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AB 2396: Expungements and California Professional Licensing

California Professional License Defense Attorney

“AB 2396: Expungements and California Professional Licensing”

In 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a law that changed Business & Professions Code § 480. The amended law prohibits most Department of Consumer Affairs licensing agencies from denying licenses to individuals solely on the basis of their expunged criminal convictions. These approximately forty licensing Boards include the Bureau of Real Estate, Board of Accountancy and Contractors State License Board. Previously, Department of Consumer Affairs licensing boards often issued license denials based only on expunged criminal convictions.

Agencies not falling under the purview of the California Department of Consumer Affairs are exempt from the changes to Business & Professions Code § 480. These agencies include the Department of Business Oversight and the California Department of Insurance. In fact, some Department of Consumer Affairs entities are exempt such as the Medical Board of California.

Thousands of Californians seeking business and professional licenses could become immediately eligible. To deny an individual with an expunged conviction a license, entities under the control of the California Department of Consumer Affairs must assert an independent basis for the denial. Reasons for a denial of a business or professional license beyond an expunged conviction include misrepresentation of the underlying offense constituting the expunged conviction, dangerous use of alcohol or drugs and a lack of candor.

Convictions expunged in jurisdictions outside of California are not covered by the law. This means that an individual who is convicted of a crime in another state and receives an expungement will not enjoy the benefit of this legislation when applying for a professional license in California. It is possible that in the future, the law will be amended to include out of state conviction expungements.

It is likely that the law reduce the size of the underground economy. Many individuals with criminal pasts that have received Superior Court expungements will now have a much easier path to obtaining professional licenses. Individuals and businesses that are already licensed believe that the legislation will substantially increase competition in a variety of occupations.

If you have applied for a California professional license and are facing a license denial, contact the Law Offices of Seth Weinstein at (310) 707-7131.

We represent individuals in applying for and defending California professional licenses in Alameda, Bakersfield, Beverly Hills, Chico, Concord, Contra Costa County, Cupertino, Davis, El Centro, Escondido, Eureka, Fontana, Fremont, Fresno, Hanford, Hayward, Hemet, Hollywood, Humboldt County, Imperial County, Indio, Kern County, Lancaster, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin County, Mendocino, Merced, Modesto, Monterey, Mountain View, Murrieta, Napa, Oakland, Oceanside, Ontario, Orange County, Oxnard, Palm Springs, Palmdale, Palo Alto, Paso Robles, Perris, Placerville, Rancho Cucamonga, Redding, Richmond, Riverside, Roseville, Sacramento, Salinas, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin County, San Jose, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara County, Santa Clarita, Santa Cruz, Santa Maria, Santa Monica, Santa Rosa, Simi Valley, Stockton, Sunnyvale, Temecula, Thousand Oaks, Tracy, Truckee, Tulare, Turlock, Vacaville, Vallejo, Ventura County, Victorville, Visalia, Vista, Walnut Creek, West Hollywood, and Yuba City.


California Land Surveyor Discipline

California Land Surveyor License Discipline

“Issues Facing California Land Surveyors”

The California Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors and Geologists licenses and disciplines Land Surveyors. The Board does not possess sufficient resources to investigate complaints. Despite the small number of Land Surveyors in California, there are numerous geographically based committees and organizations that self regulate the profession. The California Land Surveyors Association and the Joint Professional Practices Committee, or JPPC of each geographic region routinely refer complaints to the Board.

Land Surveying is not an exact science. Only a Court of law can legally determine boundaries. All other conclusions are merely opinions. Advances in Land Surveyor technology and education have contributed to younger surveyors filing Board complaints against older surveyors. Liberties taken by older surveyors in mapping and surveying plots of land and boundaries are disfavored among their younger counterparts. The Board does not require continuing education. Therefore, many older Land Surveyors are unfamiliar with current custom and practice. This results in complaints being referred for disciplinary action by the California Attorney General’s Office.

Another area of concern in the Land Surveying industry involves the filing of records of survey, corner records and plat maps. While most requirements are clear as to when a record of survey versus a corner record is required, in some instances they are a matter of opinion. Complicating the matter further is that individual counties are responsible for accepting or rejecting filed documents. What documents must be filed in a given situation and what information the document must contain is subjective.

Acceptance of a filing by a County Land Surveyor’s Office is implicit acceptance of meeting the legal requirements. However, despite the acceptance of the filing, Land Surveyors may still be subject to disciplinary action by the Board. Thus, Land Surveyors must always check that their corner record, plat map and record of survey filings comply with the law.

In many instances, Land Surveyors do not perform the actual field survey. This task is often left to unlicensed individuals working under the direction of the licensed Land Surveyor. A Land Surveyor must exercise supervisory authority over a field survey and direct the activities of the field crew. Failure to exercise supervisory control over a job can result in a Board disciplinary action for aiding and abetting unlicensed land surveying, negligence and incompetence in land surveying.

If you are facing a California Board of Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors and Geologists Accusation, contact California Professional License Defense attorney Seth Weinstein at (310) 707-7131.

We represent California Land Surveyors in applying for and defending California Land Surveying licenses in Alameda, Bakersfield, Beverly Hills, Chico, Concord, Contra Costa County, Cupertino, Davis, El Centro, Escondido, Eureka, Fontana, Fremont, Fresno, Hanford, Hayward, Hemet, Hollywood, Humboldt County, Imperial County, Indio, Kern County, Lancaster, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin County, Mendocino, Merced, Modesto, Monterey, Mountain View, Murrieta, Napa, Oakland, Oceanside, Ontario, Orange County, Oxnard, Palm Springs, Palmdale, Palo Alto, Paso Robles, Perris, Placerville, Rancho Cucamonga, Redding, Richmond, Riverside, Roseville, Sacramento, Salinas, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin County, San Jose, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara County, Santa Clarita, Santa Cruz, Santa Maria, Santa Monica, Santa Rosa, Simi Valley, Stockton, Sunnyvale, Temecula, Thousand Oaks, Tracy, Truckee, Tulare, Turlock, Vacaville, Vallejo, Ventura County, Victorville, Visalia, Vista, Walnut Creek, West Hollywood, and Yuba City.


