On December 6, a three-judge panel for the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in the Deborah Meek Hickerson v. Yamaha Motor Company, Ltd. and Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A. matter. Judge Diana Gribbon Motz, Judge G. Steven Agee and Judge Henry F. Floyd presided over the proceeding.
Fortunately (but unfortunately not surprisingly), the Court was (for the first time) made aware of adverse authority during oral arguments. The case, McRee v. Dick’s Sporting Goods, Inc. 2017 WL 5201525 (D.S.C. Nov. 9, 2017) — adverse to Defendant/Appellee Yamaha — had not been mentioned in Yamaha’s briefing to the Court (in dereliction of a party’s duty to bring adverse authority to a court’s attention).
Counsel for Hickerson brought this breach of duty (on the part of Yamaha) to the Court’s attention during the time allotted for oral argument to be made on behalf of Appellant Hickerson (@ 39:00). At the request of Judge Motz, counsel for Hickerson filed a supplemental authority on December 8, 2016.
Based on the timeline between oral arguments and the Court’s rulings in past cases, the Hickerson v. Yamaha ruling will likely be issued sometime in February.