Discussion #2034

Gordon Troy

40 min - Discussion


At the 2014 PMA Conference, we tracked down Gordon Troy, who was one of the primary attorney's for the Trademark Lawsuit. We were able to sit down with him to find out more details about this complicated but important event in Pilates history. In this very interesting discussion, Gordon tells us how he got involved with Ken Endelman and Current Concepts and why he took the case. He also gives us insight into the surprises that came up in the trial that we never knew.

After the initial lawsuit, there was 5 years of pretrial work, when they took depositions of leaders in the industry including Amy Taylor Alpers, Rachel Taylor Segel, and many others. During the trial, they were in the courtroom for 11 days, during which Ron Fletcher, Romana Kryzanowska, and Kathy Grant testified on the witness stand. In the end, the judge ruled that Pilates was a generic term. The results of this case had a huge impact on everyone in the Pilates industry, and it ultimately led to the beginnings of the Pilates Method Alliance.
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Feb 16, 2015
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Chapter 1

What Was the Dispute?

Hi, I'm Christy Cooper. It's another great day in the [inaudible] studio, although we're not actually in the [inaudible] studio. We're here at the [inaudible] method alliance and I just tracked it down. Finally, Gordon Troy who was the uh, attorney for Ken Endelman and the class action suit for the trademark lawsuit in a ball nine 1995 through 2000, um, deeming Pilati is a generic term. Welcome. Thank you. It's great to be here. It's great to be the PMA and cause it's an awesome organization to bring everyone together. It's a lot of history of how we got here.

There's a lot of history how we got here and the fact that you're finally in my mind finally since sitting in this chair, um, I don't know how we're going to get it all out in, in the time that we have, but I'm going to give it a shot. And I think a great place to start is with what was the dispute all about? What is the trademark lawsuit? The dispute was really actually really simple. In that plot is inc who was owned by Sean Gallagher, had purchased the trademarks from a person by the name of wheat tie hum who had been previously in business with Romana Cross Manasco. I said that correctly.

Um, and uh, basically tried to use the trademarks to prevent the plottings community from using the word [inaudible] to describe this method of exercise. And he went one step further though is is that he actually went out and registered the word [inaudible] for exercise equipment and they had previously only covered the use of [inaudible] for exercise studios if you will, and use that, uh, and threatened to sue and ultimately sued a current concepts. And Ken Adelman current concepts was the previous name for balanced body. I'll just talk to them as balanced body was what they're known to known today. Um, and, and sought to prevent them from using [inaudible] to describe this method of apparatus.

So from a legal perspective than what was at stake for both, uh, the plaintiff and the defendant for Sean and current concepts or balanced body, what was really at stake here? Well, well, well, well was steak was, it was a base, it was a classic trademark infringement case is what they had brought. What we did was we initially countersued on the basis that the trademark was generic, however, amongst other reasons, and that the trademark needed to be canceled, uh, and that he had fraudulently obtained the trademark that they had, um, uh, uh, fraudulently acquired the trademark and then they had fraud and fraudulently maintained the trademark, uh, all of which came out in, in the, ultimately in the trial. Okay. I'm going to jump in there really quick because I hear that and I understand that sometimes that it was fraudulent, fraudulently obtained, but I think in my mind, how do fraudulent really do that when it's coming from the courts?

It's actually coming from the trademark office. So what happens is, is that when you file a trademark application or if you're filing a maintenance to a trademark registration, okay, you, you make a declaration to the trademark office that, that says what I'm about to tell you is truthful. And my truthful statement is, is that I own this trademark. I'm the only one who's using it, nobody else is entitled to use it. So therefore I am entitled to register it or entitled to maintain it. Okay. And I'm, I'm remembering Ken Endelman say that that something about the trademark was not valid and Sean knew it and perhaps and and still filed. Is that what makes it fraudulent? Correct. Because not only did he know that it wasn't truthful, he had been purchasing equipment through Ken Angelman's company for many years prior to that and knew that, uh, the company was using [inaudible] to describe its apparatus for all those years and still went ahead and filed a trademark application to cover the equipment.