DUIs and Registered Nursing Licenses

California Professional License Defense Attorney

“DUIs and Registered Nursing Licenses”

The California Board of Registered Nursing files Accusations against the licenses of Registered Nurses convicted of a DUI. The Department of Justice notifies BRN when licensees are arrested for Driving Under the Influence. The California Attorney General’s Office represents BRN before the California Office of Administrative Hearings, also known as the Administrative Law Court.

The burden of proof in administrative hearings is preponderance of the evidence, a much lower standard than the beyond a reasonable doubt standard required in criminal law. Thus, Even if criminal charges involving alcohol or drugs against a Registered Nurse are dismissed, the Board of Registered Nursing can take disciplinary action. The California Supreme Court has ruled that a first offense DUI is substantially related to the duties, functions and qualifications of a Registered Nurse.

Several years ago, BRN created a diversion program for individuals convicted or arrested for alcohol and drug offenses. The diversion program is extremely intense, requiring a significant commitment. Registered Nurses who elect to participate in the program must take four to six months off from work. In fact, Registered Nurses who elect to fight their case against the Attorney General’s Office in the Office of Administrative Hearings often receive better results than if they had selected the diversion program.

Prior to conducting a Hearing, the Attorney General’s Office often enters into a Stipulated Agreement with a Registered Nurse. Factors involved in offering a Stipulated Agreement include the Blood Alcohol Concentration, or BAC, whether a traffic collision occurred and any other aggravating circumstances. In many situations, a Stipulated Agreement requires Registered Nurses undergo daily random biological fluid testing.

The random biological fluid testing program requires Registered Nurses to refrain from alcohol and drug use for the duration of the program. Participants must sign in each day. If the participant is randomly selected for testing, the participant must appear at a State of California approved lab facility. A positive test, or a missed test, will result in a probation violation filed by the Board of Registered Nursing. Due to the constraints imposed by this program, many Nurses seek to avoid this condition as part of a Stipulated Agreement.

If you are facing a California Board of Registered Nursing Accusation, contact California Professional License Defense attorney Seth Weinstein at (310) 707-7131.

We represent California Registered Nurses in applying for and defending California Nursing licenses in Alameda, Bakersfield, Beverly Hills, Chico, Concord, Contra Costa County, Cupertino, Davis, El Centro, Escondido, Eureka, Fontana, Fremont, Fresno, Hanford, Hayward, Hemet, Hollywood, Humboldt County, Imperial County, Indio, Kern County, Lancaster, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin County, Mendocino, Merced, Modesto, Monterey, Mountain View, Murrieta, Napa, Oakland, Oceanside, Ontario, Orange County, Oxnard, Palm Springs, Palmdale, Palo Alto, Paso Robles, Perris, Placerville, Rancho Cucamonga, Redding, Richmond, Riverside, Roseville, Sacramento, Salinas, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin County, San Jose, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara County, Santa Clarita, Santa Cruz, Santa Maria, Santa Monica, Santa Rosa, Simi Valley, Stockton, Sunnyvale, Temecula, Thousand Oaks, Tracy, Truckee, Tulare, Turlock, Vacaville, Vallejo, Ventura County, Victorville, Visalia, Vista, Walnut Creek, West Hollywood, and Yuba City.


SB 1159: Undocumented Immigrants and California Professional Licensing

California Professional License Defense Attorney

“SB 1159: Undocumented Immigrants and California Professional Licensing”

California Governor Jerry Brown signed a law that requires all licensing Boards under the Department of Consumer Affairs to allow undocumented immigrants professional licenses by 2016. These approximately forty licensing Boards include the Bureau of Real Estate, Board of Accountancy and Contractors State License Board. Previously, some Department of Consumer Affairs licensing boards denied professional licenses to illegal immigrants.

Undocumented individuals will be required to meet the same licensing requirements as all other applicants. Rather than provide a Social Security number, applicants who are not legally present in the United States will be required to provide a Tax ID number.

Approximately two million individuals could become eligible for professional licenses. Many of these individuals are under age thirty five and grew up in the United States. In addition to providing jobs, the law intends to increase tax revenues and licensing fees.

Many groups have opposed the new law. Trade groups believe that flooding the slow California economy with potentially several million new professionals will have a drastic effect on their respective markets. This view is particularly prevalent with construction professionals licensed by the Contractors State License Board, which has struggled to rebound along with other professions. Others believe that individuals illegally in the United States should not be rewarded with professional licenses.

Proponents of the legislation believe that the law will result in a significant reduction in the underground economy. The notion is that the law will create a wider range of accountability for individuals currently operating outside the law due to a lack of choice. Furthermore, areas underserved by licensed professionals will have greater access to healthcare and other professionals.

If you possess a California professional license and are facing an investigation or Accusation, contact the Law Offices of Seth Weinstein at (310) 707-7131.

We represent California professional licensees in applying for and defending California professional licenses in Alameda, Bakersfield, Beverly Hills, Chico, Concord, Contra Costa County, Cupertino, Davis, El Centro, Escondido, Eureka, Fontana, Fremont, Fresno, Hanford, Hayward, Hemet, Hollywood, Humboldt County, Imperial County, Indio, Kern County, Lancaster, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin County, Mendocino, Merced, Modesto, Monterey, Mountain View, Murrieta, Napa, Oakland, Oceanside, Ontario, Orange County, Oxnard, Palm Springs, Palmdale, Palo Alto, Paso Robles, Perris, Placerville, Rancho Cucamonga, Redding, Richmond, Riverside, Roseville, Sacramento, Salinas, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin County, San Jose, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara County, Santa Clarita, Santa Cruz, Santa Maria, Santa Monica, Santa Rosa, Simi Valley, Stockton, Sunnyvale, Temecula, Thousand Oaks, Tracy, Truckee, Tulare, Turlock, Vacaville, Vallejo, Ventura County, Victorville, Visalia, Vista, Walnut Creek, West Hollywood, and Yuba City.


