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Facing a Dispute in Wisconsin? Understanding Arbitration

Posted by Nathan DeLadurantey | Jul 01, 2024

In Wisconsin, resolving disagreements doesn't always have to involve lengthy court battles. Arbitration offers an alternative for settling certain conflicts outside the traditional court system. Here's a breakdown of what arbitration is and how it functions in Wisconsin.

What is Arbitration?

Arbitration is a process where a neutral third party, called an arbitrator, hears arguments from both sides of a dispute and issues a binding decision. This decision is generally final and enforceable by a court, similar to a judge's ruling.

Benefits of Arbitration in Wisconsin

  • Faster Resolution: Arbitration can be significantly quicker and less expensive than traditional litigation.
  • Confidentiality: Arbitration proceedings are often confidential, which can be appealing for businesses or individuals concerned about privacy.
  • Flexibility: The arbitration process can be tailored to the specific needs of the dispute, allowing for a more streamlined approach.

Common Uses of Arbitration in Wisconsin

  • Business Contracts: Many business contracts in Wisconsin include arbitration clauses requiring disputes to be settled through arbitration instead of court.
  • Consumer Agreements: Some credit card agreements, warranty contracts, or other consumer agreements might have arbitration clauses.
  • Employment Disputes: Certain employment contracts might include arbitration clauses for workplace disagreements.

Important Considerations Before Agreeing to Arbitration

  • Limited Appeal Rights: Unlike court decisions, arbitration awards are typically difficult to appeal, even if you disagree with the outcome.
  • Discovery Restrictions: The process for gathering evidence (discovery) might be limited in arbitration compared to court.

Wisconsin Arbitration Laws

Wisconsin's Arbitration Act generally upholds the enforceability of arbitration agreements. However, there are some exceptions:

  • Unconscionability: If the arbitration clause is deemed unconscionably unfair, a court might not enforce it.
  • Fraud or Duress: If the agreement to arbitrate was obtained through fraud or coercion, it might be invalidated.

Is Arbitration Right for You?

Whether arbitration is the right choice for you depends on the specific circumstances of your dispute. Carefully consider the potential benefits and drawbacks before agreeing to an arbitration clause in a contract.

Consulting an Attorney

If you're unsure about an arbitration clause or facing a dispute subject to arbitration, consulting with an attorney experienced in alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is highly recommended. They can advise you on your rights and options and help you navigate the arbitration process.

Remember: Arbitration can be a valuable tool for resolving disputes efficiently. However, it's crucial to understand its implications before agreeing to it. By staying informed and seeking legal guidance when necessary, you can make informed decisions regarding arbitration in Wisconsin.

Attorney Nathan DeLadurantey offers free consultations to explain your legal rights in Wisconsin. Free consultations can be scheduled online. 

About the Author

Nathan DeLadurantey

Nathan DeLadurantey ATTORNEY [email protected] Nathan is a skilled consumer lawyer who handles cases and trials all over Wisconsin. Phone consultations are always free and welcomed. Nathan has helped clients receive large jury verdicts and settlements stemming from consumer law violations, and is ready and able to assist.


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