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David Horton

Professor of Law


J.D. University of California, Los Angeles 2004, Order of the Coif

B.A., cum laude American Studies, Carleton College 1997


David Horton joined the UC Davis faculty in 2012 after three years at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. He teaches and writes in the areas of wills and trusts, arbitration law, and contracts. He has won the Association of American Law Schools’ Scholarly Paper Competition, the Mangano Dispute Resolution Achievement Award, and the Distinguished Teaching Award. In 2017, he was selected as a UC Davis Chancellor’s Fellow and elected an Academic Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.

Horton’s work has appeared (or will soon appear) in the Yale Law JournalStanford Law ReviewN.Y.U. Law ReviewUniversity of Pennsylvania Law Review, California Law ReviewNorthwestern University Law ReviewGeorgetown Law JournalUCLA Law ReviewVanderbilt Law ReviewBoston University Law ReviewIowa Law ReviewNotre Dame Law ReviewBoston College Law ReviewWilliam & Mary Law ReviewNorth Carolina Law Review, and University of Colorado Law Review, among others. He has also co-authored two casebooks: CASES, PROBLEMS, AND MATERIALS ON CONTRACTS (Aspen 8th ed. forthcoming 2019) (with Douglas J. Whaley) and WILLS, TRUSTS, AND ESTATES: THE ESSENTIALS (with Reid Kress Weisbord and Stephen K. Urice)

Horton received his B.A. cum laude from Carleton College in 1997 and his J.D. from UCLA School of Law in 2004. At UCLA, he was elected to the Order of the Coif and served as Chief Articles Editor of the UCLA Law Review. He then practiced at Morrison & Foerster in San Francisco and clerked for the Honorable Ronald M. Whyte of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

Subject Areas

Contracts, Trusts, Wills, And Estate Planning, Federal Arbitration Law

Selected Career Highlights

  • Associate Professor at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
  • Lecturer in Residence, UC Berkeley School of Law
  • Associate, Horton & Roberts LLP
  • Law Clerk for the Honorable Ronald M. Whyte, United States District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose, CA
  • Associate, Morrison & Foerster LLP

Selected Publications

Infinite Arbitration Clauses, 168 U. Pa. L. Rev. -- (forthcoming 2020).

Inheritance Forgery, 69 Duke L.J. -- (forthcoming 2020) (with Reid Kress Weisbord).

Wills Without Signatures, 99 B.U. L. Rev. -- (forthcoming 2019).

Arbitration Nation: Data from Four Providers, 107 Calif. L. Rev. -- (forthcoming 2019) (with Andrea Cann Chandrasekher).

Clause Construction: A Glimpse into Arbitral and Judicial Decision-Making, 68 Duke L.J. -- (forthcoming 2019).

Arbitration About Arbitration, 70 Stan. L. Rev. 363 (2018).

Partial Harmless Error for Wills: Evidence from California, 104 Iowa L. Rev. 2027 (2018) (invited symposium contribution).

Borrowing in the Shadow of Death: Another Look at Probate Lending, 59 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 2447 (2018).

Boilerplate and Default Rules in Wills Law: An Empirical Analysis, 103 Iowa L. Rev. 663 (2018) (with Reid Kress Weisbord).

Intestacy, Wills, and Intent: A Short Comment on Wright & Sterner, 43 ACTEC L.J. 1301 (2018) (invited reply).

Tomorrow’s Inheritance: The Frontiers of Estate Planning Formalism, 58 B.C. L. Rev. -- (forthcoming 2017).

Probate Lending, 126 Yale L.J. 102 (2016) (with Andrea Cann Chandrasekher).

Donative Trusts and the Federal Arbitration Act, in Arbitration of Internal Trust Disputes: Issues in National and International Law (Oxford University Press 2016).

The Limits of Testamentary Arbitration, 58 Fla. L. Rev. Forum 12 (2016) (invited reply).

Employment Arbitration after the Revolution, 65 DePaul L. Rev. 457 (2016) (with Andrea Cann Chandrasekher) (invited symposium contribution).

After the Revolution: An Empirical Study of Consumer Arbitration, 104 Geo. L.J. 57 (2015) (with Andrea Cann Chandrasekher).

Wills Law on the Ground, 62 UCLA L. Rev. 1094 (2015).

In Partial Defense of Probate: Evidence From Alameda County, California, 103 Geo. L.J. 605 (2015).

Contractual Indescendibility, 66 Hastings L.J. 1047 (2015) (invited symposium contribution).