Departure From Accepted Trade Standards

California Contractor State License Board Discipline

“Departure From Accepted Trade Standards”

The California Contractors State License Board (CSLB) requires that contractors complete construction projects in accordance with industry trade standards. Business & Professions Code § 7109(a) provides that a willful departure from accepted trade standards constitutes a cause for disciplinary action. In any disciplinary action brought against a contractor for Departure From Accepted Trade Standards, the state must prove willfulness on the part of the contractor.

When an allegation into worksmanship or quality of construction arises, CSLB Enforcement Representatives often utilize the services of a CSLB construction expert licensed in the same trade as the contractor in question. The CSLB construction expert visits the job location and authors a report. The report examines each item of construction in question. If the expert finds that the contractor in question Willfully Departed From Accepted Trade Standards, the expert will identify the cost to correct the poor worksmanship.

Poor worksmanship or construction quality issues do not necessarily mean disciplinary action will follow. CSLB can refer issues to CSLB sponsored Mediation or Arbitration. However, in some cases, CSLB will issue a Citation or refer the matter to the Attorney General’s Office for the filing of an Accusation alleging Departure From Accepted Trade Standards. Formal discipline for an Accusation alleging Departure From Accepted Trade Standards ranges from probation with standard terms and conditions to contractor’s license suspension or revocation.

In most situations, CSLB construction experts can find at least one thing wrong with a construction project. However, contractors also have the right to hire their own construction expert. In many Accusation matters heard before the California Office of Administrative Hearings, a defense construction expert often makes a significant difference in discipline and restitution amounts.

Previously, Willful Departure From Accepted Trade Standards were administrative and civil matter. Recently, CSLB Investigators and District Attorney’s Offices have been attempting to criminally prosecute contractors for Diverting Construction Funds and Grand Theft when construction quality and worksmanship are extremely poor. Contractors should always check the quality of their work to ensure that it complies with industry standards.

If you possess a California contractor license and are facing an investigation or Accusation, contact the Law Offices of Seth Weinstein at (310) 707-7131.

We assist California contractors in applying for and defending California contractor licenses in Alameda, Bakersfield, Beverly Hills, Chico, Concord, Contra Costa County, Cupertino, Davis, El Centro, Escondido, Eureka, Fontana, Fremont, Fresno, Hanford, Hayward, Hemet, Hollywood, Humboldt County, Imperial County, Indio, Kern County, Lancaster, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin County, Mendocino, Merced, Modesto, Monterey, Mountain View, Murrieta, Napa, Oakland, Oceanside, Ontario, Orange County, Oxnard, Palm Springs, Palmdale, Palo Alto, Paso Robles, Perris, Placerville, Rancho Cucamonga, Redding, Richmond, Riverside, Roseville, Sacramento, Salinas, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin County, San Jose, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara County, Santa Clarita, Santa Cruz, Santa Maria, Santa Monica, Santa Rosa, Simi Valley, Stockton, Sunnyvale, Temecula, Thousand Oaks, Tracy, Truckee, Tulare, Turlock, Vacaville, Vallejo, Ventura County, Victorville, Visalia, Vista, Walnut Creek, West Hollywood, and Yuba City.


Contractor Advertising Laws

California Contractor State License Board Discipline

“Contractor Advertising”

The California Contractors State License Board (CSLB) provides rules and regulations regarding contractor advertising. Several Business & Professions Code sections govern contractor advertising in California. For contractors who violate the law regarding advertising, CSLB discipline can include Warning Letters, Citations and even Accusations for more major violations.

Many of the advertising requirements for contractors are covered by Business & Professions Code § 7030.5. Contractors must include their business name, business address and license number on all advertisements. Business & Professions Code § 7029.5 governs the advertising requirements for vehicles. Failure to adhere to these contractor  advertising requirements will result in CSLB disciplinary action.

False or misleading advertising is prohibited by Business & Professions Code § 7161. CSLB Investigators actively target “bait and switch” schemes. These scenarios involve advertising low prices for common construction projects and then hammering the consumer with dramatically higher prices for the advertised construction project.

Similarly, contractors may not advertise outside of the scope of their license. Business & Professions Code § 7027.1 requires that contractors only advertise for their licensed trade. A violation of this code section can result in the filing of misdemeanor criminal charges against the contractor. General B license contractors have wide leverage in advertising. Many contractors use telemarketers and door to door salesmen to advertise their services. Contractors must be aware that these tactics may be illegal, depending on the jurisdiction and use of such methods.

Unlicensed individuals who advertise for construction services must include their unlicensed status on their advertisements. Business & Professions Code §§ 7027.1 and 7027.2 provides that unlicensed individuals who illegally advertise are subject to prosecution for misdemeanor criminal offenses. Many individuals who are arrested for violating these statutes are caught in CSLB Sting Operations.

If you possess a California contractor license and are facing an investigation or Accusation, contact the Law Offices of Seth Weinstein at (310) 707-7131.

We assist California contractors in applying for and defending California contractor licenses in Alameda, Bakersfield, Beverly Hills, Chico, Concord, Contra Costa County, Cupertino, Davis, El Centro, Escondido, Eureka, Fontana, Fremont, Fresno, Hanford, Hayward, Hemet, Hollywood, Humboldt County, Imperial County, Indio, Kern County, Lancaster, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin County, Mendocino, Merced, Modesto, Monterey, Mountain View, Murrieta, Napa, Oakland, Oceanside, Ontario, Orange County, Oxnard, Palm Springs, Palmdale, Palo Alto, Paso Robles, Perris, Placerville, Rancho Cucamonga, Redding, Richmond, Riverside, Roseville, Sacramento, Salinas, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin County, San Jose, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara County, Santa Clarita, Santa Cruz, Santa Maria, Santa Monica, Santa Rosa, Simi Valley, Stockton, Sunnyvale, Temecula, Thousand Oaks, Tracy, Truckee, Tulare, Turlock, Vacaville, Vallejo, Ventura County, Victorville, Visalia, Vista, Walnut Creek, West Hollywood, and Yuba City.


