Quote of the Day - Justice is a contract of expediency, entered upon to prevent men harming or being harmed.
It doesn't matter whether the contractor is in substantial compliance with the licensing requirements.
It doesn't matter whether the contractor was partially licensed while performing work on the construction.
It doesn't matter whether the contractor was licensed before starting construction.
It matters only that the contractor was in full compliance with all licensing requirements all the time.
The Supreme Court has put its collective feet down on this one, and toughened up prior law that allowed a contractor to recover if the contractor had been in substantial compliance with the licensure laws of Section 7031(a) (the article in this link has now been superseded by the decision in MW Erectors, Inc. v. Niederhauser Ornamental and Metal Works Company, Inc.).
The Supreme Court had given us a fairly good idea that it was going to take tough stances against contractors when it decided Hydrotech Systems, Ltd. v. Oasis Waterpark fourteen years ago, and they haven't let up since. They've kept the pressure on contractors, while waiving the flag of "protecting the public" from unscrupulous contractors.
You have to wonder how many of the justices have had problems with contractors, unlicensed or not.