Is the long-running legal drama over Google’s scan plan drawing down? In a scheduling order filed last week, Judge Denny Chin acknowledged that attorneys for Google indicated they would be asking for dismissal of both the Authors Guild and publishers’ suit, as well as the related visual artists case. In response, Chin set a December 23 deadline for Google to file its motion to dismiss, with plaintiffs response due on January 23, 2012, and Google’s response to the plaintiffs due February 3.

But, as New York Law School’s James Grimmelmann noted, “Chin left in place all deadlines from his previous order, which means that Google’s motion to dismiss will overlap with the Authors Guild’s motion for class certification.” In a trial schedule accepted by the parties in September, Chin set a December 12 deadline for the parties to file for new class certification. So much for a quiet end to 2011. "December will be interesting," Grimmelmann noted.

UPDATED: Google's motion to dismiss, if granted, wouldn't automatically mean the end of litigation. "We expect a motion from Google to dismiss associational plaintiffs in the two cases," explained Authors Guild executive director Paul Aiken in an email to PW. "If they succeed (we don't think they will), we'll no longer be associational plaintiffs, but our lawsuit would continue. The individual author plaintiffs, who are and have always been the legal representatives of the class, would remain."