Hon. H. Chester Horn, Jr. (Ret.)


Hon. H. Chester Horn, Jr. (Ret.) is an esteemed jurist who has devoted his career to public service. He served as a judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court for 21 years and presided over countless noteworthy and complex cases during his tenure.

Judge Horn’s legal career began in 1972 when he earned his law degree from UCLA School of Law. Upon graduating, he joined the California Department of Justice and quickly established himself as a skilled attorney, gaining a reputation for his ability to navigate the intricacies of complex civil litigation in both state and federal courts. As Deputy Attorney General for the Antitrust Section, Judge Horn was heavily involved in several high-profile cases. In particular, he was lead counsel in California v. American Stores challenging the merger of two large supermarket chains in Southern California.  The case resulted in the U.S. Supreme Court’s first opinion allowing a state to enjoin a merger affecting interstate commerce.  [California v. American Stores Co. 495 U.S. 271 (1990).] As lead trial counsel, he represented governmental purchasers and California consumers in multi-district, treble damage, class action lawsuits resulting in large multimillion dollar settlements. In many of these cases, he served on executive committees appointed by the United States District Courts to manage the litigation alongside other class representatives.

In addition to his antitrust work, Judge Horn handled complex cases involving the electric utility industry on behalf of the California Department of Water Resources. He was also involved in several cases challenging proposed mergers within the electric utility and supermarket industries. Following the merger cases, Judge Horn transferred to the Charitable Trusts Section, where he handled a range of investigations and cases involving will contests and charity fraud. He also oversaw the review of 18 transactions involving the sale of non-profit hospitals, leading to the creation of charitable foundations with assets totaling over $1 billion dollars.

In 2002, after decades of legal practice, Judge Horn was appointed to the Los Angeles Superior Court. He presided over an Unlimited Jurisdiction Trial Court for the last 11 years of his judicial career, handling cases across a wide spectrum of civil litigation, including antitrust, business, charitable trusts and non-profits, civil rights, class action, complex litigation, insurance, landlord-tenant and habitability, medical malpractice, personal injury, and probate. Over the course of his career, Judge Horn has earned the respect of his colleagues and peers for his legal acumen and dedication to the law, and he has won the admiration of countless litigants for his compassionate approach, keen insights, and firm commitment to justice.


  • Antitrust
  • Asbestos Litigation
  • Business & Commercial Contract
  • Charitable Trust and Non-Profits
  • Civil Rights
  • Class Actions
  • Complex Litigation
  • Insurance
  • Landlord-Tenant and Habitability
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Multi-District Litigation
  • Personal Injury
  • Probate, Estates and Trusts
  • Unlawful Detainer


Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court, County of Los Angeles    2002-2023
Unlimited Jurisdiction Trial Court, Santa Monica Courthouse, 2012-2023
Felony Trial Court, Airport Courthouse, 2009-2011
Misdemeanor Trial Court, Beverly Hills Courthouse, 2007-2008
Misdemeanor Trial Court, Hollywood Courthouse, 2002-2007
Preliminary Hearings, Criminal Courts Building, 2002


California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General    1972-1981, 1986-2002
Deputy Attorney General, Charitable Trusts Section, 1988-2002
Deputy Attorney General, Antitrust Section, 1986-1988
Deputy Attorney General, Antitrust Section, 1972-1981

Private Practice Experience    1981-1986
Partner, Hecht Diamond & Greenfield, 1983-1986
Associate, Pilot & Spar, 1982-1983
Partner, Tomin & Horn, 1981-1982


UCLA School of Law, Juris Doctorate    1972
University of California, Santa Barbara, Bachelor of Arts    1969


Health Care Alliances and Conversion: A Handbook for Nonprofit Trustees, James R. Schwartz and H. Chester Horn, Jr., Jossey-Bass Inc., 1998
“Hollywood Squared”, Hospital and Health Networks, Aug. 5 and 20, 1998
“Deal Makers, Deal Breakers”, Hospital and Health Networks, Sep. 5, 1997
“Bank Mergers: A Unique Role for State Antitrust Enforcers?”, No. 13, International Merger Law, Sept. 1991
“Some Suggestions for Confronting the Brave New World of Antitrust Federalism”, 36 Antitrust Bulletin No. 4, at 821, Winter 1991
“California v. American Stores: Some Thoughts About the Future for State Merger Enforcement Programs”, 18 NAAG Antitrust Report, No. 3, 1, April-May 1990
“The States’ View of Regional and National Mergers”, 58 Antitrust Law Journal 233, 1989

