• Most lawyers haven’t tried litigation finance yet, but most of those that have would use it again, a new survey finds. Only around 49 of the 330 attorneys surveyed—285 who work for corporate law firms and 45 in-house—said they’d already used third-party financing for cases. Just over half said they’d be open to trying it, while 34% said they wouldn’t, according to the survey report from Validity Finance and ALM Media. (American Lawyer)

  • So-called judicial emergencies, with long bench refill times and soaring caseloads per judge, have increased in Democratic-leaning states under the Trump administration. (BLAW via BLB)

  • American Airlines Group Inc. hired Willkie Farr & Gallagher litigation partner Priya Aiyar as its new top lawyer, to be based in Fort Worth, Texas. Aiyar, who works in Willkie’s litigation and global trade and investment groups in Washington, is a former Treasury Department acting general counsel, who among other things clerked for D.C. Circuit Chief Judge Merrick Garland and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. She succeeds Paul Jones, who retired earlier this year, and said she plans to start her new job next month. (Corporate Counsel)

  • Johns Hopkins University, advised by Morgan Lewis & Bockius, will pay $14 million to settle a proposed class action targeting the fees and investment options in its retirement plan. Vanderbilt University ($14.5 million), Duke University ($10.65 million), the University of Chicago ($6.5 million), and Brown University ($3.5 million) have announced similar deals. (BLAW)

  • Former Skadden Arps partner Gregory Craig got a judge to dismiss of one of two criminal counts he faces in a case accusing him of failing to register as a foreign agent, days before his trial starts. The case grew out of Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation. (BN via BLB)

  • The former chair of DLA Piper and Proskauer Rose’s private equity practices, Daniel Eisner, has joined Schulte Roth & Zabel as a partner in its M&A and securities group in New York. (BLAW via BLB)

  • Investment adviser Athena Capital Advisors LLC said former Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement lawyer Beth Lehman joined the firm as deputy general counsel and chief compliance officer. She previously worked for KPMG in its regulatory risk and compliance practice group and most recently arrives from investment adviser GW & Wade, LLC, where she was GC and chief compliance officer. (Businesswire.com)

  • Virginia-based LeClairRyan, which looks to be headed for a break up, is losing four more attorneys, this time a worklaw team that’s going to Clark Hill in L.A. (The Recorder)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • Alternative dispute resolution services provider JAMS said a National Collegiate Athletic Association oversight committee appointed three of its “neutral” parties—retired judges Bernetta Bush and Hugh Fraser, and sports law attorney and arbitrator Jeffrey Benz—to a new panel aimed at resolving complex infraction cases in NCAA Division I sports. Benz will also serve as chairman of the NCAA’s new infractions referral committee, JAMS said. (JAMadr.com) The NCAA’s infractions review process grew out of recommendations last year by a committee, after an FBI investigation into college basketball. (Baltimore Sun)

  • San Diego-based insurance defense firm Tyson & Mendes added litigator Richard Somes as managing partner of its new office in Orange County. He was previously at Koeller, Nebeker, Carlson, Haluck in Irvine. (TysonMendes.com)

Deals

  • Morrison & Foerster is representing the special committee of real estate investment trust Steadfast Apartment REIT, Inc. (STAR) in separate agreements, expected to close in the first quarter of 2020, to acquire two similarly named REITs to create a combined company with approximately $3.3 billion in gross real estate assets. Proskauer Rose is advising Steadfast Income REIT, Inc. DLA Piper is advising Steadfast Apartment REIT III, Inc. (Businesswire.com)

  • Amplify Energy Corp. and Midstates Petroleum Company, Inc. yesterday announced the closing of their “merger of equals” transaction that will create a Houston-based NYSE-traded company named Amplify Energy Corp. Kirkland & Ellis advised Amplify and Latham & Watkins advised Midstates. A Mayer Brown team in Houston represented Bank of Montreal as administrative agent in connection with a credit facility to finance the merger. (Nasdaq.com)

Laterals, Moves, Promotions

  • Proskauer Rose got former Reed Smith partner Leith Moghli as a partner in its global private funds practice, based in London. Moghli was earlier a partner at Kirkland & Ellis. (Proskauer.com)

  • Fox Rothschild said bankruptcy attorney Harriet P. Wallace joined its Greenville, South Carolina, office as a partner in its financial restructuring and bankruptcy department. She was previously a shareholder at boutique firm Turner Padget. (FoxRothschild.com)

  • Blank Rome hired matrimonial and family law attorney Taylor P. Fish as an associate in New York, expanding a group that gained several attorneys earlier this year. Fish joins from matrimonial law firm Cohen Clair Lans Greifer Thorpe & Rottenstreich. (BlankRome.com)

  • Dykema said commercial litigator Sean C. Griffin, a member of its Washington office, was named to the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel’s board of directors. (Thefederation.site-ym.com)

Technology

  • Corporate compliance and oversight software and services provider Navex Global said it acquired Lockpath, Inc., which provides cloud-based corporate integrated risk management software. It didn’t disclose terms. (Businesswire.com)