Baltimore Contractors v. Bodinger

In Baltimore Contractors v. Bodinger, 348 U.S. 176, 75 S.Ct. 249, 99 L.Ed. 233 (1955), an action was brought for an equitable accounting of profits from a construction venture. The defendant moved for a stay of the litigation so that arbitration of the dispute could be had, as called for by the agreement. The trial judge refused such a stay, and the Supreme Court held that refusal to be nonappealable. While recognizing that account had to be taken of the "developing need to permit litigants to effectually challenge interlocutory orders of serious, perhaps irreparable, consequence," 348 U.S. at 181, 75 S.Ct. at 252, it was also crucial, in the Court's estimation, to retain secure from interlocutory appeal the trial court's "power to stay mere steps" in the litigation, 348 U.S. at 183, 75 S.Ct. 249.