Sorry I missed this one a few weeks ago, but Judge Chin officially accepted the ASMP image lawsuit against Google as being related to the Authors Guild suit. As the docket report humorously notes, “Judge Unassigned is no longer assigned to the case.” Whether Judge Chin keeps Authors Guild or not—and the mere fact that he hasn’t said anything yet may make it more likely that he will—I now expect the ASMP case to tag along with it.
UPDATE: A correspondent writes:
Actually, there’s a fairly simple reason that Judge Chin hasn’t said anything about either the AG or the ASMP iteration:
He can’t. He lost the authority to do so when he accepted his commission to the Second Circuit. As of that moment, he was no longer a judge on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. He would need a designation to do/say anything about the matter(s).
Instead, any reassignment order (or, for that matter, designation order allowing him to retain the case) will come from the Chief Judge for the Southern District of New York — presently Judge Preska. (Although the NYSD website hasn’t yet been updated…) At least when I’ve personally observed this in the past, the reassignment order (if any) issues about three weeks after the first hearing on the new court — that is, in this instance, about three weeks after 29 April (Judge Chin’s first panel on the Second Circuit).
Of course, as a sneaky bit, the Chief Judge could ask for a magistrate judge’s recommendation in the meantime…