Partner Ryan Baker recently spoke to Bloomberg Law about a Supreme Court case addressing the issue of whether a district court must stay or may dismiss a case pending arbitration. In story published January 24, 2024, Baker said that the Smith v. Spizzirri case, addressing whether a district court may dismiss rather than stay a case in arbitration, “is a battle between making remedies available to litigants versus the administrative cost or burden on the judicial system.”
Baker said a stay pending arbitration can benefit litigants because it allows parties to file status reports to update the district court on the progress of the out-of-court proceeding and to potentially resolve any problems or disputes that may arise in arbitration, including issues related to the scope of the arbitration proceeding.
“But it may make sense” in some cases for claims subject to arbitration to be dismissed in their entirety. For example, filing status reports can stretch judicial resources, and both parties incur additional legal expenses, Baker said. “It can be a waste of the court’s time,” he said. “The whole point of arbitration is to be out of court.”
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