Contractor Job Abandonment

California Contractor State License Board Discipline

“Job Abandonment”

The California Contractors State License Board (CSLB) takes an aggressive stand against contractors who commit job abandonment. Put another way, Business & Professions Code § 7107 states that contractors who do not complete the contracted work are subject to discipline, unless they possess a legal excuse. The range of discipline imposed by the Administrative Law Judge at the California Office of Administrative Hearings or the CSLB itself varies depending on the facts of the case.

Contractors and customers do not always have a friendly relationship. Sometimes the customer fires the contractor and requests that the contractor simply leave the jobsite. However, the contractor cannot just leave an unfinished project. Contractors must protect themselves from a claim of Abandonment, the contractor must document the each item of the dispute in writing and offer to resolve the situation.

Consumers often fail to pay the contractor. This leaves the contractor in the precarious position of having to continue a job without payment. The contractor must document each item of the dispute in writing and offer to resolve the situation to avoid disciplinary action for Abandonment.

If the CSLB determines a contractor has violated the law and committed Abandonment of a job, there are several disciplinary options. Minor claims of Abandonment can result in a referral to CSLB’s Mediation or Arbitration programs. Other minor claims can result in CSLB Investigators issuing a Citation. A Citation can be appealed to an Administrative Law Judge at the California Office of Administrative Hearings. Major Abandonment violations can result in the Attorney General’s Office issuing an Accusation to suspend or revoke a contractor’s license, which must be defended in Court before the California Office of Administrative Hearings.

If a contractor abandons a job by failing to complete any work, the contractor is subject to criminal prosecution for Diverting Construction Funds and Grand Theft. The CSLB and various California District Attorney’s Offices aggressively prosecute contractors who take money for construction projects, but fail to produce any substantial work product.

If you possess a California contractor license and are facing an investigation or Accusation, contact the Law Offices of Seth Weinstein at (310) 707-7131.

We assist California contractors in applying for and defending California contractor licenses in Alameda, Bakersfield, Beverly Hills, Chico, Concord, Contra Costa County, Cupertino, Davis, El Centro, Escondido, Eureka, Fontana, Fremont, Fresno, Hanford, Hayward, Hemet, Hollywood, Humboldt County, Imperial County, Indio, Kern County, Lancaster, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin County, Mendocino, Merced, Modesto, Monterey, Mountain View, Murrieta, Napa, Oakland, Oceanside, Ontario, Orange County, Oxnard, Palm Springs, Palmdale, Palo Alto, Paso Robles, Perris, Placerville, Rancho Cucamonga, Redding, Richmond, Riverside, Roseville, Sacramento, Salinas, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin County, San Jose, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara County, Santa Clarita, Santa Cruz, Santa Maria, Santa Monica, Santa Rosa, Simi Valley, Stockton, Sunnyvale, Temecula, Thousand Oaks, Tracy, Truckee, Tulare, Turlock, Vacaville, Vallejo, Ventura County, Victorville, Visalia, Vista, Walnut Creek, West Hollywood, and Yuba City.


Contractor Failure to Pull Required Construction Permits

California Contractor State License Board Discipline

“Failure to Pull Required Permits”

The California Contractors State License Board (CSLB) requires contractors pull permits in accordance with city codes and regulations. If a city or county requires a permit for a particular construction activity, the contractor must pull a permit for that construction activity.

 Required permits vary from city to city and county to county. It is the responsibility of the contractor to research the required permits before beginning construction. Furthermore, the costs of permits differ across each jurisdiction. Again, it is the responsibility of the contractor to research the fees associated with each permit.

Business & Professions Code § 7110 requires contractors pull required construction permits. Failure to pull these permits constitutes an administrative violation. CSLB can issue a Citation or refer the matter to the Attorney General’s Office for the filing of an Accusation to suspend or revoke a contractor’s license. Most cities and counties in California criminalize the failure to pull building and construction permits. These violations are misdemeanor offenses. Each permit the contractor fails to pull constitutes a separate criminal offense. Homeowners can also be prosecuted criminally for failing to pull permits.

In some instances, CSLB prosecutes contractors for Diverting Construction Funds and Grand Theft for failure to pull permits. The belief of CSLB and District Attorney’s Offices is that if a consumer believes the job would  be covered by permits and permits were not pulled, the contractor essentially defrauded the consumer.

If you possess a California contractor license and are facing an investigation or Accusation, contact the Law Offices of Seth Weinstein at (310) 707-7131.

We assist California contractors in applying for and defending California contractor licenses in Alameda, Bakersfield, Beverly Hills, Chico, Concord, Contra Costa County, Cupertino, Davis, El Centro, Escondido, Eureka, Fontana, Fremont, Fresno, Hanford, Hayward, Hemet, Hollywood, Humboldt County, Imperial County, Indio, Kern County, Lancaster, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin County, Mendocino, Merced, Modesto, Monterey, Mountain View, Murrieta, Napa, Oakland, Oceanside, Ontario, Orange County, Oxnard, Palm Springs, Palmdale, Palo Alto, Paso Robles, Perris, Placerville, Rancho Cucamonga, Redding, Richmond, Riverside, Roseville, Sacramento, Salinas, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin County, San Jose, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara County, Santa Clarita, Santa Cruz, Santa Maria, Santa Monica, Santa Rosa, Simi Valley, Stockton, Sunnyvale, Temecula, Thousand Oaks, Tracy, Truckee, Tulare, Turlock, Vacaville, Vallejo, Ventura County, Victorville, Visalia, Vista, Walnut Creek, West Hollywood, and Yuba City.


