My practice in court annexed arbitration is to render a written opinion which sets forth the evidence that I heard, and the factual findings and legal conclusions that I made. The written opinion is distributed to the parties but is not filed with the court. If the parties wish to dispense with a written opinion, I will do so. I prepare written opinions because I believe that if the parties understand how I reached my findings and conclusions it will allow them, especially the party or parties unhappy with the outcome, to make a better decision about whether to appeal back to the Circuit Court.
In private arbitration, the traditional practice is not to render written opinions, beyond that required to satisfy the requirement that the arbitrator make findings with respect to each issue submitted so as to demonstrate that the arbitrator has made a complete award.
What follows are examples of the written decisions in the typical kinds of cases which are heard in court annexed arbitration. Take note that the outcome in each case depended upon the facts which were alleged and proved, and the concessions which each side made. The names and other identifying facts of the cases have been removed.Opinion One: A lawsuit by a hospital for the value of services