McGeorge School of Law

Clinic Case Results In Published Victory

November 19, 2007

The California Third District Court of Appeal handed McGeorge's Community Legal Services a major victory in a published opinion last summer in a complex family law case.

In November, the California Supreme Court declined to review the case so the judgment stands. A unanimous appellate court decision ruled that California may exercise child custody jurisdiction where a wife (CLS client Reema Sareen) and child's forced residence in husband's chosen forum did not make India "home state." The couple married in India, lived briefly in New York and the husband abandoned her there in 2004 when she was still a non-citizen. The clinic took the case after she settled in California in early 2006. Mario De Bernardo, '07, and David Korsunsky, '07, helped her file for custody, but a Sacramento Superior Court judge ruled he did not have jurisdiction. CLS Director Cecilia Arnold worked long hours on an appeal that eventually resulted in a favorable ruling last month. "If we had not taken the case, our client would have had no recourse," Arnold said.