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Gentry v. Lindsey

Supreme Court of Alabama

August 15, 2014

Andrew J. Gentry III
v.
Daniel L. Lindsey, Sr., et al

Released for Publication April 13, 2015.

Appeal from Lee Circuit Court. (CV-11-0188). Christopher J. Hughes, Trial Judge.

For Appellant: Thomas E. Jones, Auburn.

For Daniel L. Lindsey, Sr., and Jackson Thornton & Company, Appellees: Robert M. Ronnlund and William A. Scott, Jr., of Scott, Sullivan, Streetman & Fox, P.C., Birmingham.

For Daniel L. Lindsey, Jr., Appellee: Joshua J. Jackson of Samford & Denson, LLP, Opelika.

For Charles N. Parnell III, Parnell & Crum, Wilbur Investments, LLC, and Justin M. Parnell, Appellees: Robert T. Meadows III of Capell & Howard P.C., Opelika.

BRYAN, Justice. Moore, C.J., and Bolin and Main, JJ., concur. Murdock, J., concurs in the result.

OPINION

Page 272

BRYAN, Justice.

Andrew J. Gentry III (" Drew Gentry" ) appeals the Lee Circuit Court's judgment dismissing his claims against Daniel Lindsey, Sr., Jackson Thornton & Co., P.C. (" Jackson Thornton" ), Daniel Lindsey, Jr., Justin M. Parnell (" Matt Parnell" ), Parnell & Crum, and Wilbur Investments, LLC (" Wilbur Investments" ). For the reasons set forth herein, we conclude that the Rule 54(b) certification was improper, and we dismiss the appeal.

Facts and Procedural History

In 1992, Andrew J. Gentry, Jr. (" Andy Gentry" ), petitioned for bankruptcy, pursuant to Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. Andy Gentry hired Charles N. Parnell III (" Nick Parnell" ), an attorney at Parnell & Crum, to represent him in the bankruptcy proceedings. Nick Parnell hired Daniel Lindsey, Sr., a certified public accountant with Jackson Thornton, to assist him. According to Drew Gentry, who is Andy Gentry's son, Andy Gentry suffered throughout his life from a mental illness, which, Drew Gentry argues, was not controllable bye medication at the time of the bankruptcy proceedings. Drew Gentry argues that, at the time of the bankruptcy proceedings, Nick Parnell and Daniel Lindsey, Sr., knew of Andy Gentry's reduced mental capacity and also knew that Andy Gentry was terminally ill with AIDS. Andy Gentry died in 1995, while the bankruptcy proceedings were pending.

During the bankruptcy proceedings and prior to Andy Gentry's death, Nick Parnell and Daniel Lindsey, Sr., incorporated LeeCo Properties, Inc. (" LeeCo" ), in the names of their minor sons, Matt Parnell and Daniel Lindsey, Jr. Nick Parnell and Daniel Lindsey, Sr., persuaded Andy Gentry and the bankruptcy court to allow the transfer of certain real estate owned by Andy Gentry to LeeCo in return for either payment of the debts owed on those properties or the assumption of those debts.

The bankruptcy proceedings terminated in 1997. In 2010, Nick Parnell and Matt Parnell acquired the interests of Daniel

Page 273

Lindsey, Sr., and Daniel Lindsey, Jr., in LeeCo. LeeCo's assets were later transferred to Wilbur Investments, and LeeCo was dissolved in December 2010. Drew Gentry argues that neither he nor the bankruptcy court received notice of the transfer of assets from LeeCo to Wilbur Investments.

In April 2011, Michael Kent, who had had some business dealings with Andy Gentry, sued Nick Parnell and LeeCo, alleging claims related to Nick Parnell's conduct during and after his representation of Andy Gentry in the bankruptcy proceedings. In May 2011, Kent moved to add Drew Gentry as a " second-party plaintiff," arguing that the defendants had inflicted substantial harm upon the Gentry family and that " [t]he interests of justice ...


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