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.
While the early authors seem to indicate that a submission was a bar to the original action even before award,1 the opposite rule became so at a comparatively early period of the classic common law; and it became thoroughly established in spite of occasional protests,2 that a submission of a matter between individuals was revocable at the will of either party with or without any reason, so that a submission without an award could not be pleaded as a defense to the original cause of action.3 Revocation of the submission has been permitted, though in bad faith and just before the award was about to be made.4
8 Thaire v. Thaire, 2 Rolle, 243.
9 State v. Gurnee, 14 Kali. 111.
10 O'Neill v. Clark, 57 Neb. 760, 78 N. W. 256.
12 Shepard v. Springfield Fire & Marine Ins. Co, 41 R. T. 403. 104 Atl. 18.
1 Statham'ft Abridgment, Arbitrement, 14; Fitzherbert's Grand Abridgment, Arbitrement. 26.
2 Mills v. Bayley, 2 H. & C. 36.
3 England. Mills v. Bayley, 2 H. & C. 36.
United States. Aktieselskabet Korn-og Foderstof Kompagniet v. Rederiak-tiebolaget Atlanten, 250 Fed. 935.
Delaware. Fooks v. Lawson, 1 Marv. (Del.) 115, 40 Atl. 661.
Iowa. Harrison v. Hartford Fire Ins. Co., 112 Ia. 77, 83 N. W. 820.
Minnesota. Minneapolis & St. Paul Ry. Co. v. Cooper, 50 Minn. 290. 61 N W. 143.
Missouri. Meeartney v. Guardian Trust Co., 274 Mo. 224, 202 S. W. 1131.
The fact that an agreement for submitting to arbitration provides expressly that such agreement is to be irrevocable,5 and that value is given for such provision,6 does not prevent either party from avoiding such submission at will, as far as concerns his right to bring an action on the original cause of action.
Whatever the rule may be in case of arbitration between individuals, it is said that a submission of a dispute to which a government is a party can not be revoked, at least after the discussions have been disclosed and after one party has received a large amount of property thereunder.7 The reason for the possible distinction between cases of this sort and cases of private arbitration is that in cases of private arbitration resort may be had to litigation, while in a case of this sort the alternative is a resort to diplomatic demand.8
An agreement for an appraisement, as distinguished from arbitration, is irrevocable.9
A submission under seal can not be revoked orally,10 and it has been said that the same rule applies to a submission in writing.11
While arbitration may be made a condition precedent by a provision in the original contract,12 such effect will not be given to such a provision unless arbitration is made a condition precedent, either by the express language of the contract or by necessary implication.13 Accordingly, an arbitration agreement which has been abandoned by the parties has no legal effect as far as the original right of action is concerned.14 If one of the parties is at fault, and the provision for arbitration is not performed by reason thereof, the other party is not bound to enter into another submission.15 In Pennsylvania, however, it is held that if the agreement for arbitration is a part of the original contract,16 as in case of a building contract,17 such agreement is irrevocable.18
New York. People v. Nash, 111 N. Y. 310, 7 Am. St. Rep. 747, 2 L. R. A. 180, 18 N. E. 630.
Tennessee. Key v. Norrod, 124 Tenn. 146, 136 S. W. 901.
Vermont. Sartwell v. Sowles, 72 Vt. 270. 82 Am. St. Rep. 943, 48 Atl. 11.
Virginia. Rison v. Moon, 91 Va. 384, 22 S. E. 185.
4 Green v. Pole, 6 Bing. 443.
5 Thomas W. Finucane Co. v. Roches ter Board of Education, 190 N. Y. 76, 82 N. E. 737.
6 Thomas W. Finucane Co. v. Rochester Board of Education. 190 N. Y. 76. 82 N. E. 737.
7 Colombia v. Cauca Co., 190 U. S 524, 47 L. ed. 1159.
8 Colombia v. Cauca Co., 190 U. S. 524, 47 L. ed. 1159.
9 Martin v. Vansant, 99 Wash. 106, 168 Pac. 990.
l0Wallis v. Carpenter, 95 Mass. (13 All.) 19.
11 Mand v. Patterson, 19 Ind. App. 619, 49 N. E. 974; Brown v. Leavitt, 26 Me. 251; Mullins v. Arnold, 36 Tenn. (4 Sneed) 262; McFarlane v. Cushman, 21 Wis. 401.
12 See Sec. 722.
13Mecartney v. Guardian Trust Co., 274 Mo. 224, 202 S. W. 1131; Flavelle v. Red Jacket Consol. Coal & Coke Co., 82 W. Va. 295, 96 S. E. 600.
If the submission has been made a rule of court, it is generally irrevocable;19 and it is occasionally provided by statute that a submission is irrevocable,20 as after final submission to the arbitrators.21
The death of either party before award operates as a revocation of a submission,22 except where the submission has been made a rule of court.23