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William D. Palmer

William PalmerWilliam D. Palmer served as Judge of Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeal in Daytona Beach from 2000-2018 and served as its Chief Judge from 2007-2009. He was appointed to the court after 24 years in private practice, primarily in the areas of civil litigation, family law, appellate law, adoption law, arbitration, and mediation. He has served as Chair of the Conference of District Court of Appeal Judges, the Florida Supreme Court Alternative Dispute Resolution Rules and Policies Committee, the Florida Bar’s Appellate Certification Committee and Judicial Nomination Procedures Committee, the Ninth Circuit Grievance Committee, and the Ninth Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission. He has also served as president of the Council of Chief Judges of State Courts of Appeal.

Mr. Palmer has written and lectured extensively in the areas of judicial selection, appellate law, family law, and litigation.  He was a certified arbitrator, civil mediator, and family mediator and has written, spoken, and trained in those areas. He received a B.S. degree in Management Science (with honors) from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1973 and received his J.D. degree (cum laude) in 1976 from Boston College Law School where he served as editor-in-chief of the Environmental Affairs Law Review.

“I always enjoyed research and writing and arguing. All of those things fit in well with the position on the appellate court. When I retired from the court, I wanted to still be involved in the legal community.”

Former Florida Fifth District Court of Appeal Judge Joins Florida Appeals Firm’s Team

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A sampling of Mr. Palmer’s publications, awards, and distinctions include the following:


Palmer, William D., “Top Ten Lapses of Professionalism in Appellate Practice,” Orange County Bar Brief, 2002;

Palmer, William D., “Chapter 11: Miracle Sisters from Romania”, Welcome Home! An International and Nontraditional Adoption Reader, The Haworth Clinical Practice Press, 2002;

Palmer, William D. and Nancy S., “Dealing with Visitation Problems”, Orange County Bar Briefs, 2000;

Thompson, Patricia H., DeVaney, Donna Brooks, Camp, John A., and Palmer, William D., “Chapter 8: Consumer and Customer Disputes”, Alternative Dispute Resolution: The Litigator’s Handbook, ABA Section of Litigation, 2000;

Palmer, William D., Professionalism: A Way of Life, Not a Set of Rules, Orange County Bar Briefs, 2000;

Palmer, William D. and Nancy S., “Visitation Violations”, Focus on the Family Single-Parent Family, 2000;

Palmer, William D., Determining the Best Interest of the Child: The Resolution of Name Disputes in Paternity Actions, The Florida Bar Journal, 1999;

Palmer, William D. and Nancy S., Blending One Big Happy Family, Family Advocate, 1998;

Palmer, William D. and Jontz, Jeffery, Changes in Florida Law Can Impact Non-compete Clauses, Orlando Business Journal, 1998;

Palmer, William D. and Nancy S., Family Mediation: Good for Clients, Good for Lawyers, The Compleat Lawyer, 1996;

Palmer, William D. and Nancy S., The Family Puzzle – Putting the Pieces Together: A Guide to Parenting the Blended Family, Pinon Press, 1996;

Palmer, William D., “Arbitration and Med-Arb: Two Alternative Alternative Dispute Resolution Methods”, Family Law Commentator, 1996;

Palmer, William D. and Nancy S., “Family Mediation” chapter, Alternative Dispute Resolution in Florida II, Florida Bar Publication, 1995;

Palmer, William D., “A Jury Trial Primer for Family Practitioners”, Family Law Commentator, 1994.

Awards and Distinctions: 

AV-rating by Martindale-Hubbell

William Reese Smith, Jr., Pro Bono Award

Boston College Law School: Editor-in-Chief, Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review

Lyne, Woodworth and Evarts Award for most outstanding contribution to any law school publication

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute: Valedictorian of School of Management

Rensselaer Medal of Honor scholarship

Wall Street Journal Award for outstanding management student

Management Honor Society

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