Contractors State License Board Mediation and Arbitration

California Contractor State License Board Discipline

“CSLB  Mediation and Arbitration”

The California Contractors State License Board (CSLB) provides several programs for the resolution of disputes between contractors and consumers. The available dispute resolution mechanisms provided by CSLB are mediation, mandatory arbitration and voluntary arbitration.

When a consumer submits a complaint, CSLB Intake staff members analyze the facts to determine whether Mediation is appropriate or the complaint should be immediately marked for investigation. Mediation is non binding and informal. Both the consumer and the contractor may submit evidence to the CSLB Consumer Services Representative. If CSLB Mediation staff cannot resolve the issue, additional options are available.

CSLB’s Mandatory Arbitration program exists for disputes under $12,500. If the consumer elects to participate in the program, the contractor is required to participate. If the consumer elects not to participate in Mandatory Arbitration, the matter is generally closed. However, if the parties previously agreed in writing to waive Arbitration, the contractor cannot be forced to participate in CSLB sponsored Mandatory Arbitration. If Mandatory Arbitration is required and the Arbitrator rules in favor of the consumer, the contractor is obligated to pay the judgment or risks a license suspension or revocation.

CSLB’s Voluntary Arbitration program exists for disputes between $12,500 and $50,000. If both parties agree to participate in CSLB sponsored Voluntary Arbitration, the decision is binding and a contractor is required to pay the judgment or face license suspension or revocation. If one or both parties decline to participate in Voluntary Arbitration, CSLB Investigative staff will investigate the complaint. If the complaint has merit, formal discipline in the form of a filed Accusation against the contractor by the Attorney General’s Office in the California Office of Administrative Hearings can result. If the complaint has no merit, the complaint will be closed.

Complaints that are unfounded by CSLB Investigative staff are closed against the contractor. In some instances, the consumer will try to make a claim to the Contractor’s Bond or sue the contractor in civil court. If the consumer successfully obtains a judgment against a contractor in civil court, the contractor must pay the judgment or discharge the judgment in bankruptcy to avoid a license suspension or revocation.

If CSLB Investigators believe a complaint has merit, a Citation or Accusation likely will be filed against the contractor’s license. A Citation can be appealed to an Administrative Law Judge at the California Office of Administrative Hearings. A Citation can result in a fine of up to $5,000 and remains viewable to the public for five years. An Accusation carries penalties ranging from license probation and suspension to license revocation. Discipline resulting from an Accusation remains viewable by the public forever.

If you possess a California contractor license and are facing an investigation or Accusation, contact the Law Offices of Seth Weinstein at (310) 707-7131.

We assist California contractors in applying for and defending California contractor licenses in Alameda, Bakersfield, Beverly Hills, Chico, Concord, Contra Costa County, Cupertino, Davis, El Centro, Escondido, Eureka, Fontana, Fremont, Fresno, Hanford, Hayward, Hemet, Hollywood, Humboldt County, Imperial County, Indio, Kern County, Lancaster, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin County, Mendocino, Merced, Modesto, Monterey, Mountain View, Murrieta, Napa, Oakland, Oceanside, Ontario, Orange County, Oxnard, Palm Springs, Palmdale, Palo Alto, Paso Robles, Perris, Placerville, Rancho Cucamonga, Redding, Richmond, Riverside, Roseville, Sacramento, Salinas, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin County, San Jose, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara County, Santa Clarita, Santa Cruz, Santa Maria, Santa Monica, Santa Rosa, Simi Valley, Stockton, Sunnyvale, Temecula, Thousand Oaks, Tracy, Truckee, Tulare, Turlock, Vacaville, Vallejo, Ventura County, Victorville, Visalia, Vista, Walnut Creek, West Hollywood, and Yuba City.


Excessive Deposits for Contracting Work

California Contractor State License Board Discipline

“Excessive Deposits”

The California Contractors State License Board (CSLB) takes an aggressive stand against contractors who request and accept Excessive Deposits and fail to wait three days before beginning construction after signing a contact. Business & Professions Code § 7159(a)(3) prohibits requesting or accepting an Excessive Deposit. Contractors may only request a deposit of 10% of the contract price or $1,000, whichever is lower.

Pursuant to California Civil Code § 1689.7, consumers also possess a three day right of rescission. This means that contractors cannot begin construction related projects or activities for three business days after the signing of the contract. Additionally, the deposit must be refunded if requested by the customer during the three day right of rescission.

Excessive Deposits can result in the filing of an Accusation by the Attorney General’s Office in the California Office of Administrative Hearings against a contractor’s license. In many instances, CSLB can refer the matter to District Attorney’s Office for the filing of misdemeanor criminal charges for requesting or accepting an Excessive Deposit.

Many contractors believe that if the customer waives the three day right of rescission in writing, or consents to providing a greater deposit, then the law does not apply. This is incorrect. It is unlawful to sign a contract that violates the law. Thus, even if the consumer demands that the contractor begin work immediately, or accepts an Excessive deposit, the contractor cannot begin work prior to three business days from the date of the signing of the contract, nor can the contractor accept an Excessive Deposit.

Some contractors request deposits in excess of $1,000 or 10% of the contract price and then never return to begin the work. This type of activity constitutes a Diversion of Construction Funds and Theft. This conduct generally results in the filing of criminal charges.

If you possess a California contractor license and are facing an investigation or Accusation, contact the Law Offices of Seth Weinstein at (310) 707-7131.

