A ruling by a court to stop or suspend a proceeding or trial temporarily or indefinitely. A court may later lift the stay and continue the proceeding. Some stays are automatic, but others are up to judicial discretion. Usually, the pendency of an appeal usually stays proceedings in the court below. In Long v. Robinson, 432 F.2d 977 (4th Circuit, 1970) the court held that a party seeking a stay must show: (1) that he will likely prevail on the merits of the appeal; (2) that he will suffer irreparable injury if the stay is denied; (3) that the other parties will not be substantially harmed; and (4) that the public interest will be served by granting the stay.