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?
Real Estate Attorney
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 until you and I sign an Agreement for Legal Services, I am not your attorney. These answers are provided for informational and/or novelty purposes
Real Estate Attorney
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.
Car / Auto Accident Lawyer
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.
Construction / Development Lawyer
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.
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.
Construction / Development Lawyer
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.
Administrative Law Lawyer
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 as legal advice and must not be relied upon as if they were legal advice. I give legal advice ONLY in the course of a formal attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by joint execution of a written agreement for legal services. My law firm does not provide free consultations. Please do not call or write to me with a “few questions” that require me to analyze the specific facts of your history and your license application and prescribe for you how to get a State license. Send me an email to schedule a paid Consultation for that kind of information, direction, and assistance. My law firm presently accepts cases involving State and federal licenses and permits; discipline against State and federal licenses; and disciplinary and academic challenges to universities, colleges, boarding schools, and private schools. We take cases of wrongful termination or employment discrimination only if the claims involve peace officers, universities or colleges.