchwald ever become a legal expert. Now he's even being asked to speak before lawyers and judges. Buchwald, we all remember, is locked in a titanic legal battle with Paramount Pictures over Eddie Murphy's hit movie "Coming to America," which a court has ruled was based on Buchwald's idea. Paramount and Buchwald now are arguing about whether there are any net profits for Buchwald to share. Though the picture was a big success, Paramount said it made no money.

On Thursday, while everyone else will be excited about the Gorbachev visit, Buchwald will be the luncheon speaker before 1,500 lawyers and judges at the Court of Appeals Conference at the Washington Hilton hotel. Buchwald said he's honored to be invited to speak before the august group, adding, "It's about time they got someone to talk seriously about the law." He's not going to talk about his case, he said, "but what I learned from it." For example: "If you defend yourself, you have a fool for a lawyer -- but it's still cheaper."

Out and About Caroline Kennedy unveiled a statue of her father, John F. Kennedy, yesterday at the Massachusetts State House in Boston, on what would have been the late president's 73rd birthday. The eight-foot-tall bronze statue depicts Kennedy striding forward with a determined look. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Sen. Edward Kennedy were also at the ceremony. Gov. Michael Dukakis said the statue symbolizes Kennedy coming home to Massachusetts ...

Former billionaires Nelson Bunker Hunt and William Herbert Hunt have been ordered to sell their Greek and Roman art collection, valued at more than $20 million, to pay back taxes and debts. The collection of ancient Greek vases, Roman bronzes and coins will be sold by Sotheby's auction house in New York and London during the next year, the New York Times reported today. The Hunt brothers' fortunes collapsed after a failed effort to corner the world silver market a decade ago ...

With all the high-level hype and promotion of Disney's hoped-for blockbuster "Dick Tracy," including glamorous openings here and in Disney World in Orlando, Fla., none will be anticipated more than the preview showing in Woodstock, Ill., population 12,000. Woodstock, some 60 miles northwest of Chicago, is the hometown of Chester Gould, who created the legendary detective for the Chicago Tribune in 1931. Gould frequently used citizens of Woodstock in his strip and had a "cemetery" behind his home with tombstones for characters he killed off. The showing there on June 13, the day before the Disney World opening, will benefit a Chester Gould Museum to house the memorabilia of Tracy's creator, who died in 1985 at age 85 ...

A Memorial Day footnote: A black and white granite gravestone was dedicated Monday over the Cicero, Ind., grave of Ryan White, the young hemophiliac who died nearly two months ago of AIDS. The 6-foot 8-inch monument towers over the grave of the 18-year-old who spent the last five years of his life educating the public about the disease that killed him. The epitaph on the monument, "Kid of Courage," was composed by his mother. Also carved into the granite are words from Ryan White's friend singer Elton John: "Turn me loose from your hands. Let me fly to distant lands. Fly away skyline pigeon fly, from all the things you left so far behind." And from another friend, Michael Jackson: "Gonna make a difference, gonna make it right" ...

On the eve of the summit, satirist Rich Horowitz observes that with all Mikhail Gorbachev's problems at home, if he decides he wants to defect while in the United States, the best time would be when he meets with former president Reagan in California. "Reagan's the perfect guy to hide him," Horowitz says. "Hell, Reagan won't even remember he's seen him" ...