I see. So sorry, I have to repeat it just because I need it to stick so that if, when part of registering for a trademark is no one else is using the name. Correct. Okay. And Ken and other people are in services that you're claiming. Okay. Which is key. Okay. Because if you know it, let's say somebody wanted to register Palladio's for, for bubblegum and nobody else was using it, they could try and do that. I'm not saying they'd be successful, but I'm just trying to think of something outlandish but, right. Okay. So, so what was at stake to win for Shawn was to stop everyone from using the word [inaudible] and, and what was at stake for him to lose, uh, that the would be declared generic and that everyone would be free to be able to use it. Okay. Because on the backdrop of this, he's, he's, he's at the, at that time they had entered into an agreement with a stamina to manufacture the, the plotters performer is what I think they called it, the, the machine that had the bungee cords and um, in order for them to be able to get the royalties that they were hoping to get from the sale of that machine, they needed to have a valid registration.

Oh, that's super key. Yes. So that was the monetary piece for them. Okay. In addition to the training piece, which was what the original trademark was all about, which was that they were providing exercise instruction services. Okay. It gets confusing. It's very confusing because there were actually two of the lawsuits going on at the same time. Yeah. We'll get there maybe right. Or unless you tell me. I don't know, cause I will, it gets interrelated because the, because what was happening was, is, is that they, they had already sued, uh, a number of, of entities over the years and, and they being, they being plotty, zinc, Sean Gallagher. And the first of that being was, is that the, the plots institute in Santa Santa Fe, the sand, where are they in Santa Fe at the time? Yes. Um, the plots institute actually filed a cancellation action in the trademark office, but never really followed through on that. Oh. And it got settled. Uh, and it, we got settled in some kind of a mysterious way that, that, that, uh, [inaudible] Inc thought that, well, now we've got the entire Polonius community agreeing that we're only going to say that what we're doing is based upon the principles of Joseph h Palladio's and some other kind of like the garbled thing that made absolutely no sense.

And then from that you found a lot of people that were saying that they were doing plots based during that period of time. Right. So subsequent to that, there were several other lawsuits. There were lots of cease and desist letters that had gone out at that point in time, like in upwards of a hundred at that point. Um, what point is this, what you, this is, we're in the, the early to mid nineties business before 1995 so at, at, and that's important to understand. So that at that point in time, uh, in, in 1995, there were two lawsuit, two other lawsuits that were pending. One was filed against Debra lesson for using plots in, I think it was in the either the phone book or in a flyer or something like that. And the other was against a gentlemen in, uh, Washington d c a will green and his studio. Uh, it's funny cause cause Deborah Lesson's called Green Street studio and his studio was called green green something else. Um, but uh, uh, and and yes, is in Washington actually is um, uh, you know, something like that. So, so those two suits were also going on at the same time. And at the time that the, the, the Debra lesson, we speed up about a year. So we're an hour into the mid 1996. Um, in the Deborah lesson case, nothing had really transpired in the case.

They hadn't done any discovery that, no depositions or whatever. And I had, um, uh, I had to go to court on the, the gentleman in the balance body case and uh, just, you know, it's part of the procedures as you'd meet with the judge early on in the case and you'd discuss the case and what's gonna happen, what's going to transpire. And Ken Element said to me, you should go meet the lawyer for Dev for Deborah lesson. I met the lawyer for Deborah lesson and you know, we talked about the whole case and we came up with a strategy at the time to actually file a motion to dismiss a motion for summary Judgment. Um, on the basis that the mark was generic and we submitted all this evidence and stuff, but it was in front of a judge who at the time really wasn't paying attention to anything because he was in the process of a, of potentially under indictment from, from uh, anyhow, he had let a prisoner out and he wasn't focusing on the case and he didn't have any time about it and because the prisoner went out and did something bad and something I don't remember. But, but, but anyhow, at the time I wasn't actually in court that day, but uh, because was the Deborah lessen case is, is that plot is inks attorneys said, will you agree to abide by whatever decision occurs in the balanced body case and we can settle the case on that terms. Meaning, because they knew that I was about to counter-sue to that the mark was generic and that we were going to pursue it that way. And of course they agreed to that because it makes, it makes the problem go away. There was a minor problem with that and that is, is, is that Ken Elam Balance Body were sued for using the trademark PyLadies on equipment. Yet the Debra lesson had been sued for using PyLadies and purportedly po po the plotty studio on a exercise instruction. Okay.

