Neutral Profile



  • Available in Orange County, All of California
  • Available for Mediation, Arbitration, and Private Judging assignments


After 35 years of trial practice representing both plaintiff and defendants with approximately 100 jury trials, Mr. Horton transitioned from litigation to full-time neutral in 2004. His skillful approach to mediation employs his considerable knowledge and insight born of his litigation experience. With his calm disposition and interpersonal skills, Jay Horton has become one of the most sought after mediators in Southern California. The Daily Journal honored him as a Top Neutral every year since 2007. He is known for resolving matters involving complex issues, multi parties with difficult dynamics as well as catastrophic injury and death cases particularly involving alleged medical negligence . One attorney commented, "Mr. Horton's analysis of the strengths and weakness of the case from several different positions was so accurate. He is one the most efficient and hardest working mediators I have ever worked with". One client commented, "His knowledge and insight into medical issues and litigation amazed me and my clients which earned his credibility and gained our trust. "He has been consistently effective each time he has mediated a case for my firm ."


Hobbies & Interests

In his spare time, Mr. Horton is interested in finding more time to engage in Youth Activities and Sports, Creative Writing, Golf and Tennis.

Experience Summary

Legal Career

  • Full-time ADR Neutral (2004-Present)
  • Partner, Horton, Barbaro & Reilly (1977-2004)
  • Partner, Trotter, Horton, Handweiler & Bahan (1976)
  • Settlement Officer, Orange County Superior Court (1975-Present)
  • Partner, Horton and Bahan (1974-75)
  • Associate, Kinkle, Rodiger, Graf, Dewberry & Spriggs (1969-74)

Education & Professional Affiliations

  • J. D., University of Southern California (1968)
  • B. A., University of Southern California (1965)
  • Mediation Certificate, Institute for Conflict Management (2003)
  • Member, Consumer Attorneys of California; Orange County Trial Lawyers
  • Member, American Board of Trial Advocates (1974-Present)
  • Member, Orange County Bar Association (1971-Present)

Achievements & Awards

  • Mr. Horton has been selected as one of Daily Journal's Top Neutrals in the State of California every year since 2007.
  • He is AV rated by Martindale Hubbell. He was awarded “Trial Lawyer of the Year” by the Orange County Trial Lawyers (1999) and Orange County Chapter of ABOTA (1995), and the “Champion of Justice Lifetime Achievement Award” by the Orange County Trial Lawyers 2009.
  • He was also President of the Orange County Chapter of ABOTA (1984).

Legal Experience

  • Complex Litigation
  • Personal Injury
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Elder Abuse
  • Product Liability
  • Premises and Public Entity Liability
  • Insurance Coverage

Representative Case Information

Recent Representative Cases

Professional Malpractice

Medical Malpractice

  • Baby born with cerebral palsy, now 6 years old. Plaintiff contended injury was a result of hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy from mismanagement of labor and delivery. Defense contended injury was a result of maternal infection in utero. Case venued and mediated in Utah. Case settled as to both managing physician and hospital.
  • Nurse and doctor failed to timely deliver premature baby resulting in brain damage.


PI Auto

  • Alleged dangerous condition of city intersection whereby driver partially blinded by the sun struck family in crosswalk killing 85 year old father, injuries to husband resulting in tetraplegia and severe leg fracture with emotional distress to daughter/wife.
  • Alleged dangerous condition of city crosswalk with a death, functional quad, and severe leg fracture and emotional distress by daughter seeing her father die.

Wrongful Death

  • Multi-vehicle freeway collision with disputed liability. Multiple injuries and two deaths.