The Stored Communications Act and Digital Assets, 67 Vanderbilt Law Review 1729 (2014) (invited symposium contribution).

Indescendibility, 102 Cal. L. Rev. 543 (2014)

Mass Arbitration and Democratic Legitimacy, 85 U. Colo. L. Rev. 459 (2014) (book review).

Federal Arbitration Act Preemption: Purposivism and State Public Policy, 101 Geo. L.J. 1217 (2013)

Testation and Speech, 101 Geo. L.J. 61 (2012)

The Federal Arbitration Act and Testamentary Instruments, 90 N.C. L. Rev. 1027 (2012).

Arbitration and Inalienability: A Critique of the Vindication of Rights Doctrine, 60 U. Kan. L. Rev. 723 (2012) (invited symposium contribution).

Unconscionability Wars, 106 Nw. U. L. Rev. 387 (2012) (originally published at 106 Nw. U. L. Rev. Colloquy 13 (2011)).

Arbitration as Delegation, 86 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 437 (2011).

The Mandatory Core of Section 4 of the Federal Arbitration Act, 96 Va. L. Rev. In Brief 1 (2010).

The Shadow Terms: Contract Procedure and Unilateral Amendments, 57 UCLA L. Rev. 605 (2010).

Unconscionability in the Law of Trusts, 84 Notre Dame L. Rev. 1675 (2009).

Flipping the Script: Contra Proferentem and Standard Form Contracts, 80 U. Colo. L. Rev. 431 (2009).

The Uneasy Case for California’s Care Custodian Statute, 12 Chap. U. L. Rev. 47 (2008) (solicited submission).

Extreme Sports and Assumption of Risk: A Blueprint, 38 U.S.F. L. Rev. 599 (2004).

Comment, Rethinking Assumption of Risk and Sports Spectators, 51 UCLA L. Rev. 339 (2003).


Author, Brief of Amicus Curiae Fifty-One Law Professors in Support of Plaintiff/Appellee, Meyer v. Kalanick, Nos. 16-2752, 16-2750, 2016 WL 7157290 (2d. Cir. Dec. 6, 2016) (with Nancy Kim).

Author, Brief of California Law Professors in Support of Respondent, DIRECTV v. Imburgia, No. 14-462 (U.S. July 24, 2015), 2015 WL 4698387.

Author, Brief of Law Professors on Rehearing En Banc in Support of Plaintiffs-Appellants, Kilgore v. KeyBank Nat'l Assoc., No. 09-16703 (9th Cir. Oct 12, 2012), 2012 WL 5196969 (en banc) (with Hiro N. Aragaki).

Author, Brief of Contracts Professors in Support of Respondent, AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, No. 09-893 (U.S. Oct. 6, 2010), 2010 WL 3973891.

Selected Presentations

Presenter, Probate Lending, Trusts and Estates Program, Association of American Law Schools Annual Conference, January 2017.

Presenter, Probate Lending, Commercial and Related Consumer Law and Contracts Joint Program, Association of American Law Schools Annual Conference, January 2017.

Presenter, Probate Lending, Yale Law School, Yale Law Journal Reading Group, November 2016.

Presenter, Probate Lending, Tulane Law School Faculty Workshop Series, February 2016.

Presenter, After the Revolution: An Empirical Study of Consumer Arbitration, 10th Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies, Washington University School of Law (St. Louis), October 2015.

Presenter, Employment Arbitration After the Revolution, Clifford Symposium on Tort Law and Social Policy, DePaul Law School, April 2015.

Presenter, In Partial Defense of Probate: Evidence from Alameda County, California, Association of American Law Schools 2015 Scholarly Paper Competition, January 2015.

Presenter, Contractual Indescendibility, Hastings Law Journal Symposium in Honor of Charles L. Knapp, October 2014.

Presenter, The Stored Communications Act and Digital Assets, Vanderbilt Law Review and American College of Trusts and Estates Symposium on the Role of Federal Law in Private Wealth Transfer, February 2014.

Presenter, Arbitration and Access to Justice, United States District Court for the Eastern District of California Conference, October 2013.

Presenter, Mass Contracting and Democratic Legitimacy, Eighth Annual Contracts Conference, Texas Wesleyan School of Law, February 2013.

Presenter, Testation and Speech, University of San Francisco Faculty Workshop Series, February 2013.

Presenter, Arbitration and Inalienability: A Critique of the Vindication of Rights Doctrine, Kansas Law Review Symposium on Current Perspectives on Arbitration Law, November 2011.