Representative Cases


  • Suit against major automobile manufacturers and their trade association for conspiring delay the development and installation of vehicle air pollution control devices.
  • Suit against major manufacturers of master key lock systems for conspiring to fix the prices of lock systems for governmental entities.
  • Suit against major distributors of petroleum product alleging that the defendant oil companies conspired to raise or stabilize prices for refined oil products in violation of § 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1; conspired to create an artificial scarcity of crude oil and refined oil products in the western United States, in violation of §§ 1 2 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1 2; and that the defendants conspired not to compete in bidding on the plaintiffs' annual bulk sale petroleum supply contracts, in violation of § 1 of the Sherman Act.
  • Suit to enjoin merger of the Lucky Stores supermarket chain with the Alpha Beta supermarket chain. Supreme Court ruled that the California Attorney General could bring this action under section 16 of the Federal clayton Act. The action resulted in a settlement under which the merger was approved with substantial divestiture of markets to a third supermarket company to restore competition in the affected markets.
  • Suit against major producer of jeans for vertical price-fixing where manufacturer enforced discounting restrictions on its distributors. Resulted in a multi-million dollar settlement on behalf of consumers in California.
  • State regulatory proceedings before the California Public Utilities Commission and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission opposing the merger of the San Diego Gas & Electric Company with the Southern California Edison Company. The Commission declined to approve the merger.

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Asbestos Litigation

  • Suit alleging damages from exposure to asbestos while removing insulation from the defendants boilers. Suit resulted in appeal relating to the “sophisticated user” defense that in turn resulted in a settlement of the case.

Charitable Trusts and Non-profits

  • The defendants created three non-profit organizations and then entered into fundraising contracts with them which allowed him to keep 92% of the revenues raised. In a suit by the California Attorney General to enjoin fraudulent fundraising activities on behalf of the charitable organizations. Resulted in an injunction and civil penalties against all defendants and dissolution of the fraudulently created charities and transfer of their funds to other charitable organizations.

Civil Rights

  • Action by 21 Jewish students who were forcibly evicted from a pool party at a hotel when the hotel owner, who was Muslim, realized a pool party at her hotel involved an active Jewish organization. The alleged violations of the Unruh Civil Rights Act and resulted in a multi-million dollar verdict for the plaintiffs.

Class Actions

  • Several multidistrict class action antitrust cases in a variety of industries seeking to recover damages for governmental entities who were victims of price-fixing schemes.
  • State of California on behalf of all consumers in California who purchase jeans versus Levi Strauss Co. for Price fixing. Resulted in $12.25 million dollar settlement for the class.

Business Commercial and Contract

  • Contract dispute about house remodel project where the contractor breached agreement to show all fub-contractor bids to homeowner before awarding contracts. Homeowner terminated contractor who sued for damages. Resulted in jury verdict awarding damages to homeowner.

Landlord Tenant and Habitability

  • Dispute over whether tenant who took in a roommate under terms of a written “Roommate Agreement” could evict the roommate without out comply with a local rent control ordinance requirement to give Covid 19 notices to the roommate. Resulted in summary judgment in favor of roommate because the rent control ordinance defined “Landlord” as any person or entity that receive rent for occupancy of a rental unit.
  • Eviction action where landlord sought to evict tenant for non-payment of rent. The tenant defended on the ground that the landlord’s failure to remedy infestation problems justified denial of the eviction and lowering of the rent until problems solved. Jury found for tenant and found 50% rent reduction necessary.

Medical Malpractice

  • Action based on medical group wrongfully secured the wrong ultrasound report regarding plaintiff’s injuries resulting in unnecessary surgery on plaintiff. Jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff.
  • Action based on negligent performance of an open reduction surgery by the defendant doctor resulting in permanent injury to plaintiff. Jury returned a verdict for plaintiff.
  • Action based on alleged negligent performance of an embryo implant procedure that failed to result in plaintiff’ s desired pregnancy. The defense argued that plaintiff failed to take the prescribed medications prior to the procedure resulting in the failure of the implant. Jury returned a verdict for the defense.

Personal Injury

  • Car accident case in which plaintiff was struck while turning left at signal on a green arrow by the defendant who ran the red light. Plaintiff suffered severe injuries to her left arm when her car rolled over as a result of the accident. She received scraping burns that left her lower arm black and covered with scars. She also lost three fingers. As a result of embarrassment from her injuries, she became a hermit for a number of years. The jury awarded her $11 million.
  • Auto vs. pedestrian accident in which plaintiff, a former professional dancer, suffered a broken leg and two broken wrists that required multiple surgeries. Plaintiff lost use of arms and leg to a degree that she could no longer perform her dancing or other athletic activities. Jury awarded her $11 million . The case subsequently settled.
  • One of plaintiff’s fingers on her dominant right hand was crushed when it got caught in a hole on a conveyor belt at the defendant’s store. She underwent several surgeries. The jury awarded her $3.5 million. The case is currently on appeal.
  • Plaintiff’s fourteen year old son collapsed during a P.E. class a school. The coach and other school personnel attempted to revive him with CPR, but failed to use a defibrillator device that was on the campus because they had neve been told it was there or trained in its use in violation of the Health & Safety Code. The jury awarded the plaintiff $15 million.

Probate, Estates and Trusts

  • In a dispute over fees associated with the Estate of Conrad Hilton, the Attorney general intervened to challenge the attorneys’ fees being claimed in connection with the will contests that had been filed. The Court reduced the fees by $9 million.
  • In another estate matter, the Attorney General defended a bequest to charity made by the decedent. The result was the creation of several charities with $20 million in funding.