We assist California contractors in applying for and defending California contractor licenses in Alameda, Bakersfield, Beverly Hills, Chico, Concord, Contra Costa County, Cupertino, Davis, El Centro, Escondido, Eureka, Fontana, Fremont, Fresno, Hanford, Hayward, Hemet, Hollywood, Humboldt County, Imperial County, Indio, Kern County, Lancaster, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin County, Mendocino, Merced, Modesto, Monterey, Mountain View, Murrieta, Napa, Oakland, Oceanside, Ontario, Orange County, Oxnard, Palm Springs, Palmdale, Palo Alto, Paso Robles, Perris, Placerville, Rancho Cucamonga, Redding, Richmond, Riverside, Roseville, Sacramento, Salinas, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin County, San Jose, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara County, Santa Clarita, Santa Cruz, Santa Maria, Santa Monica, Santa Rosa, Simi Valley, Stockton, Sunnyvale, Temecula, Thousand Oaks, Tracy, Truckee, Tulare, Turlock, Vacaville, Vallejo, Ventura County, Victorville, Visalia, Vista, Walnut Creek, West Hollywood, and Yuba City.


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PROFESSIONAL LICENSE DEFENSE TESTIMONIALS


"Seth Weinstein was the key to my success in obtaining my plumbing license. Arrests from my past were hindering my chances of becoming a licensed plumbing contractor. From the first time we spoke about my predicament, I realized I was in the hands of someone who dealt with many cases just like mine. While searching the Internet, I discovered there aren't many lawyers in California with this specialty. He was professional, courteous and straightforward on what needed to be done. Seth was always easy to get a hold of when I had any questions. He updated me on all conversations he had with the CSLB and always gave me the scenarios of what would happen based on their next move/ decision. I took all his advice on getting letters and character witnesses to strengthen my case. When I left my appeal hearing, I felt confident that Seth gave me the best chance to win my appeal. I am now a California Licensed Plumbing Contractor. I just want to thank you again Seth. You did a great job representing me and there is no way I could have done it without you!"


Contractor Greg T., Los Angeles Client


"I came across Seth Weinstein during an internet search for an attorney to represent my husband against the Contractors State License Board. I am also an attorney myself. My husband graduated from one of the top Architect schools in the country and has been practicing for over 25 years as a designer and Contractor building high end residential and commercial projects all over the world. He has excellent reviews from his clients and his work has been published in the New York Times and numerous other publications. He has never had any complaints filed against him in in his over 20 years of practice. In facts most of his clients usually become good friends. He is honest and passionate about his work and goes out of his way to make his clients happy. Suddenly we were faced with the worst nightmare any professional might face in their life: Shrewd dishonest clients, a lawyer and a doctor, who had no qualms about committing fraud and bullying to get what they want. They have a long history of refusing to pay for their services but are sophisticated and threatening enough to intimidate vendors to walk away. My husband did not get intimidated and demanded they pay him for his work that exceeded hundreds of thousand of dollars. They threatened him if he does not walk away they will retaliate. They drew up fraudulent yet sophisticated claims against him with CSLB.


Unfortunately CSLB did not do their due diligence in their investigation. They hastily sent our case against to the Attorney General; my husband was facing Administrative charges and could have lost his license. It was one of the most stressful times in our marriage. We fired the first lawyer who was handling our case and hired Seth Weinstein. The previous lawyer did not do any work to settle the case. He wanted to go to the trial so he could make more money. We were three months away from our trial. Seth was the complete opposite from the lawyer we fired. He was communicative, hard working, extremely honest and efficient in his hours and billing. He was also so on top of it in his follow up even when we were falling behind. There were thousands of documents and he got up to speed immediately and recognized the key issues.  Seth had to work with three other attorneys who were working with us on our case. One attorney is representing us against the client so we could get our money back.  The other attorney was from our insurance company fighting against fraudulent alleged defects. Seth worked with all them flawlessly to coordinate the matter and got up to speed in two months. This case was over three years old when we saw Seth. Seth managed to get the most amazing settlement for us from a Deputy Attorney General who has a reputation for not wanting to settle cases and is zealous in his prosecution.  I would not hesitate for a second to recommend Seth Weinstein as an attorney."


G.M. & Contractor H.M., Los Angeles Clients


"I really want to thank Seth for his outstanding professionalism. Dealing with CSLB is a stressful experience and Seth took the time to explain the process and provide guidance that things would work out. When meeting Seth, I was impressed by his positive aura, I believed in his optimistic persona and extensive experience, truly a honest and helpful attorney. If you are looking for a CSLB or licensing attorney, look no farther you have landed at the best firm. I can speak from experience. Again thank you Seth."


Contractor Fred A., Los Angeles Client


"Prior to meeting Seth Weinstein, our discussions with other attorneys left us with a impression that our legal situation was totally hopeless and the costs would be so high we where considering surrendering professional license and closing my dad's Land Surveying business. On our initial free phone consultation with Mr. Weinstein I was extremely impressed by not just his knowledge of the law but the very accurate assessment of our complex legal matter. Throughout the process of professional license defense, Mr. Weinstein demonstrated a high degree of resolve and professionalism. At the Court Hearing, I was very pleased with his confidence, effectiveness and ability to think on his feet. I have never witnessed such a masterful execution of the law. If your case goes to trial or hearing, I can assure that you want this attorney on your side! I am well satisfied and would not hesitate to recommend Seth. Mr. Weinstein is a phenomenal attorney, who quickly absorbed the details and circumstances involved in my case. He not only grasped the situation but was able to design an effective legal strategy with realistic goals. We believe Mr. Weinstein to be the most honest, ethical and competent attorney we have met and we are lifelong clients. Thank you Seth for saving our family Land Surveying business and livelihood!" 


Land Surveyor Michael S. & Angel S., San Diego Clients


"I hired Seth Weinstein when I needed legal representation for my business at an administrative hearing for my licensed family child care home. He helped me through a very tough situation with Community Care Licensing Division and was very patient, explained the process thoroughly and simplified things for me very well and was extremely supportive. He took his time to answer all of my questions and in my opinion went above and beyond my expectations. His attention to detail was fantastic and extremely helpful.  He walked me through the entire process and was extremely detailed in providing me with all possible concerns, issues that could arise and possible solutions. With his help and representation my case had a positive outcome and he is so detail oriented that he has called and emailed afterwards just to check in to see how we are doing. Although I hope never to need his services again I would definitely call him if I ever did and have since recommended him and passed his information on to others that I know."