And there were two different things. So out of that we came up with the brilliant idea to counter-sue four on a class action so that we could then represent all of the people in the plots community. And I'll, and, and, and the net effect of that was, is that it'll, it allowed them to then be protected by the lawsuit. So that during the pendency of the lawsuit, every time that PLI zinc would send out cease and desist letters, we would send letters to them saying, stop talking to our clients. Okay, yeah, yeah. You know, if you have a problem, talk to us. Wow. Okay.

So that was kind of a, a really pivotable point in, in the lawsuit from the viewpoint is that the plots community really Kinda came out of the closet. It was amazing. And about a year and a half time. The, the, you know, back then we had a newspaper clipping services, uh, not something that we have today. And you remember those as ancient dark paths actually have copies of those [inaudible] and, and, and the, the news we had started a clipping service just so I could kind of keep track of what was going on in building evidence for the case. And the clippings went from, you know, a couple of day to a couple, you know, I mean a couple of weeks to a couple of day to like 10 a day to like 20. I mean it was just the, I mean the, the mountains that, that of, of, of clipping services that we got because everyone felt protected during this period of time. But it just, all it did was the confirmed what was already really happening. So pilates, even though people were talking about ponies. And that's the key is, is everyone, you know, you know, we were sitting in their studio.

If people are on a reformer and they're being exercised, what am I doing? I'm doing Paul. That's why I'm here. I'm doing parties. So it was a, that was kind of a really pivotal point in, in the case and being able to produce the evidence. So by making it a class action, you could bring Deborah and Ken's separate cases as one under that umbrella as well as all the other people out in the community. Okay. Otherwise they would've had been tried separately. Yes. Okay.

Chapter 2

Getting Involved with Current Concepts

How did you get involved initially with balanced body or Ken?

It's a, it's a very interesting story. Um, Eh, it's the classic of what trademarks are really all about because trademarks identify the source and origin of goods and services in a manner that makes it easy to identify them in the marketplace. So for example, when you see Coca-Cola, you know that what you're getting, you know, in the Red Cam with a beautiful white stripe, um, if that's what you like to drink. Um, the, the point there is, is that trademarks, both are a protectionist mech mechanism for the trademark owner and are protect PR. They're, they're protectionists to the consumer so that the consumer knows and can readily identify who's providing this. Well back in mid 19, 1993 timeframe, approximately. Um, my sister, believe it or not. Okay. Had Skull, had a scoliosis surgery when she was a youngster and her doctor was retiring and her doctor said, you need to do PyLadies. So my sister tried to investigate this and only found one plot. He's listed in the phone book. And that was plotty zinc at 2121 Broadway. And that was it. That was the only one. That's two is going to Sean Gallagher.

Well, she went, she went there, she went there and she was like, well this can't be what Dr. Levine had in mind. Oh. And, and then cause you know, I didn't, you know, it was on the second floor above the fairway, which is a grocery store in on Broadway. And um, from there they went to the Canyon ranch, uh, my mother and my sister and they had a week vacation there. And from the Canyon ranch from, you know, it was Karma counselor who had been involved in that for, you know, for, from its inception. And they then found out about the plots, uh, institute. And from there they found they, they became members. I think my sister and my mother had more one or both, I don't know. It became a member.

And then they heard her heard about current concepts at the time and balanced body for the, for the, the apparatus. So speed forward, about a year after going to the Canyon ranch, my sister calls to buy a, a studio reformer from, from, from balance body. And in the conversation can start talking to her about this trademark problem that he's having and starts explaining all this stuff. And my sister says, you know, just give my brother a call. He knows this stuff. He's done this. He's, he's, you know, defended that jeep trademark. He's done all kinds of crazy stuff like this in his life where just give him a call, he'd be happy to talk to you. That's how the world works. [inaudible] you know, low and behold, Ken calls. And, um, this is actually because Ken, after the aftermath of the plotting supplies institute case, which became the physical mind institute, uh, Ken, um, uh, had formed a non-for-profit called the Joseph h [inaudible] foundation that had been sued by Sean Gallagher. But it didn't have any assets or anything.

