OCTOBER TERM, 2008
NOTE: Where it is feasible, a syllabus (headnote) will be released, as is
being done in connection with this case, at the time the opinion is issued.
The syllabus constitutes no part of the opinion of the Court but has been
prepared by the Reporter of Decisions for the convenience of the reader.
See United States v. Detroit Timber & Lumber Co., 200 U. S. 321, 337.
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
ARTHUR ANDERSEN LLP ET AL. v. CARLISLE ET AL.
CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR
THE SIXTH CIRCUIT
No. 08–146. Argued March 3, 2009—Decided May 4, 2009
After consulting with petitioners, respondents Wayne Carlisle, James
Bushman, and Gary Strassel used a shelter to minimize taxes from
the sale of their company. Limited liability corporations created by
Carlisle, Bushman, and Strassel (also respondents) entered into in-
vestment-management agreements with Bricolage Capital, LLC, that
provided for arbitration of disputes. After the Internal Revenue Ser-
vice found the tax shelter illegal, respondents filed a diversity suit
against petitioners. Claiming that equitable estoppel required re-
spondents to arbitrate their claims per the agreements with Brico-
lage, petitioners invoked §3 of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), 9
U. S. C. §3, which entitles litigants to stay an action that is “referable
to arbitration under an agreement in writing.” Section 16(a)(1)(A) of
the FAA allows an appeal from “an order . . . refusing a stay of any
action under section 3.” The District Court denied petitioners’ stay
motions, and the Sixth Circuit dismissed their interlocutory appeal
for want of jurisdiction.
1. The Sixth Circuit had jurisdiction to review the denial of peti-
tioners’ requests for a §3 stay. By its clear and unambiguous terms,
§16(a)(1)(A) entitles any litigant asking for a §3 stay to an immediate
appeal from that motion’s denial—regardless of whether the litigant
is in fact eligible for a stay. Jurisdiction over the appe