Hon. David R. Chaffee (Ret.)
Mediator • Arbitrator • Discovery Referee


Representative Cases

  • Lawsuit involving purported general contractor for condo remodel versus homeowners. After homeowners terminated the contract, a corporation owned by the contractor sued homeowners for money allegedly remaining outstanding on the project. Homeowners cross-complained against purported contractor and corporate plaintiff seeking disgorgement of all payments made for the project per B&P section 7031(b) because contractor failed to possess a contractor’s license. Homeowners alleged their contract was exclusively with the contractor, not the corporation, and that they were later directed by contractor to make checks payable to the corporation. The corporation did have a contractor’s license, while the contractor did not.

  • Plaintiff sued contractor and various contractor owners and employees for breach of construction contract on a room addition to plaintiff’s home. Individual defendant salesman/representative signed the contract on behalf of contractor. Contractor generally conceded that work was unfinished; the only remaining issue was liability of individual defendant salesman/representative.

  • Subcontractor on a large commercial project failed to complete the application process and obtain the requisite contractor’s license(s) before signing two separate contracts. The subcontractor’s work was terminated before the projects were completed and without the sub having obtained full point of amounts it claimed were due under the contracts. The issue was whether B & P sec. 7031 barred subcontractor’s recovery when it undertook performance of a contract without a contractor license, but became licensed before completion of the work.