Although the wheels of justice turn slower than a Volkswagen Beetle trudging up Mt. Rainier in a blizzard, GM has won the first round of its three-year-old lawsuit against its one-time hero and purchasing czar, Jose Ignacio Lopez de Arriortua, who now plies his Deutschemark-devouring ways against VW's suppliers. U.S.District Judge Nancy Edmunds in Detroit denied in October VW's motion for dismissal, rejecting the argument that nearly 250 witnesses would have to be shuttled from Europe and VW would have to pay up to $5 million to translate documents. Judge Edmunds says the case belongs in Detroit because the key players resided there at the time Mr. Lopez bolted from GM. GM's suit includes charges of racketeering, copyright infringement and fraud surrounding the disappearance of reams of parts price lists at the same time Mr. Lopez went to Volkswagen. An interesting tidbit from the October hearing: VW tried to settle the dispute out of court in late 1993, but GM Chairman and CEO Jack Smith said, in so many words, "We'll see you in court."