Monday, the 30th, Alan Gura will file his response to MD's opening brief at the 4th. Monday, Aug. 13th, MD will file its reply brief.
Briefing will be complete at that time and we will await a date for oral arguments. A decision from that could come as soon as Dec.
However, there is another factor to all of this. That is a decision in Moore/Shepard from the 7th Circuit. This can and will affect how the 4th might rule, all other things being equal.
First, the 7th Circuit is listened to by the rest of the country. It is a prestigious circuit, in and of itself. Secondly, Judge Posner is always listened to. He sits in the center chair of the Moore/Shepard panel. I (and most others) believe he will write the decision. Thirdly, this decision will most likely come out within the next couple of weeks - the spring 2012 session ends on Aug. 8th and the 2012 fall session begins on Sept. 5th - sometime before the beginning of the fall session.
While the probable date of the Moore/Shepard is speculation, what is not speculation is that the decision will come out before orals are scheduled for Woollard. The 7th is known for being the "Rocket Docket" among the CCA.
While we shouldn't be drinking our own "Kool-Aid," should the decision be in our favor, that will greatly affect what the 4th will do in this case.
There is yet one more thing to consider.
Should Judge Wilkinson be assigned to the panel that hears Woollard, expect a few fireworks. There is no love lost between him, the Heller five and Alan Gura. Judge Wilkinson has already opined that he believes that the Heller decision was made up out of the whole cloth. He was careful to couch his disrespect in Masciandaro, but it is there, nonetheless.