Here at JCW a sincere thanks goes out to the First District Court of Appeals in denying Jacobs Engineering Group (and subsidiaries) petition for a rehearing. (link) Hopefully they’re dumb enough to take it to the Supreme Court and lose even more attorneys fees.
Since the case between the Judicial Council and their two unlicensed contractors was a no-brainer from the start, it is important that the judicial branch demonstrate for the benefit of all Californians, that there are no exceptions. Not even judicial branch contractors should be exempt from our contractors licensing laws. Moreover, the court issued some important modifications in their order about money due the vendor after they were sued upping the ante by a few million dollars.
Unfortunately this does not resolve yet another looming question with respect to the unlicensed contractor lawsuits. Not too long ago Dennis Hererra, City Attorney for the City and County of San Francisco was quoted as saying that the city did not enter into a confidential settlement because he could not do so as a public entity. (link)
Which begs the question: How did the Judicial Council manage to enter into a confidential settlement with Aleut Global Solutions, LLC, who was never eligible to get a contractors license to begin with? How much public money was recovered or given away? What were the penalties levied against an entity that was never eligible for a contractors license? Much like the Jacobs matters millions were at stake. Did some insiders take payoffs to drop the action? How could this settlement ever be considered confidential when millions of dollars of public money was at stake? The Judicial Council’s public information email portal has no answers to these legitimate questions.
Unless it is appealed to the Supreme Court, the matter goes back to San Francisco Superior Court for a “substantial compliance” hearing. This would be the same building where “Team Jacobs” uniformed personnel, paid by ABM and managed by Jacobs worked for many years.
A lack of substantial compliance could unquestionably be ascertained by asking the court themselves to look at their own records such as business cards, proposals, studies, email, etc. so it will be interesting to see how this all plays out given that right across the street there are also hundreds of lbs of evidence that would represent a marked lack of substantial compliance. Even on this website there is a pile of documents that would demonstrate a marked lack of substantial compliance. This should be an easy win for the Judicial Council but we’ve seen them mess up wet dreams before, haven’t we?