It was just starting. And so that case got settled. But that was before I was involved. And then when, just prior to him getting sued by, by plotty zinc a, he calls me and we had a whole discussion about what was on the table and why he was negotiating and you know, and I didn't hear anything for maybe about two months. And then I got a call from, Kenny says, I've just been served with this suit where represent [inaudible]. And why did you take it? Because it's fascinating. It is fascinating, but, but why to I wouldn't, it's not so obvious to me why it would be fascinating to someone who's already in the business and done the deep, the jeep trade. I mean, you've worked with the jeep trademark. Why is it fascinating to you? Because first there's, there's a couple of key pieces here. First of all is, is that what they were trying to do is, is they were trying to protect the method of exercise through the use of the trademark by preventing people from being able to call what they were doing by what was known as. Okay. That's, that's the essence of what they were attempting to do.

And that doesn't fall under any rubric of any kind of law because patents protect new and useful inventions. Copyrights protect the expressions of ideas, trademarks protect the symbols by which goods or services are sold in the marketplace. And trade secrets are things that are secret of commercial value. So there's, there's, there's no prong to hang your hat on, to be able to, to prevent people from saying this yet. That's what they were attempting to do. And they had kind of, you know, scared the, the, the community into believing that they had some right, greater than they actually had. And it was wrong. And I don't like things that are wrong. And you knew that all that before you accepted it. Yeah. I mean, even back when I first first heard about it and I did some research and looked into it and got some additional information. Cause I think my, I think I might've had a couple of calls with, with Kenny before he had been sued. And I said, you know, this is generic.

There is no question about it. This is, and plus it's a meditative exercise. Meaning [inaudible] is generic, not, not, you're not saying that this case is going to be an open and shut. Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. Generic just for interpreted me from a legal viewpoint that the trademark was generic. There was no, it was, it was so black and white to me because I was, you know, in the case of jeep, we were, we were on the opposite side. We were fighting it from becoming a generic, I mean, during the time that I was representing jeep, uh, you know, with my firm at that, at the time, you know, they had come out with that whole, um, uh, advertising campaign. There's only one jeep, um, to, in order to get into the minds of the consumers that, you know, even though you might point to your Ford Bronco out there, you don't call it a jeep, you call it a bronco, you know, it's like, and there's a she versus Kleenex. Correct? Yeah, yeah.

It's the same kind of an issue. Like I can say, go get a Kleenex and it might be in the other room, you know, to go get a, if it's a palms, you'll get it for me. And you know, the know the difference, translating it in differently. Yeah. That also invokes the whole concept of dual meaning. And there are trademarks that have dual meaning within the minds of the consumer. Thermostat is a perfect example. Right? Earlier when we first opened this, you said that it was just the basic cases, a simple case, um, a simple trademark infringement case, sorry. Yes. You're the lawyer. Get back to me. If it would be a, it would under normal circumstances it would have been a classic trademark infringement case except that there were all these reasons why it wasn't.

Okay. Okay. So, and when you accepted it, you knew most of those other reasons? I think actually I didn't. Okay. When I first, when I first said I'll represent you and defend you in the case and figure it out. I just, I knew that generic autism was a key issue, but I did not know all of the other background history as to the nefarious conduct that resulted in what the trademarks, the trademarks that existed as the basis for the lawsuit. Okay. Plus I was unaware of all the other lawsuits that had already been gone by. I mean, none of them, none of them had ever gone to trial, but there were other, you know, the, you know, the two that I mentioned earlier. And then there were, there were several other lawsuits that had been filed as well. Okay.

And they were settled because people can't afford it. I mean, you know, a trademark lawsuit. I mean, is it today even a simple, straight forward trademark lawsuit is going to run into the hundreds of millions, you know, hundreds of thousands of dollars. Wow. But a generic system cases a lot more expensive because you have to do a survey because, uh, the courts require a survey in order to prove that the Marcus generic, which is the way to bring evidence in from the outside to, uh, for the court to consider, uh, to understand what is the consumer perception of the use of that word, which is ultimately the, the, the key piece is this. How do, how does the, how do the consumers, uh, view the use of the word [inaudible] and obviously we did a survey, they did a survey and said it wasn't generic and we did a survey that was generic, but, but when we finally drilled into their survey, their, the, uh, and the judge totally picked this up as they were basically asking the wrong question. You know, it's so interesting to me about all of this generic CISM um, is that at the time I was teaching, but I was still pronouncing Palladio's. I was, I mean, I still struggle with that, telling people what it is, you know, and, and, and yet, you know, Ken and them endeavor, everyone was so willing to know that it was a generic term, but yet it wasn't prevalent. I should maybe use the word yet. So it's just ironic to me that this huge case happens.

