Dismissing a whole petition for custody because an attorney neglected to provide a witness list is too extreme, the Court of Appeal ruled Sept. 12.
In this case, Elouise Harber and Delores Williams, the maternal and paternal grandmothers of two children, filed competing petitions to gain custody over two of their grandchildren. Harber’s counsel neglected to file a witness list; Harber was going to be the only witness, and the attorney did not believe the requirement applied to party witnesses, according to the appellate ruling.
San Bernardino Superior Court dismissed Harber’s case because of the missing witness list.
The Court of Appeal disagreed. Because it was her attorney’s fault,