Michael Jordan–Coddled Plaintiff Gets Concierge Treatment in Federal Court?

Michael Jordan is suing Dominick’s for using his name in an ad congratulating him for being inducted into the basketball Hall of Fame.  He’s asking for $5 million in damages.  According to the Tribune, a federal judge has labeled the lawsuit “greedy.”  Whatever.  Jordan’s entitled to protect his brand, likeness, etc., etc.  As for the possibility of Jordan being greedy, he wouldn’t exactly be the first plaintiff guilty of that.

Interestingly, Jordan did not want to personally attend a settlement conference and had to be ordered to attend by the judge.

But here’s what rags me.  According to the Trib, when he came to court “Jordan was allowed to avoid attention Wednesday by entering the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse through its underground parking garage and then taking a private elevator to U.S. District Judge Milton Shadur’s 23rd floor courtroom.”  Plus, the courtroom was locked while he was in it.

Entrance through an underground parking lot?  A private elevator?  A locked courtroom?  Was there a fruit basket waiting for him and a bowl of pistachios?

As someone who practiced law and who believes we are all equal under the law, I think that’s pretty disgusting.  Jordan brought the case himself, is using a taxpayer-funded justice system to seek redress, and therefore should be treated like any other plaintiff.  Filing a federal lawsuit is not like making reservations at the Four Seasons.  It shouldn’t come with concierge service.

The case is apparently going to trial and I hope he winds up being treated like any other citizen–no better, no worse.  Jordan may be the “best ever” on the basketball court, but in a court of law, please.  Let’s not make Lady Justice Michael Jordan’s arm candy.

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