And um, it was, it was at the time we were all calling it [inaudible] and we're all doing [inaudible] but at the same time it wasn't out in the, in the road the way jeep and Kleenex and other examples are talking about. So, but you still knew that the, the way it was being used however small or was was generic. I just thought it's interesting. Yeah. Clearly within the yoga and the mind, body, spirit, you know, kind of movements. I mean, you know, Palazzos was well recognized as being a discipline or a modality depending upon where your terminology and your, your, your professional orientation. Sure. So within the industry in similar industries anyway and but, but clearly back in, even into even into 2000 I think the general population though, if you had done a survey on the street, you know, you know the major, you know, the top 20 cities in the United States and said what's Pilati is I think the, the number of people that would know would have been pretty low. Yeah. Okay. So the surveys, not just the general population, it's the survey that was done was actually done a [inaudible] professional.

Okay. Okay. That, that's part of where my head was. That was kind of, you went out and asked anyone they're going to not know it at all and yet, but that's not who they were asking. Okay. Okay. Um, so, so you get going on the case and had you any idea, first of all, how long was this case? Um, well actually I would just go, well, last night, night before last, he thinks he was sued on December 24th, and I think it was January 3rd, but you have to thought of of 1996 versus 1995, but it was right in that time. Okay. Okay. And uh, someone knows that, you know, well, I probably will probably find out the court records somewhere, but, um, so, uh, the, the uh, the case went on trial in June of 2000 and he was served in 95 or 96. Yeah, yeah, Yep, Yep. Right at the beginning. [inaudible] at the beginning of the year there. Okay. So, and so the case, the case was tried in June, but then because it was a, a bench trial in front of the judge, we had to do post post-trial briefings and that went on for another two months after the end of the trial, which was basically each side explains to the judge what the evidence was and applies it to the law and why we should win and why the other side shouldn't.

Right. And that happens after the actual trial that happened after the actual trial. And then we had the decision in October. I know it's on my website. Yeah, yeah. 2000. Yeah. Oh, we probably got in about 25 or 30 depositions that had been taken.

And the way that works is, is that each side, you, each side agrees to which depositions are going to go in. We each mark with the judge is going to read and that's what gets submitted to the judge as testimony in the case. Even though we had taken depositions because throughout the case we had taken, I don't know, I have lost count, but it was well over 50 depositions. These are depositions in the case. And um, we had, I mean, just mountains and mountains of depositions, you know, including, yeah. Who are you? Who are you talking to?

Well, we, we, we try to focus on cities. So one of early cities we did, believe it or not was w was boulder and, and uh, cause boulder, you know, it's like, and I love it. And early on there was a, there was actually a great quote in the [inaudible] early on in the case where you could have laid the, you could have laid reformers end to end for one and two bulb bolt, one, one, one end to the other from one end to a boulder to the other because they were that were many people practicing Palladio's there. Really? Yes. Wow. Um, and so you went there for right there and we took deposition of, uh, of Amy Taylor. We took, uh, no, actually we took Amy and Rachel. That was actually kind of bizarre. We actually took Amy and Rachel, the guy, I think we started with Amy and it was really clear cause Rachel was sitting in the room that she kept looking at each other for like an answer and I was like, okay, can we just take both of those together and the outside and the other and the other side agreed. And it was really, it was a, it actually worked out very well. Um, and Amy actually testified at the trial also. Um, we'd actually took Ron Fletcher's deposition in, in boulder. He was there for that. Um, uh, I'm pretty sure that's where we did his.

