A California federal court has weighed in on the question of whether discovery should be permitted while determination of a motion to compel arbitration is pending. In Nguyen v. BMW of North America, LLC, the court, noting that “the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not automatically stay discovery when a potentially dispositive motion is pending,” held that, under the facts and circumstances before it, the stay was warranted. A “preliminary peek” at the motion to compel revealed to the court “that they are potentially dispositive of the entire case,” and “any stay is likely to be brief,” given that the motion to compel was fully briefed and under submission.
Conversely, according to the court, “requiring Defendant to engage in discovery that may not be permitted or accepted later if the matter is sent to arbitration would be prejudicial to Defendant. A stay also will allow the Court to avoid any potentially unnecessary judicial expenditures such as discovery disputes that may or may not be relevant if the matter is remanded or sent to arbitration.”