After reading Carla Hall's article ''Christopher Columbus: The Lawsuit'' {Style, Nov. 27} my first thought was that the admiral, bless him, still lives on in contention and acrimony even 500 years later. Noting that two film production companies are battling over the rights to use the discoverer's name exclusively in a movie title, I drew some distinct parallels from my own research on the man.

Columbus constantly worried that someone else would reap the glory for his magnificent achievement. There was the rivalry between him and his partner Martin Alonso Pinzon in laying claim to the newly discovered paradise. In a race back to Spain each man hoped to cart off all the glory by proclaiming himself first to find this incredible place. It was like that throughout the life of Columbus -- a constant fight against usurpers and imitators.

Toward the end of Columbus's days, the greatest irony was that those who replaced him denied him entrance to the land he had discovered. After he died, a battle began and continues to this day over which nation should claim him as its own. Even his poor bones could not rest in peace. The great mariner's remains went from Valladolid, Spain, to Seville to Santo Domingo to Havana and back to Seville amid conflicting claims that invoked national honor. And now this, an ugly hassle over who gets to cash in first on a movie that will bear his name.

Aware of the band wagon mentality that propels commercial interests, I'll wager that if Columbus had come, hat in hand, to those same production companies in the 15th century and asked them to fund his voyage, they'd have played it safe like Portugal, England and France, and responded,''Later, baby, but hey, let's do lunch some time.'' MOLLEE KRUGER Rockville