August 5, 2005
The need for exlanation of awards often arises in the context of the damages awarded. While customers may win slightly more than 50 of the cases, the real problem is that arbitrators do not award the full measure of damages and often times, the damages are only a fraction of the compensatory damages sought. Therefore, unless the explanations will adrress the damage calaculations, the new rule will not restore public confidence in the arbitration system. The proposal as written is clearly deficient. In addition, in many cases, the result may come as a surprise. Therefore, the parties should have a right to ask for a post-hearing explanation as well.