So I mean, and at that time, I don't know how many instructors of the caliber that you just mentioned that were teaching, I don't even know how many there were really, you know, it seems like you've got a big pool of the major Polonius community. Well, we also focused on the people who had been in the community for a while. Okay. Yeah. We weren't focusing on the people who had, were new into the community. Right. That's what I mean. And to get that many is, um, Eh, I'm just saying this was a big deal affected, I mean everyone was sort of in on it or your teacher was, it seems like, so, okay. So the trial, um, the discovery, is that what you would call it? Yes. Prior to actually having the trial?

Yes. So basically in litigation there, yeah, there's litigation has stages. It's, it's your first file a suit and you, you know, and then there's counter suits and all that kind of stuff. And the dust kind of settles from that. And the judge kind of sets up, here's the case and then you have your discovery time and your discovery has several different aspects to it. There's written discovery, meaning that you exchange questions and you exchange documents and then there's oral testimony. Um, there sometimes they their request to admit in meaning that, okay, this is a proven fact. Let's, let's see. But the, the judge made it very clear that she was not going to decide this case on summary Judgment. So we were going to go to trial. So we, we kind of like kind of reoriented the way we handled the case. Um, was a bench trial a major strategy point for you? Meaning having just the judge and no jury. I, I know from the very beginning that I, you know, we always, we always felt very comfortable with the judge. She was extraordinarily smart, judge, uh, no nonsense, really, really newer stuff. Um, judge Cedarbaum actually had, uh, ha ha at the time had sat on the court of appeals by designation a number of times. So she was, you know, she was a top judge and um, I didn't get to pick your judge. Do you know, it's picked out of the, the, the infamous wheel. I mean, I don't know how they do it now, but back then they would have these wheels with like, you know, like you, you're kind of like a lot of wheel and they pull the, the judge's name out. Yes.

And that's who gets assigned to the case. There was another thing that happened was, is we dropped from our part of the case a claim for damages and they dropped from their side of the case a claim for damages so that the focus was exclusively on the trademark itself, the validity of the trademark. And by doing that because on the eve of trial, the judge had said that, um, uh, basically dismissed the class action, which was, which was a blessing in disguise so that when the case actually went to trial, it was Ken Endelman and bounced body where the defendants in the case and the, the, and the, the, the counterclaim plaintiffs in the case and plot is inc was, was, was the plaintiff in the counterclaim defendant and, but because there were no damages being sought at that point because it became patently clear that that was just a nonstarter for anybody to be able to prove, um, that then it has to go in front of a judge as opposed to a jury. Because juries, juries, we can't decide cases that are strictly an on an equitable basis. Oh, okay. Okay.

Chapter 3

The Trial

We're going to jump right into it now. Okay. The actual trial, I want to talk way more about this and I want to know what the trial was like. What were the surprises? Were there surprises for you as the, well, legally, legally, well, anyway, anyway, you want it a surprise as well. It was kind of interesting in the very first when trial start, uh, basically the plaintiff has their opportunity to present the case to the judge and verbally and explained what the case is about. And then the defendant can either go at that time or the defendant can wait until the beginning of their part of the case cause plaintiff always goes first and defendant goes second. Um, and then there's the rebuttal period if you will. And we chose that we were going to go follow right behind the, the, the plaintiff. Um, but in the middle of the plaintiff's argument, the judge starts asking some really fundamental questions about, you know, what are the trademarks, which trademarks are we talking about? What?

And plaintiff's counsel had to turn to me to get the specifics of, of, of each that, that information. And I was really kind of surprised by that and I think the judge was surprised by that as well. So that was kind of interesting from, from a starting viewpoint. Cause now all of a sudden the judge is looking at me as kind of being, okay, this, this, this, this, there's the law expert here. You know? So did you rest easy after that? No, you never rest easy and trial because it's trial is the most, cause you've, you've got a limited amount of time to present evidence. So on the first and first day of trial, the plaintiff, the plaintiff proposed that [inaudible] so that the judge would understand what we're talking about, that we recess and we go to of Halati studio so that the judge can see what we're talking about. So this is brilliant.

