Jim R. NASH, Appellant
Norma NASH, Individually and as Trustee of the Norma F. Nash Living Trust; John Nash, Jr., Individually and for Norma Nash, Deceased, as Cotrustee of the Norma F. Nash Living Trust, and as Co-Administrator of the Norma Nash Estate; Pam Nash Glover, Individually and for Norma Nash, Deceased, as Cotrustee of the Norma F. Nash Living Trust, and as Co-Administrator of the Norma Nash Estate; Susan Nash Lyle, Individually and for Norma Nash, Deceased; Perry Nash, Individually and for Norma Nash, Deceased; and Gaylen McClanahan, Appellees
Rehearing Denied April 17, 2019
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FROM THE PULASKI COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, SECOND DIVISION [NO.
60CV-15-1789], HONORABLE CHRISTOPHER CHARLES PIAZZA, JUDGE
Nash, pro se appellant.
Daniel IV, P.A., Little Rock, by: Ed Daniel IV, LLM CPA, for
Nash, a licensed attorney appearing pro se, appeals from a
jurys defense verdict on his claims for breach of contract,
specific performance, and tortious interference with a
business expectancy. Appellant argues six points for
reversal, but his primary contention is that there was no
compliance with Arkansas Rule of Civil Procedure 25 following
the death of the original defendant. We affirm.
Appellant performed legal services for his brother, John R.
Nash, Sr., for many years. These services included
representation in administrative and regulatory matters and
in the sale of a convenience store and a warehouse, as well
as attempts to sell a liquor store owned by John R. Nash, Sr.
According to appellant, he had an oral agreement with his
brother to provide legal services on an as-needed basis and a
"pay when you can" basis. After John R. Nash, Sr.,
died in April 2012, his widow, Norma Nash, informed appellant
that his services were no longer required. A small estate
proceeding was opened for John R. Nash, Sr., and appellant
filed a claim against his estate for unpaid legal work.
Appellant subsequently sued Norma in April 2015 both
individually and as trustee of the Norma Nash Living Trust
(the trust). Appellant alleged in his complaint a
breach-of-contract claim that Norma was transferring almost
all her assets, including the liquor store, to the trust as a
fraudulent transfer to defeat any claims against her
husbands estate. The complaint also asserted claims for
specific performance and tortious interference with a
business expectancy. A discovery dispute arose, and appellant
filed a motion to compel and a request for sanctions.
However, Norma died on February 28, 2016.
notice of suggestion of death was filed on March 22, 2016.
Appellant filed a motion asking the circuit court to appoint
both John R. Nash, Jr., (Nash Jr.) and Pam Glover as special
administrators to represent Normas estate and her
trust. The trust responded to the motion,
asserting that no probate proceedings had been opened and
that no one had been appointed to succeed Norma. On May 18,
2016, the circuit court entered an order holding appellants
motions to compel and for sanctions in abeyance and directing
appellant to file a substituted complaint to "include
the proper parties to substitute for Defendant Norma Nash,
now deceased, and any other proper parties to this
order also stated that the amended complaint to be filed
would satisfy the requirements of Rule 25 and other statutory
requirements for revivor and substitution of parties.
filed an amended complaint on May 27. The complaint named as
defendants Nash Jr. and Glover, individually and as
cotrustees of the trust and as coadministrators of Normas
estate. Norma was still listed in the complaint both
individually and as trustee. The complaint incorporated the
allegations contained in the original complaint and asserted
four causes of action— breach of contract, imposition
of a constructive trust, and two counts alleging interference
with a contract and business expectancy.
24, Nash Jr. and Glover answered the amended complaint. They
denied that any personal representatives or special
administrators had been appointed for Normas estate. On July
26, the circuit court entered an order prepared by the
attorney for Nash Jr. and Glover dismissing appellants
claims against Norma in her individual capacity because no
substitution had been entered within ninety days of the
suggestion of death as required by Arkansas Code Annotated
section 28-50-102 (Repl. 2012).
August 2, appellant filed a motion to vacate the dismissal
order. He alleged that the dismissal was made without a
dismissal motion having been filed. He also recited that no
probate proceedings had been initiated for Normas
Appellant filed an amended and supplemental complaint on
September 9. Nash Jr. and Glover answered individually and as
cotrustees of Normas trust. However, they specifically
denied that a special administrator had been appointed for
February 27, 2017, appellant filed another amended complaint
keeping the same parties named as in the first amended
complaint and adding Lyle and Perry as defendants "for
Norma Nash, deceased."
two-day jury trial was held on June 7 and 8, 2017. The jury
returned verdicts in favor of "Defendants, Norma Nash
and her substitutes and heirs" on the issues of breach
of contract, unjust enrichment, and interference with
entry of the judgment in favor of the defendants, appellant
filed a motion for new trial. The judgment was entered on
June 22. Appellant filed his notice of appeal on July 21.
When the circuit court did not rule on appellants motion for
new trial within thirty days, he ...