A federal judge who labeled Michael Jordan's $5 million lawsuit against Dominick's food stores "greedy" ordered the former NBA star to appear in court this week for an off-the-record settlement conference in a locked courtroom.

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.

Shadur, who has ruled that Dominick's is liable for a 2009 magazine advertisement that used Jordan's name without permission, wanted the owner of the Charlotte Bobcats to appear in person to hear the judge's views on what reasonable damages would be, according to court transcripts. He rejected a demand from Jordan's attorney that the president of the grocery chain also appear.

"I think it would be a constructive use of time to see whether some element of sanity cannot be introduced into this matter," Shadur was quoted as saying in a transcript of a May 22 hearing.

"I thought the demand was greedy," Shadur said of Jordan, who is seeking $5 million in damages for a one-page ad that ran in a Sports Illustrated commemorative issue celebrating Jordan's induction into the Hall of Fame.

Frederick Sperling, Jordan's attorney, 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 had sought to keep Jordan from having to appear at the conference, writing in a motion that his client was ready for trial and that "Mr. Jordan does not think such discussions would be a good use of anyone's time and resources."

"Are you allergic to the notion that he somehow ought to participate in a lawsuit that he brought?" Shadur asked Sperling at the May 22 hearing, a transcript shows.

Jordan sued Dominick's Finer Foods LLC and its corporate parent Safeway Inc. in 2010 after Jordan's financial adviser, Curtis Polk, happened to see the ad while flipping through the special issue while at a doctor's office, according to Polk's deposition.