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Phil Padovano Presents on Harmless Error

Brannock Humphries & Berman shareholder Phil Padovano, a former appellate judge and author of the leading treatise on Florida appellate practice, was a featured speaker at this month’s webinar presented by the Florida Bar’s Appellate Practice Section.

Along with another former appellate judge, Chris Altenbernd, Phil addressed the history of harmless error in Florida, a legal concept that prevents all mistaken rulings at trial from leading to successful appeals.  Phil traced the standard applied by Florida appellate courts starting with the 1911 enactment of the harmless error statute to explain how the Florida Supreme Court reached the current test adopted in the seminal 2014 decision of Special v. West Boca Medical Center.  He also addressed strategies to avoid the harsh effects of Special, including to see if the issue on appeal is even subject to harmless error analysis, and explored issues that may not be affected by Special, such as due process arguments.

Phil’s presentation was part of the Appellate Practice Section’s monthly webinar series, a continuing legal education program that features timely presentations from thought leaders in Florida’s appellate community.