Some Examples of Opinions in Court Annexed Arbitration

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
Opinion Two:   A lawsuit for personal injuries from a rear end collision
Opinion Three:   A lawsuit arising out of the remodeling of a residence
Opinion Four:   A divorce involving property division and spousal support
Opinion Five:   A lawsuit to recover Personal Injury Protection benefits by a passenger in an auto accident
Opinion Six:   A divorce hearing where both husband and wife appeared without lawyers and there really was little in dispute
Opinion Seven:   A lawsuit arising out of a buyer's failure to complete a real estate transaction
Opinion Eight:   An opinion on a petition for attorney fees and cost bill
Opinion Nine:   A lawsuit involving a claim of breach of warranty in the sale of a small farm tractor
Opinion Ten:   A breach of a construction contract and an unlicensed contractor
Opinion Eleven:   A motion for summary award on a credit card debt
Opinion Twelve:   A landlord's lawsuit for rent against a residential tenant
Opinion Thirteen:   A dispute about rent under a commercial lease after a fire
Opinion Fourteen:   A dispute after a consumer rental car was returned with damage