Johnathan D. Horton

Johnathan teaches multiple Continuing Legal Education courses each year. Seminars polish his public speaking skills, and force him to master complex subject matter, distill the topic to its essentials, and present the material concisely. These same skills benefit him at oral argument and in trial, and make him a better advocate for his clients.


Professional Experience

Johnathan Horton has represented businesses, large and small, in a broad range of disputes in arbitration forums, in state, federal and bankruptcy courts, in the United States Courts of Appeals for the Eighth and Tenth Circuits and in Arkansas appellate courts.  His varied experience led a local publication to recognize him separately as one of Little Rock’s best bankruptcy and business litigation attorneys.

Johnathan has a diverse practice, ranging from closing multi-million dollar financing transactions to obtaining judgments in excess of one million dollars.

Horton’s experience includes:

  • Representing a landowner in an eminent domain action filed by the State of Arkansas to condemn real property for highway right of way.
  • Successfully defending the priority of mortgages held by a senior secured creditor from attacks by a junior secured creditor and recovering judgment in favor of the senior creditor and ultimately liquidation of the collateral.
  • Obtaining dismissal with prejudice of a personal injury action asserted against an insurance brokerage.
  • Obtaining dismissal with prejudice of an insurance coverage action under a commercial general liability policy seeking over $300,000 in damages from an insurer and its subsequent appeal where the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit not only affirmed the dismissal in its entirety, but also awarded costs to his client.
  • Obtaining dismissal of a suit challenging the validity of a reverse mortgage transaction, after developing favorable testimony at the plaintiff’s deposition, leading to an agreement by the plaintiff to voluntarily dismiss the case.
  • Obtaining dismissal with prejudice of class action complaint against a mortgage servicer asserting dual class action claims for alleged violations of state law.
  • Assisting a client with its response to a federal grand jury subpoena and representing its employee who testified before the grand jury and at a criminal trial.
  • Objecting to the confirmation of a bankruptcy plan proposed by a debtor, and negotiating separate repayment terms for a secured creditor under the bankruptcy plan.
  • Obtaining relief from the automatic stay and foreclosure of collateral securing a business loan.
  • Recovery of a judgment against debtors for a constructively fraudulent transfer of real property prior to bankruptcy while serving as trial counsel to bankruptcy trustee.
  • Obtaining dismissal of breach of contract complaint filed against an oilfield services company.
  • Obtaining dismissal of a preference action brought by a bankruptcy trustee and debtor while serving as trial counsel to a lending institution.
  • Obtaining dismissal of professional malpractice claim filed against an attorney for allegedly drafting loan documents with a usurious interest rate.
  • Prosecution of an admiralty action to limit liability of a boat owner following a marina fire.

Horton’s experience in the financial services industry has led numerous parties to seek his counsel including insurance companies, insurance brokers, and a range of financial institutions that includes national, regional and local banks, trust companies, and credit unions. Horton has helped financial institutions resolve disputes through litigation, mediation and arbitration including breach of contract actions to enforce debt and security instruments, as well as defense of Truth-In-Lending Act, wrongful foreclosure, lender liability and class action claims.

Horton has represented insurance companies in complex litigation over claims including insurance coverage disputes, bad faith, improper payment and failure to pay allegations, and indemnification and subrogation actions.  He has also represented policyholders in the construction, manufacturing, retail, non-profit and other industries in a wide range of claims including errors and omissions, professional malpractice or negligence, premises liability, real estate and title insurance, and employment claims ranging from wage and hour, discrimination and retaliation claims.

Drawing on his experience in bankruptcy courts, Horton routinely advises clients on bankruptcy proceedings related to the imposition of the automatic stay, adversary proceedings and contested matters, including defense of preference and other avoidance actions, actions to except debt from discharge, and actions to object to the discharge of debt.  He has also advised clients on reorganization plans and pre-bankruptcy workouts. Because of his experience with both bankruptcy and lien priorities, he is a frequent speaker on resolving real estate title issues that result from bankruptcies, and uses this experience to assist clients with analysis of real title issues and a range of curative title solutions.

Reported Decisions

  • J-McDaniel Constr. Co. v. Mid-Continent Cas. Co., 761 F.3d 916 (8th Cir. 2014).
  • Hauser v. Sims, 2012 Ark. App. 295, 423 S.W.3d 104 (2012).
  • Rice v. Carlton Farms LLC (In re: Webb), 474 B.R. 891 (E.D. Ark. 2012).
  • In re: Eubanks, 444 B.R. 415 (Bankr. E.D. Ark. 2010).
  • In re: Pettingill, 403 B.R. 624 (Bankr. E.D. Ark. 2009).

 

Recognition

Horton has received an AV® Preeminent™ 4.9 out of 5 rating by Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ www.martindalehubbell/ratings. He has been named a “Rising Star” by Mid-South Super Lawyers magazine annually from 2010 to 2016. The magazine awards this distinction to less than 2.5% of Arkansas lawyers who are either under the age of 40 or who have been practicing law for 10 years or less, based on its independent research and evaluation of twelve indicators of professional achievement and peer recognition. Little Rock Soiree magazine also named Horton as one of Little Rock’s best lawyers in 2012, 2014 and 2017. In 2013-2014, his peers elected him President of the Debtor-Creditor Bar of Central Arkansas.

Horton is a member of:

  • American Bar Association
  • Arkansas Bar Association
  • Oklahoma Bar Association
  • Pulaski County Bar Association
  • Debtor-Creditor Bar of Central Arkansas

He is also the past chairperson of the Arkansas Bar Association’s High School Mock Trial Committee, which organizes and supports the annual Arkansas High School Mock Trial Competition. In 2011 and 2010, he served as the Committee’s Vice-Chairperson. The Arkansas Bar Association recently honored Horton with the Golden Gavel Award for outstanding work and service to the Association at its 2013 annual meeting.

Community Involvement

Despite professional and family obligations, Horton makes community service a priority, particularly for projects that benefit children.  Horton has volunteered to support the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas.  He has also held numerous offices in the Downtown Little Rock Kiwanis Club, whose principal service project is the Joseph Pfeifer Kiwanis Camp, a camp for at-risk youth.  Horton supports the high school mock trial program, and is a member of the Arkansas Bar Association’s High School Mock Trial Committee, responsible for organizing the annual Arkansas High School Mock Trial Competition.  He chaired the Committee in 2012, and has twice attended the National High School Mock Trial Competition with the Arkansas State Champion. At its 2013 annual meeting, the Arkansas Bar Association honored Horton with a Golden Gavel Award for his outstanding work and service to the Association.


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