Contractor said was unlicensed in Deposition. Can he change his Testimony?

Asked about 1 year ago - Fairfax, CA

A contractor built a house for me and now I know he was not licensed.

In a deposition, the contractor said that he was not licensed, never licensed in building my house.

He was using his father's license and his father had nothing to do with the job.

I am told that I can file a counter claim and sue for disgorgement. But the contractor has 30 days after delivery of the transcript to change testimony.

Is that likely that this will change?
Is this change too big and obvious as to harm them in the long run?
Is it customary to wait after they have made their correction?

Attorney answers (7)

  1. James Carl Eschen III

    Contributor Level 16

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If I may expand a little on Mr. Alexander's comment, he may change his answer, but the answer he gave does not disappear. You may still bring it up in court that he said he was not licensed and was using his father's license. You could even get the court to order a second deposition. Generally, this question is not one about which someone would be confused.

    The Contractor's State License Board's website does show all licensees, past and present. He would have to have the same name as his father for there to be any confusion.

  2. Richard Carl Binder

    Contributor Level 12

    3

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . At deposition the witness is told that he or she will have an opportunity to read and review their depo transcript and make changes as necessary. BUY they are also told tjhat any material change can be commented upon at trial and that those comments could prove damaging to their case. There is a jury instruction that says in effect, that if you find a witness lied you can assume they lied about other things.

  3. Christian Frederick Paul

    Contributor Level 13

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You can get a certificate of non-licensure from the CSLB and prove that he was not licensed, at the same time proving his false testimony if he changes his deposition transcript.

    Also note that the contractor cannot prevail in a suit for unpaid work unless he can prove that he was properly licensed at all relevant times--which can only be done by submitting to the court a CSLB certificate of licensure for the relevant period of time. This your contractor cannot do, so your case is looking better all the time.

  4. Nicholas Basil Spirtos

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . You should be asking your attorney these questions.
    This raises quite a few issues. In order to bring a suit, a contractor must establish that he was licensed. So if he now admits in deposition that he was not licensed then your attorney should be able to get his complaint dismissed - possibly through summary judgment - and file a cross-complaint for disgorgement.
    It certainly could change the entire nature of the proceedings.

  5. Shawn B Alexander

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . He can change what he said but that doesn't change the facts. It does lead to a lack of credibility and perjury at some levels. But if you are in deposition and can show he lied either under oath in deposition or on the stand your lawyer will be able to undermine him in trial. Good Luck

    If this answer was helpful, please mark as helpful below. Please be sure to indicate the best answer Only If and... more
  6. Daniel F. Mclennon

    Contributor Level 5

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . As others have said, it does not matter if the "contractor" changes his testimony. Either he was licensed or he wasn't, and that information is available from the CSLB. The deposition testimony is nice to have, if the testimony is not changed, then his admissions make it easier to prove your right to refuse payment and to obtain disgorgement of amounts paid. If he changes his testimony, then you can show him to be a liar by producing the certificate of nonlicensure from the CSLB.

  7. Christine C McCall

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If you have an attorney, these are issues that you should be discussing with your attorney. If you don't have an attorney, you need one. Issues of licensure can be complicated when the defense is that there was a valid CSLB license that applied to the specific work done on the specific project. Your narrative summary as to who was the contractor, who built the house, who had responsibility for the project and who was required by law to be CSLB-licensed is very general and superficial. Your assumptions may be incorrect or incomplete and can lead you to a false conclusion. At the least, invest in an hour or so consultation time with a skilled and experienced attorney who can unravel, assess and verify or correct your assumptions on these specific issues.

    No legal advice here. READ THIS BEFORE you contact me! My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended... more

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