On June 23, 2023, the Supreme Court reversed a Ninth Circuit decision that would have forced a company to proceed with costly and burdensome litigation while its arbitrability appeal was pending. The decision was a victory for WLF, which filed an amicus brief in the case. As WLF explained in its brief, the intolerable risk of bearing that burden would upend the core policies animating the FAA. The majority’s reasoning largely tracks policy arguments WLF advanced in its brief. Namely, that Section 16 of the FAA makes sense only if an interlocutory appeal from the trial court’s refusal to compel arbitration automatically stays litigation in the district court. Congress never would have granted defendants the right to an immediate appeal if it had contemplated that litigation would continue apace while the appeal was pending. On the contrary, Congress crafted Section 16 against the background principle that an appeal divests a district court of jurisdiction over the case being appealed. And Congress recognized that the main virtues of arbitration—avoiding the cost and burden of litigation—would be lost if the case proceeds simultaneously in litigation and appeal only to be ultimately decided in arbitration.


Supreme Court opinion 

WLF amicus brief