2010 Wisconsin Code
Chapter 788. Arbitration.
788.01 Arbitration clauses in contracts enforceable.

788.01

788.01 Arbitration clauses in contracts enforceable. A provision in any written contract to settle by arbitration a controversy thereafter arising out of the contract, or out of the refusal to perform the whole or any part of the contract, or an agreement in writing between 2 or more persons to submit to arbitration any controversy existing between them at the time of the agreement to submit, shall be valid, irrevocable and enforceable except upon such grounds as exist at law or in equity for the revocation of any contract. This chapter shall not apply to contracts between employers and employees, or between employers and associations of employees, except as provided in s. 111.10, nor to agreements to arbitrate disputes under s. 101.143 (6s) or 230.44 (4) (bm).

788.01 - ANNOT.

History: 1979 c. 32 s. 64; Stats. 1979 s. 788.01; 1993 a. 16; 1997 a. 237, 254; 2001 a. 38.

788.01 - ANNOT.

An insurer's refusal to either pay the plaintiff's claim under the uninsured motorist provision of its automobile policy or to submit to arbitration under an arbitration clause that could be invoked by either party constituted a breach of the contract and a waiver of the insurer's right to later demand arbitration. Collicott v. Economy Fire and Casualty Co. 68 Wis. 2d 115, 227 N.W.2d 668 (1975).

788.01 - ANNOT.

Failure to comply with provisions of ch. 298 [now ch. 788] constitutes waiver of the contractual right to arbitration. State ex rel. Carl v. Charles, 71 Wis. 2d 85, 237 N.W.2d 29 (1976).

788.01 - ANNOT.

If the intent of the parties is not clearly expressed, the court favors construing an arbitration agreement as statutory rather than common law arbitration. Stradinger v. City of Whitewater, 89 Wis. 2d 19, 277 N.W.2d 827 (1979).

788.01 - ANNOT.

Although courts have common law jurisdiction to enforce arbitration awards generally, they cannot enforce an award against the state absent express legislative authorization. State ex rel. Teaching Assistants Associates v. UW-Madison 96 Wis. 2d 492, 292 N.W.2d 657 (Ct. App. 1980). But see also the note to State v. P.G. Miron Const. Co.

788.01 - ANNOT.

Municipal labor arbitration is within the scope of ch. 788. Milwaukee District Council 48 v. Milwaukee Sewerage Commission, 107 Wis. 2d 590, 321 N.W.2d 309 (Ct. App. 1982).

788.01 - ANNOT.

Insurance coverage is a proper matter for arbitration. Maryland Casualty Co. v. Seidenspinner, 181 Wis. 2d 950, 512 N.W.2d 186 (Ct. App. 1994).

788.01 - ANNOT.

Sovereign immunity is not applicable to arbitration and there need not be specific statutory authority for the state to be subject to the arbitration provisions of ch. 788. State v. P.G. Miron Construction Co. 181 Wis. 2d 1045, 512 N.W.2d 499 (1994).

788.01 - ANNOT.

Preclusion doctrines preventing rehearing of identical claims are applicable to a limited extent in arbitration cases. Dane County v. Dane County Union Local 65, 210 Wis. 2d 267, 565 N.W.2d 540 (Ct. App.1997), 96-0359.

788.01 - ANNOT.

Whether the parties agreed to submit an issue to arbitration is a question of law for the courts to decide. Kimberly Area School District v. Zdanovec, 222 Wis. 2d 27, 586 N.W.2d 41 (Ct. App. 1998), 98-0783.

788.01 - ANNOT.

The trial court erred in ruling that the unavailability of the arbitrator named in an agreement resulted in a dissolution of the agreement's arbitration provision. When the primary purpose of the dispute resolution provision in the agreement is to arbitrate disputes that arise between the parties, the unavailability of the named arbitrator does not nullify an arbitration provision. Madison Teachers, Inc. v. Wisconsin Education Association Council, 2005 WI App 180, 285 Wis. 2d 737, 703 N.W.2d 711, 04-1053.

788.01 - ANNOT.

Commercial arbitration agreements: let the signers beware. 61 MLR 466.

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