Child Care/Day Care Provider Marina V., Ventura County Client 


"We have a family corporation that operates two separate facilities; a Pre school and an Infant care center.  The school is licensed to enroll two year old children up to six yeasr old. A two year old boy went out of the facility unnoticed. The incident was reported to the Police and to the Social Services per Protocol. Despite all of these, the Department of Social Service recommended the revocation of the Pre School license and the Infant Care Center license.  The Department of Social Services rejected a settlement and the case went to trial. During the trial, Attorney Weinstein was well prepared before the Administrative Judge to discredit almost all of the charges presented by the Social Service Prosecuting Lawyer. Attorney Weinstein acted as though he was destroying the arguments of the prosecution point by point. His closing arguments were so powerful that the judge used most of them in the narrative report of her decision in our favor. We got what we requested from the Court. Our two licensees were not revoked. Attorney Weinstein has the qualities of a top notch Lawyer!"


Pre School/Child Care Center Providers Betty A. & Luis A., Los Angeles Clients


"I recently retained the services of Seth Weinstein to represent me in a matter involving the Medical Board. With a deadline of only a few business days, Seth quickly gathered all the necessary information and was ready to help me immediately. He had extensive knowledge and experience with professional licensing, which put me at ease during a very difficult and confusing time. He was very professional but also very personable and always available to talk to me. The Board closed their inquiry without taking any action against me. I highly recommend the law services of Seth Weinstein."


Medical Dr. N.P., Ventura County Client


"I am a Respiratory Therapist and have been in the medical field for 15 plus years. I recently had some personal problems that I did not handle correctly and wound up with a DUI and a possession charge.  The Respiratory Care Board tried to suspend my license and/or revoke it.  My job was in jeopardy and had been suspended from work pending my investigation with the RCB. I retained the services of Seth Weinstein and can honestly say he quickly had my matter settled. In a situation where i felt completely helpless and hopeless Seth not only help me keep my license to practice medicine, but more importantly I kept my job and I got my life back. He was always there when i had a question or concern he is extremely knowledgeable in the field and returned my calls promptly. I HIGHLY recommend Seth for any administrative law issues."


Respiratory Care Practitioner Jacob I., San Jose Client


"Mr. Weinstein represented me in a criminal defense matter and a professional licensing matter. He is a very detail-oriented, diligent attorney with extensive knowledge in law. He provided quality service and attention to detail with prompt responses consistently anytime I had questions or needed guidance while keeping me well-informed and following through with every step throughout the process. His energy and competency reinstates my belief in the legal system. I strongly recommend Seth Weinstein's services to anyone who may need representation."


Respiratory Care Practitioner Michael P., Los Angeles Client


"Seth Weinstein is a great attorney who really helped me out. If not for him I may have lost my job. His expertise in the legal end of my field was reassuring. Seth made himself available right away and answered my questions and concerns.  His confidence in the situation put me at ease with the situation. I definitely recommend him with any license matters." 


Respiratory Care Practitioner Eric S., Los Angeles Client


I retained the services of Seth Weinstein in a professional licensing matter. I immediately knew I made the right decision retaining him because he wasted no time tending to my case.  I was denied my insurance license completely and I was given the option to do a hearing.  Seth is a very detail-oriented attorney and he used his extensive knowledge in law to help me obtain a favorable result, not only did he resolved the matter without a hearing but my license was reinstated without any type of further action on my part. He was always there when I had questions and kept me informed at all times. I strongly recommend Mr. Weinstein’s services to anyone who may need representation. He will definitely go the extra mile to make you get the best results.


Insurance Agent R.D., Los Angeles Client


"Seth Weinstein settled my case quicker, with less drama than several other attorneys I met with. Also his fee was much more reasonable than what some other attorneys wanted to charge me for the same amount of work without being able to settle it so quickly. Seth Weinstein resolved my issue within 4 weeks of being retained, I was shocked when he called me and gave me the good news. Every other attorney I spoke with wanted to drag out my case and request more time for the courts, Seth Weinstein was able to settle my case without requesting more time and having only 7 weeks before my hearing. He kept me from having to go into court for the administrative hearing and saved me a lot of money and time. I would refer Seth to everyone I know who has an issue with the licensing bureaus. He knows what he is doing and he will put your mind at ease once you retain him. He takes the pressure off of you and works with you in ways that other attorneys would never. I cannot express the way Seth Weinstein has helped me with my case and it is unbelievable how quickly and efficiently he was able to resolve my case. Seth Weinstein is truly an EXPERT in his field. 



Thank you for everything Seth."

Insurance Agent Meyer C., Los Angeles Client

"For over three years I tried to settle a dispute over an audit conducted by an overzealous auditor from the State of California’s Board of Equalization.  The original group I hired to appeal the audit was unsuccessful in even the slightest movement on the appeal.  Within a month after hiring Seth he negotiated what I consider an excellent settlement with the State, netting me a refund of almost 60% of the monies that the State collected due to the overzealous and faulty audit.


Once the settlement was accepted Seth followed up on a regular basis with the State agency, as the acceptance did require a number of levels of bureaucracy to view the new audit numbers and sign off on the work.  Seth kept me very informed of the progress, and when things became bogged down at the state level he was able to contact the proper people and move the refund process forward.  Seven months after hiring Seth I received a check from the State of California for the complete settlement.  Seth was able to do in seven months what our previous representation wasn’t able to do in three years.


I can highly recommend Seth. He is professional, a stickler to detail, excellent at communicating the issues of the case, and a tough negotiator, all which are good to have on your side."


