A Brief Review of the Doctrine of Harmless Error


Richmond lawyers George Somerville and Bill Hurd’s article, “A Brief Review of the Doctrine of Harmless Error,” was published in the Summer 2015 edition of the Virginia State Bar’s Litigation News.

The article discusses the circumstances under which appellate courts will find a lower court’s error to be so significant as to require reversal of the erroneously obtained judgment.

“Virginia’s appellate courts have adopted a two-tiered harmless-error analysis,” the two state in the article. “Choice of the applicable standard does not depend on whether a case is civil or criminal. Rather, it turns on whether the error is of constitutional proportions.”