So we're like looking at each other and of course ours are. I said, well, if they're going to take you to one of their studios, we hope you're going to give us an opportunity for us to take you to one of one of ours. One of our clients do go, so you can kind of see. Yeah. And she said, well, I'll reserve my judgment on that, you know, we'll see if we need, we needed, you know, which was a fair answer. Okay. So we go to Dragos cause that's where Ramana is working is, is, is basically that's her base of operation. Just for a visual. Who is we the thank you. That was a great question. We're talking all the lawyers, the judge, the judge's law clerk. Um, actually both of the judges, law clerks plus the court reporter. Okay. Yeah. And the clients. Okay. And we all go there and Ramana has somebody obviously queued up to, to do a reformer workout on [inaudible] and they go through and they do the 20 minutes speedy reformer workout and, and they're going through it and we're just watching and she's narrating what's happening on us and she's all done. And she, and Romana puts her, her hands down on the woman, the woman's ankles and says, and when they're all done, she goes, how is that? And the woman answered, and I'll never forget this to this day that was different. Oh, okay. I mean I don't, I mean, it was so because, and, and, and I wish could mean something or done in any, I wish I had a camera to have taken the, pick the, a picture of the judge's face at that moment because you could just see that she got it.

She understood that we were talking about a method of exercise that is always changing, is always different because it has to be malleable to deal with the individual. And that's where Joe Palladio's was. Brilliant. Right. And Romana too. I mean, no question. Right? Yes. Yeah. Yeah. That's great. I've heard bits and pieces of testimony from the teachers. I've had Romana Ron Fletcher, Kathy Grant, who is most notable for you? Well, of anyone I've met, well actually I thought they were all notable. Okay. Um, and, and I have to say that, you know, asking people who, you know, are elderly to testify in court about their life passion, um, has its challenges. And I have to say that Romana Romana was, she did an amazing job. She really, she, you know, she was clear about what she felt and what she believed.

Um, not that what she believed was completely correct because she was operating a misconception that the word would protect the method or methodology. Okay. But that's what she was told. And I can't fault her for a misunderstanding that she'd been explained. But, uh, Ron was brilliant. I mean, he was flamboyant. The judge adored. Okay. I always hear this and I want to know the story behind the story. What did she adore? What did he do? What did he say? I mean, you don't know.

I mean, I know lovable is, Ron is just these flamboyant and he's, uh, he was just a magnificent person and he just, you know, he, you know, he, he's the Kinda guy who wore his life on his shirt sleeves and he just came in that way with no pretenses. It was just, this is it. You know, we've all done this. I don't understand what they think they're doing. And this is nothing personal against Romana. It's just this, you know, you know, we want more people to be able to use plots because it is, it's, it's what we've all been taught. And you know, the, the nitty gritty of what we dealt with, with, with Ron was, is that, you know, there were letters from Clara to Ron and Ron told Clara cause, cause Clara, for whatever reason, he had a stronger bond with Clara than he did with Joe. Um, that was clearly, I mean, he said that to me many times and, um, you know, their letters, you know, go forth and do your thing in La and, you know, I, you know, love you for it. And, and, and he was just, he was just, it was just dynamic. He was clear. He w he was great. Um, the surprise for me was Cathy, because, um, Kathy as you know, uh, was very quiet, very personal, uh, introspective kind of person. She never wanted to be in the limelight about anything. I mean, that was Kathy. And, um, I put Cathy on the witness list, even though she told me that she wasn't going to be a witness.

And I'm not sure what changed other than I think Lolita talk to Kathy. And I got a call from Kathy. Alright. And she said she would testify and I met her on the Sunday at lunchtime B while the trial, a trial started Monday, the prior week. And I met her the Sunday in between and we talked about it and she said she'll do it. And she was fabulous. How so? She, she talked about the whole history with Bendel's and how she was involved in it and how she had her apparatus and because, well, first of all, she is very, she always had a very quiet voice, but because she was in court, there's a microphone, so you would never have known about it.

And she was just as honest and genuine, straightforward with the judge and you could just, there was just nothing the other side could do to, to, to make any, any hay there, so to speak. And it was just, she was just so the surprise was being able to get her [inaudible]. Okay. And it sounds like all of them together were pretty important. Yes. What, what was the ruling? [inaudible] the ruling was very straight forward. It was that PyLadies was generic. Oh, there's a point here though that is, is that on the eve of trial, the judge said that she was not going to rule on the plotty studio mark because even though we had countersuit to determine that to be generic so that the, what went to trial was the use of PyLadies both for exercise instruction and for equipment. Okay. Right. So the ruling was is is that they were generic, plain and simple.