Liquor Licensee Joel C., Los Angeles Client 


"We chose Mr. Weinstein to represent us on a building permit issue based on his expertise in local code as well as the positive reviews we read online.  We are pleased to add our own positive feedback to that list.  We were impressed with Mr. Weinstein from the start.  He was immediately responsive, spoke with us by phone on the weekend and then arranged for a consultation at a location convenient to us.  He understood our urgency in resolving our legal issues and started right away researching our case.  He clearly laid out what our options might be as well as the next steps he planned on taking.  He provided frequent and timely updates as well as reminders when important deadlines were coming up.  Ultimately, despite some resistance from the city, Mr. Weinstein got our case dismissed.  We will definitely recommend him to anyone who might need legal representation."


Susan C. & Kris C., Los Angeles Clients


"Thank you and your firm for providing me with highest level of professional legal counsel available.  The advice and representation I received throughout the very difficult process was everything I hoped for and everything you promised me since day one. You were supremely responsive and persistent, you went above and beyond. Thank you from the bottom of my heart."


Ariann A., Ventura County Client


“One of the most impressive things Seth brought to the table was his overall work ethic. From day 1, Seth went above and beyond to make my experience less stressful by breaking down all of the legal logistics that can be very daunting and confusing to someone like me with very limited legal knowledge. In addition, I never questioned his reliability because he always followed up when he said he would or earlier, and he came back prepared to move to the next step. Seth’s dedication to his clients is clear and I would recommend him to anyone in need of legal assistance.”

Chelsea L., Culver City Client


“Seth Weinstein is an attorney who truly cares about each client. For Seth, it is about helping clients reach their goals. Seth is thorough and aggressive in his pursuit of achieving success for his clients. The bottom line is if you want a trustworthy attorney at your side fighting for you, then Seth is your best bet. Seth has given me nothing but great legal advice, including how to save me money. How many attorneys would do that? He has not only been the consummate attorney, but also a friend who truly cared about my well being in court. A great legal advisor and cherised friend, attorney Seth Weinstein is second to none.”


Leo S., Los Angeles Client


"Seth Weinstein is a prime example of what a lawyer should be. He is personable, professional and empathetic. He was upfront and explained every step in detail which allowed for proper expectations, this was invaluable. Seth is my lawyer for life."


Sebastian R., Los Angeles Client


“Seth Weinstein helped me with a hearing at the DMV with excellent results. Thanks to Seth, the DMV reinstated my driving privilege within weeks of the hearing. He charged a very reasonable rate, worked extremely hard for me and was a consummate professional.  He is a good man and a great attorney and I recommend him whole-heartedly."


Akbar M., Los Angeles Client


I have had a couple of friends in trouble and when they call me I tell them their very next call should be to call Seth Weinstein. Seth is very prompt to respond to their requests for legal representation. Whenever we have questions, he  explains all possibilities for the case. He has done excellent work for all of us. We have never been disappointed. My friends and I will never use another business lawyer for any legal issue.


Julian D., Los Angeles Client


"If you have a problem, call Seth. He is quick, efficient  and practical in resolving all legal issues. He will get to the bottom of the matter quickly saving you time and money. He is extremely knowledgeable and also quite reasonable compared to other lawyers. Seth makes it a pleasure to deal with a lawyer. 5 star rating."


Robert T., Los Angeles Client


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ATTORNEY TESTIMONIALS


"Seth Weinstein is one of the top professional licensing attorneys in California.  I often refer clients who have potential licensing issues to Seth for consultations as well as representation on matters before licensing boards when applicable.  As a DUI and Criminal defense attorney, many of my clients are nurses, doctors and teachers, but I know his expertise extends far beyond that to include licensing issues for contractors, day-cares and business license defense to name a few. 


In situations where I referred my clients to Seth regarding their professional licensing issue, I have asked them to let me know how things went.  The reports have come back that Seth is straight forward and reasonable when dealing with clients, and knowledgeable and steadfast when handling professional license cases.  I couldn’t agree more.  I highly recommend Seth Weinstein to assist or handle professional licensing matters."


Phil Hache, Sherman Oaks Criminal Defense Attorney


"Seth is a dedicated advocate with an exceptional knowledge of Administrative Law. I have referred clients to him in the past with great results, and I will not hesitate to refer to him again. Seth is an honest, ethical, and hard-working attorney. He fights for his clients to achieve the best results."


Marina Ayzenstein, Woodland Hills Family Law Attorney


"Seth Weinstein is one of my most trusted and valued colleagues.  He is the first person I turn to for advice with my own criminal defense cases, and the first person I refer my clients to when they are facing professional licensure/certification problems. Seth is diligent, knowledgeable, and above all practical.  He has a working knowledge of how cases actually get filed, handled, and how they resolve.  Most importantly, he is always courteous and professional. I have never seen him cut someone off short or fail to listen to, and respond to, every concern -- whether it's a client, colleague, or opposing counsel. Seth is the best!"


Nadja Habinek, Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney


"Seth is an exceptionally hardworking, honest and knowledgable professional license defense attorney. He is a zealous advocate for his clients, and always ensures his clients and their needs come first.  It is comforting to know that I can recommend his services to my clients in need of his services, and I will continue to do so with confidence."


Aree Shahparnia, Sherman Oaks Family Law Attorney


"What makes for a stand-out attorney is passion. People can tell immediately when an attorney is passionate about their clients’ cases, passionate about their job and passionate about the law. Passion is something of which Seth possesses an abundance. Seth’s ability to handle everything from the simple to complex of criminal law cases stems from his broad knowledge of the law. I would recommend anyone in the Southern California area who needs representation in the administrative law area to contact Seth. He has the skill, knowledge and zeal to confidently handle cases and he provides clients with white-glove service along the way. Truly one of the best."


Maxwell Briskman Stanfield, California & Pennsylvania Corporate Attorney


“Seth is my go to guy in California when any of my clients need legal representation on the west coast. He possesses the knowledge and skills to effectively represent his clients.”


Steve Roach, Chicago, IL Criminal Defense Attorney


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