While general contractors are not required to be licensed in states where the contractor enters into a contract to perform work on a federal construction project, second tier contractors must comply with state licensing requirements. The Erie doctrine (applying state law) is applicable to issues of liability between general and subcontractors under the Miller Act where the issue does not involve construction or application of a federal statute.

In a June 29, 2010, decision in Technica, LLC v. Carolina Casualty Insurance Company, 2010 WL 2628715 (S.D.Cal.), the United States District Court for the Southern District of California granted summary judgment for the defendants (government general contractor and its bond surety), because California law requires the second-tier contractor plaintiff to be licensed as a contractor by California in order to bring suit there.

For more information regarding Miller Act, contact Karen Hindson of Hindson & Melton LLC.