Michael Jordan was summoned to appear in Federal Court by a judge in order to hold an off the record settlement conference behind closed doors related to his lawsuit against Dominick’s food, which the judge has dubbed as greedy.
Jordan was allowed to enter the Dirksen US Courthouse undetected by the media on Wednesday, by entering the building through its underground parking garage and then taking a private elevator to US District Judge Milton Shadur’s 23rd floor courtroom.
The Chicago Tribune reports that Shadur has ruled that Dominick’s is liable for a 2009 magazine advertisement that used Jordan’s name without permission and ordered him to appear in person to hear the judge’s opinion on what reasonable damages are in the case, according to court transcripts. However, he didn’t deem it necessary that the president of the grocery chain also appear.
The judge thinks that Michael Jordan is being unreasonable in his demands:
“I thought the demand was greedy,” Shadur said of Jordan in a May 22 hearing. “I think it would be a constructive use of time to see whether some element of sanity cannot be introduced into this matter.”
Frederick Sperling, Jordan’s attorney, has confirmed that Jordan attended the settlement conference Wednesday and said the case is headed to trial. Dominick’s attorney Steven Mandell declined to comment.
Sperling was fighting the order for Jordan’s appearance and the transcripts show the judge was not pleased:
“Are you allergic to the notion that he somehow ought to participate in a lawsuit that he brought?”
The lawsuit was filed for the unauthorized use of Jordan’s name in an advertisement that read, “Congratulations, Michael Jordan. You are a cut above.” Below the phrase was a $2-off coupon for a Rancher’s Reserve steak from Dominick’s.
The case has been contentious and the judge has accused Michael Jordan of trying to make a “legal mountain” from a “legal molehill,” according to transcripts.
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