COLUMBIA, S.C. (WBTW) – The South Carolina Court of Appeals has once again rejected appeals from the former trustee of legendary singer James Brown’s estate.

The decision, published Wednesday, is what the court referred to as the newest in “the voluminous litigation” following Brown’s death more than a decade ago.

The ruling addressed 25 arguments that Adele Pope, an attorney and former trustee of Brown’s estate, has made. One of those is an appeal of a circuit court’s decision to deny her motion to dismiss the case — and the second time the state court has said that that isn’t a decision she can appeal. The circuit court’s previous 24 rulings against her were also upheld.

In May, the court dismissed other appeals, ruling that Pope should not receive additional payment for her time as a temporary trustee of his estate.

Brown died on Christmas Day 2006. Afterward, his relatives were “suspicious” of the trustees of his estate, David Cannon, Albert Dallas and Alfred Bradley, and emergency petitions were filed to remove them. A court decided to keep them in place but appointed Pope and Robert Buchanan as special administrators to oversee the trustees’ work.

The two were appointed as replacement trustees in November 2007 after they “uncovered serious financial misconduct” by the three, according to the ruling.

Prior to becoming trustees, Pope and Buchanan suggested a formula that valued the estate. They sold some property through Christie’s Auction House, which a circuit court agreed with because it “was necessary to generate funds for the estate,” which didn’t have much cash at the time, according to the ruling. However, that court did not know at the time that Pope only consulted one auction house.

In January 2008, the circuit court ordered Pope and Buchanan to be paid $320,000 for serving as special administrators from March to November of 2007. They were supposed to continue to be paid on an hourly basis as a deposit only, to any full commissions.

They served as trustees until May 2009. They were removed when a circuit court approved a settlement, which removed them. They opposed, because “they believed its terms were contrary to Brown’s desire that the majority of his estate go to charity.”

A state court agreed, set the settlement aside, and ruled that the circuit court had cause to remove them.

A few months after being removed, Pope and Buchanan submitted a claim for $5 million to get money that they said was owed to them. The estate then sued, claiming the two were negligent administrators. Buchanan settled.

Pope and Buchanan were replaced as trustees by Russell Baulknight, and were denied the payment. Pope filed a complaint that included more accusations, along with a claim she was entitled to the fees. A circuit court dismissed all of the claims, except for the one regarding payment.

A $19 million settlement offer was presented to settle the case, along with the estate’s suit against her. She objected, and a bench trial followed in 2017. The circuit court filed its order in 2019.

During her time as a trustee, Pope received permission from a circuit court to sell “iconic assets” from Brown’s estate to raise funds — a large portion of which went toward paying her own attorney fees, according to the newest ruling. During that time, she also tried to sell his Grammy award, until the National Academy of Recording Arts seized it because of its policy that awards can’t be sold.

Wednesday’s ruling states that the circuit court was correct in stating at the attorney general had an interest in protecting the trust’s charitable benefits. It states that she had time to challenge being removed as a trustee, among other decisions.

The court said that Pope has no evidence to back up claims that there was a civil conspiracy, abuse of due process, fraud, tortious interference or that her due process rights were violated.