In a previous edition of Construction Alert we reported to you on White v. Cridlebaugh (2009) 178 Cal.App.4th 506, in which the court confirmed that an unlicensed contractor could be sued for recovery of funds, even though the owner had received a benefit from the work performed by the unlicensed contractor. In that case, the owner was unaware that the contractor was unlicensed until after the work was performed.
It has long been a requirement that any subcontractor or material supplier seeking to enforce a mechanic's lien must first file a 20-day preliminary notice. The requirement existed before the California legislature revised laws relating to mechanic's liens and stop notices in 2012, and similar requirements exist after 2012.
The Public Contracts Code generally provides that contracts for certain dollar amounts, generally exceeding $15,000 to $25,000, must be sent out for bid and let to the lowest responsible bidder after appropriate notice is given. Public Contracts Code § 20803, which governs sanitary districts, contains such a requirement for any contract exceeding $15,000.
California law requires that contractors obtain the proper license before work can be performed on any project. (See Business & Professions Code § 7026.) Moreover, where a contractor files a lawsuit to recover monies owed for work performed, that contractor must plead and prove it was licensed at all times that the work was performed. (See Business & Professions Code § 7031.) The penalty for failure to maintain your license is severe. If you are unable to prove that you were licensed at all times, you are barred from recovering monies on any grounds, whether it be for breach of contract, fraud, or reasonable value of the services performed. (See Hydrotech Systems, Ltd. v. Oasis Waterpark (1991) 52 Cal.3d. 988.) But what happens if a contractor is licensed for most of the time that the work is performed and inadvertently allows his license to lapse for a period during the construction of a project? This article will discuss this issue.
The courts have been busy dealing with issues relating to bidding on public works projects. Two recent decisions have been issued: Great Western Contractors, Inc. v. Irvine Unified School District (2010) 2010 DJDAR 13815 and Schram Construction Inc. v. The Regents of the University of California (Southland Industries) (2010) 2010 DJDAR 13398.
Most contractors know that the mechanic's lien is one of the best remedies available to the contractor, laborer, and supplier because it allows for the foreclosure of real property if payment is not made for construction work and/or materials supplied to the project. What many contractors may be unsure of is on which projects a lien should be recorded.
Much has been discussed in the media regarding the fees lawyers charge. Some believe that they are excessive while others believe that due to their education and expertise, high rates are expected. What is not discussed, however, are the various methods lawyers use to determine how they will charge and what they will charge. This article will discuss the various billing practices that are available to you, the legal consumer.
Other than dealing with the Government, perhaps the most frustrating aspect of running a business is the collection of unpaid debts from your customers. Every business at one time or another will be faced with the situation where goods and/or services have been provided, no complaints have been received, yet your customer refuses to pay. This monograph will serve to answer a few questions you may have regarding collections as they arise in the commercial setting.
Unfortunately, many of us at one time or another, will be a victim of an automobile accident which was simply not our fault. If you are injured, the law provides that you may be entitled to recover monetary damages for hospital expenses, medical treatment, prescriptions, lost wages, and other damages for pain and suffering. The amount of such damages differs based upon your injuries.
As litigation becomes more expensive, clients look to more cost-effective means of resolving their disputes. This requires an evaluation of alternative dispute resolution, otherwise known as ADR. Alternative dispute resolution includes non-court alternatives such as negotiations, mediations, arbitrations, mini trials, and early neutral evaluation. Courts have recognized the benefits of ADR in virtually every court in the state. The federal courts have also adopted ADR programs.