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Judge off Jordan case, denies calling him 'hog'

Published: Saturday, June 21, 2014 12:16 a.m. CDT

CHICAGO – A federal judge in Chicago withdrew from a civil case involving Michael Jordan after lawyers for the former Chicago Bulls star accused the jurist of comparing Jordan to a “hog” and “Dr. Frankenstein,” though the judge denies the descriptions were aimed directly at the former NBA player.

The legal fracas arose in a 4-year-old civil case in which Jordan sued Dominick’s Finer Foods LLC after the grocery store chain invoked his name and persona without permission in a 2009 Sports Illustrated advertisement.

Jordan’s lawyers this week succeeded in getting Judge Milton I. Shadur to remove himself from the case after they alleged he described the six-time NBA champion as “greedy,” comparing him to a “hog” and to “Dr. Frankenstein.”

In the ad, Dominick’s congratulated Jordan on his induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame and offered a $2 off steak coupon. The court already found Dominick’s liable, and the lingering dispute is over damages. Jordan, 50, is seeking $2.5 million.

Shadur, a recent Jordan filing argued, also showed bias in slapping down the star’s assertion that his actual damages may run to $10 million. At one hearing, Shadur said in an allusion to the stock market, “The bulls may make money and the bears may make money, but the hogs get slaughtered.”

At earlier hearings, Shadur denied calling Jordan a “hog” or “Dr. Frankenstein.” He employed those descriptions, he insisted, in reference to Jordan’s damages claims – not to Jordan himself.

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