CPLR § 2201 Stay
NAMA Holdings, LLC v Greenberg Traurig, LLP, 2009 NY Slip Op 04097 (App. Div., 1st, 2009)
The arbitration ruling denying disqualification of the attorneys at
a preliminary stage of that proceeding does not preclude the
disqualification claim. The doctrine of res judicata does not apply,
absent a final adjudication on the merits (see Clearwater Realty Co. v Hernandez,
256 AD2d 100, 101 ). Nor does the doctrine of collateral estoppel
conclusively bar plaintiff's claim, because the scope of the arbitral
ruling is not entirely clear (see Jeffreys v Griffin, 1 NY3d 34,
39 ). Moreover, the issue in this action is particularly
fact-laden and its resolution should await further factual development.
We note, however, that the burden is on plaintiff, as the opponent of
collateral estoppel, to demonstrate the absence of a full and fair
opportunity to be heard in the arbitration (id.), and plaintiff
failed to carry this burden. The allegations regarding defendants'
obstruction of discovery also are not precluded because the claim in
this action is not to obtain discovery, but to show how the attorneys
allegedly committed misconduct in [*2]obstructing it.
However, the court should have granted a stay pursuant to CPLR
2201 in the interest of judicial economy. There are overlapping issues
and common questions of fact, and the hearings in the arbitration, that
began a year before the commencement of this action, are nearly
complete (see Belopolsky v Renew Data Corp., 41 AD3d 322 ; cf. American Intl. Group, Inc. v Greenberg, 60 AD3d 483
 [finding that resolution of related action would not dispose of
or significantly limit issues before this Court or pose risk of
inconsistent rulings]; Metropolitan Steel Indus., Inc. v Tully Constr. Co., Inc., 55 AD3d 363, 364  [finding it unlikely that significant judicial economies would be served]).
The bold is mine.