The judge went out of her way to be super careful about, to the extent she never used the word fraud. So we were never able to try and go after plotty zinc for attorney's fees, but, and plotty zinc really said they were going to appeal the ruling. And ultimately we basically settled in that we agreed that we would not go after them for attorney's fees if they agreed not to appeal the case any further and well done. And we were done and we had finality, which was the kind of the key for the community because, and coming back full circle why we're here in the PMA is, is that we had a, um, a celebration party at the power plotty studio on 23rd Street, uh, in November following the decision. And it was the meeting that we had before the celebration party of about 25 or 30, maybe 40 professionals, uh, in the plots community. Um, I didn't take a headcount. Kevin Bone might know that the number, I don't, I don't actually, you all say the same thing and none of you have pictures of it. Well, in 2000 we did not walk around with cameras in our pockets. Okay. You know, no, just saying it there. Anyway, carry on. So, so we were all there and it, the birth of the PMA occurred at that meeting.

That's when we agreed that we were going to form a not for profit to bring the community together so that all these factions could stop saying, oh, he's not doing pies or he's, and I believed, you know, really, you know, it's like that was dumb. It was. It's just like we're all doing potties right now. We, I don't, you know, but all of these groups of people are doing plots and we need to, we need, we need to now bring the community together and come up with a mechanism so that the public can understand what plot is, is what are the health benefits, how are we going to help so many people that have, you know, movement issues. I mean, the list goes on and on and it was at that meeting. It was where you were in here where I am today and I'm still involved in the PMP. I still still working for the PMA. That's, that's great. I really appreciate your talking to me.

I feel like this is where we can come back and keep talking about that, the rest of it, but thank you. Sure. It's a tough thing to explain and I do still have questions, but, um, I'll just have to have you back. Thank you very much.

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2 people like this.
Thank you kristi. Yes, this does provoke more questions. However, the more we clearly understand the past, the better we can go forward and teach Joe's work. The cream will rise to the top.
2 people like this.
Thank you so much for putting all of the historic information in interview format on-line. These videos clearly underscore the innate value of diversity found in the Pilates community since it's earliest inception.
Love the availability of the written court opinion and the video interview, thanks. Who would have thought interested Pilates people would have been able to access this kind of info years ago?
This reinforces what I have always thought re the 'querelle' about Pilates, classical vs contemporary, what's right from what's wrong. The truth is that things have changed, the method has evolved, everyone has put his/her own input into it (starting from the first generation of Pilates teachers), our bodies and clients' bodies have changed. In my opinion as long as we all remain true to the principles and continue to cherish what Joseph Pilates has left us with, then we cannot do wrong. If we keep doing what we do with dedication,passion, love, and never ending education, then in my modest opinion we are going to continue to be on the right track.
Thank you for this interview.
1 person likes this.
Incredibly interesting and insightful. Again, thank you for allowing us to peak into this subject w/you. Where else can I get info like this? Nowhere! Priceless and well worth documenting.
Thank you Denee! I hope you have seen Ken Endelman's interview too!
Ken Endelman Discussion
1 person likes this.
No I have not but I was thinking the same thing. I must watch it. I find these discussions on the lawsuit really fascinating. I wonder what "Joe" would think?
Fabulous. Thank you for some very interesting history, Kristi.
Did I hear correctly toward the end of Ch. 3 ...Gordon say, " no not me, not doing Pilates (followed by laughter) ?"….but he was part of forming the PMA? ….holy moly is there a challenge there Christy? How can you represent something this big and not try it for yourself? ….Christy, I would love to see you give Gordon Troy a class and watch him fall in love with the method on another level.:):)
Anna, I think you are asking me to challenge the primary defense attorney for the most important case in Pilates history, which took 5 years to resolve, involved some of the greatest leaders in our young discipline and shaped our entire industry (no matter which side you're on) to do a Pilates class with me as a measure of some sort of proof of his level of commitment. Is that right? If so, I'm sorry, the answer is no, I won't be doing that. I represent Gordon Troy as I do everyone else I've interviewed for the Pilates Legacy project, with respect and gratitude, and I do it easily. Yes. Mr. Troy was instrumental to the formation of the PMA and is still is involved.
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