This section is from the book "The Law Of Contracts", by William Herbert Page. Also available from Amazon: Commercial Contracts: A Practical Guide to Deals, Contracts, Agreements and Promises.
The intention of the parties in submitting to an award, is to end the controversy between them which they thus agree to submit. The award, accordingly, must be so definite and certain that it will conclude such controversy and that it will not substitute for the original controversy a new controversy as to the scope and meaning of the award.1 If the controversy concerns money owed by one in part in a representative capacity and in part upon his personal liability, an award which does not distinguish between the amounts owed in these different capacities is insufficient.2 If the controversy in part involves the question whether deeds which are absolute on their face are intended by way of security or not, an award which leaves such question open for future arbitration or litigation, is insufficient.3 If the dispute involves the amount due for work and labor, an award which provides for payment of the money due for work by the piece, as well as work by the day, without any finding as to the amount of work thus done, or the amount due thereon, is invalid.4 An award which provides that one party shall deliver to the other all the books, papers, and accounts, together with a small chest and wearing apparel not otherwise disposed of on another debt,-which he has on hand, belonging to the adversary party, is not sufficient.5
8 Colombia v. Cauca Co., 190 U. S. 524, 47 L. ed. 1159; Chase v. Strain, 15 N. H. 535; Donald Ron v. Buhlman, 134 Wis. 117, 113 N. W. 638. 114 N. W. 431.
9 Colombia v. Cauca Co.; 190 U. 8. 524, 47 L. ed. 1159.
10Hannevig v. Sutherland, 256 Fed. 445.
11 Williams v. Branning Mfg. Co., 153 N. Car. 7. 31 L. R. A. (N.S.) 679. 68 S. E. 902.
12 Williams v. Branning Mfg. Co., 153 N. Car. 7. 31 L. R. A. (N.S.) 679. 68 S. E. 902.
1 Stone v. Phillipps. 4 Bing. N. C. 37; Carnochan v. Christie, 24 U. S. (11
Wheat.) 446, 6 L. ed. 516; Kabatchnick v. Hoffman, 226 Mass. 221, 115 N. E. 309; Stubbings v. McGregor, 86 Wis. 248, 56 N. W. 641.
2 Stubbings v. McGregor, 86 Wis. 248, 56 N. W. 641.
3 England. Hewitt v. Hewitt, 1 Q B. 110.
United States. Carnochan v. Christie, 24 U. S. (11 Wheat.) 446, 6 L. ed. 516.
Minnesota. Hoit v. Berger-Critten-den Co., 81 Minn. 356, 84 N. W. 48.
North Carolina. Clark Millinery Co. v. National Union Fire Ins. Co., 160 N. Car. 130. 75 S. E. 944.
Wisconsin. Frankfurth v. Stein-meyer, 113 Wis. 195, 89 N. W. 148.
At the same time an award is to be construed fairly and reasonably, and not with technical strictness for the purpose of defeating it, if possible. An award, accordingly, is valid if it is reasonably certain, even though every detail may not be stated with literal minuteness.6 It is said that the test for the certainty of an award is the same as that for certainty of a contract.7 An award is sufficient which furnishes the means of determining what is to be done thereunder, although it may not provide specifically what is to be done as performance of such award except by such reference.8 If the award provides for the payment of a certain amount subject to the discharge of all liens upon certain property, such award is sufficient, although the liens are not described, since the place at which such liens are to be filed is fixed by law and since in the particular case the time for filing liens had expired and the amounts of the liens could thus be ascertained of record.9 A finding "that the note of M belongs to both parties," is sufficiently certain if such note can be certified by extrinsic evidence.10 An award of a certain sum of money to one party is sufficient, although it does not provide in express terms that the adversary party is to pay such sum of money.11
1 England. Price v. Popkin, 10 Ad. & El. 139.
United States. Lyle v. Rodgers. 18 U. S. (5 Wheat.) 394. 5 L. ed. 117; Carnochan v. Christie, 24 U. S. (11 Wheat.) 440, 6 L. ed. 516.
Illinois. Tucker v. Pape. 69 111. 179.
New York.. Perkins v. Giles, 50 N. Y. 228.
North Carolina. Ball-Thrash Co. v. McCormack. 172 X. Car. 677. 90 R. E. 916.
Ohio. Thomas v. Molier, 3 Ohio, 266.
2 Lyle v. Rodgers, 18 U. R. (5 Wheat.) 394. 5 L. ed. 117.
3 Lyle v. Rodgers, 18 U. S. (5 Wheat.) 394, 5 L. ed. 117.
4 Pope v. Brett, 2 Saunders, 292.
5 Thomas v. Molier, 3 Ohio. 266.
6 England. Mays v. Cannell, 15 C. B. 107.
United States. Hannevig v. Sutherland, 256 Fed. 445.
Kentucky. Burnett v. Miller, 174 Ky. 91, 191 R. W. 659.
Michigan. Pipott-Healy Const. Co. v. H. A. Jones Real Estate Co., 201 Mich. 102, 166 N. W. 852.
Wisconsin. Bancroft v. Grover, 23 Wis. 463, 99 Am. Dec. 195.
7Hannevig v. Sutherland, 256 Fed. 445; Bancroft v. Grover, 23 Wis. 463, 99 Am. Dec. 195.