Staying Put: Supreme Court Holds that District Courts Must Stay Proceedings Pending Arbitration Appeals
On June 23, 2023, in Coinbase, Inc. v. Bielski, the Supreme Court resolved a deeply divided circuit court split and ruled that a district court must stay its proceedings while an interlocutory appeal on the question of arbitrability is ongoing. Justice Kavanaugh delivered the opinion of the Court, with Justices Roberts, Alito, Gorsuch, and Barrett joining the majority. Justice Jackson filed a dissenting opinion, in which Justices Sotomayor and Kagan joined in full, and in which Justice Thomas joined in part. The 5-4 decision has far-reaching implications for class action strategy and practice when arbitration provisions are at issue.
The Underlying Dispute Concerning Whether Proceedings Must Be Stayed Pending Arbitration Appeals
In the underlying case, Coinbase filed a motion to compel arbitration based on its user agreement following the filing of a putative class action on behalf of Coinbase users who alleged the company failed to replace funds fraudulently taken from user accounts. The district court