The amount and/or form of a judgment a judge or jury gives the successful party in a lawsuit. It is often, but not always, an amount of money.

Example: In a divorce case, one party might be awarded the divorce, $300 per month in alimony, custody of the children, $600 per month in child support and the family home. The other party might be awarded the family business.

The written determination of the court or an arbitrator or arbitrators on a matter submitted to him or them

arbitrium est judicium. The writing which contains such judgment is also called an award.

Award Qualifications

The qualifications requisite to the validity of an award are: that it be consonant to the submission; that it be certain; be of things possible to be performed, and not contrary to law or reason; and lastly, that it be final.


It is manifest that the award must be confined within the powers given to the arbitrators, because, if their decisions extend beyond that authority, this is all assumption of, power not delegated, which cannot legally affect the parties. If the arbitrators, therefore, transcend their authority, their award pro tanto will be void but if the void part affect not the merits. of the submission, the residue will be valid.


The award ought to be certain, and so expressed that no reasonable doubt can arise on the face of it, as to the arbitrator's meaning, or as to the nature and extent of the duties imposed by it on the parties. An example of such uncertainty may be found in the following cases: An award, directing one party to bind himself in an obligation for the quiet enjoyment of lands, without expressing in what sum the obligor should be bound. Again, an award that one should give security to the other, for the payment of a sum of money, or the performance of any particular, act, when the kind of security is not specified.

Possible to Be Performed, Lawful, and Reasonable

It must be possible to be performed, be lawful and reasonable. An award that could not by any possibility be performed, as if it directed that the party should deliver a deed not in his possession, or pay a sum of money at a day past, it would of course be void. But the, award that the party should pay a sum of money, although he might not then be able to do so, would be binding. The award must not direct anything to be done contrary to law, such as the performance of an act which would render the party a trespasser or a felon, or would subject him to an action. It must also be reasonable, for if it be of things nugatory in themselves, and offering no advantage to either of the parties, it cannot be enforced.


The award must be final that is, it must conclusively adjudicate all the matters submitted. But if the award is as final as, under the circumstances of the case it might be expected, it will be considered as valid. As to the form, the award may be by parol or by deed, but in general it must be made in accordance with the provisions and requirements of the submission.