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Robert Baines

Hon. Robert A. Baines (Ret.)

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Case Manager
Cynthia Victory
T: 408-346-0736
F: 408-295-5267
160 W. Santa Clara St., Suite 1600, San Jose, CA 95113

Hon. Robert A. Baines (Ret.) has been a full time neutral with JAMS since 2005 and brings to his ADR practice over 40 years of litigation experience, including 22 years on the trial bench in Santa Clara County.

Judge Baines is bright, energetic, and well respected by both plaintiff and defense counsel, particularly for his ability to settle seemingly “trial-bound” cases. He was named Trial Judge of the Year in 2000 by the Santa Clara County Trial Lawyers Association and received that Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. As a Superior Court "civil case manager" judge, he handled many complex “cutting edge” Silicon Valley matters.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • On the bench, Judge Baines was known for having successfully handled thousands of settlement conferences in all areas of civil law, including: commercial litigation, construction defects, contested custody, employment discrimination, intellectual property/trade secrets, personal injury, products liability/toxic torts, professional liability (legal and medical), real property, and will contests.
  • Judge Baines has successfully settled a wide variety of matters at JAMS, including: business partnership dissolutions, software licensing disputes, real property disputes, personal injury matters (from automobile accidents to premises liability), contested conservatorship, fee disputes, and professional liability matters, among others.
  • Judge Baines has also served as a neutral arbitrator for a number of cases at JAMS, including software development disputes, medical malpractice, business dissolution (with trade secrets issues), real property disputes, including rescission and damages for fraudulent and/or negligent non-disclosures in the sale of real property, and fee disputes, among others.

Representative Matters 

  • Business/Commercial
    • Mediated dispute involving sale of specialty machine shop catering to high-tech businesses
    • Mediated disputes regarding performance of software development contracts
    • Mediated matter involving software licensing agreements and royalty payments
    • Mediated and arbitrated numerous fee disputes including claims of breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, and fraud
    • Arbitrated dissolution of long-standing joint venture between national insurance company and its third-party administrator for professional disability insurance
    • Arbitrated case involving patent expert, retained by law firm in infringement case, claiming law firm failed to pay agreed-upon fees and law firm’s claims of over-billing and incomplete work by the expert
    • Arbitrated, by panel, alleged wrongful denial by national beer manufacturer/importer of the transfer of distribution rights held by long-term distributor
  • Employment
    • Mediated numerous discrimination cases involving age, gender, sexual preference, and disability
    • Mediated numerous wrongful discharge cases including whistleblower retaliation
    • Mediated wage and hour cases involving classification issues of exempt vs. non-exempt employees, including claims brought under the Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) 
    • Mediated matter involving employer’s misappropriation of employee’s personal image for advertising purposes
    • Arbitrated employee’s claim of alleged handicapped discrimination stemming from employer’s alleged failure to accommodate disability
    • Arbitrated discharged radiologist’s claims against his former medical practice group for alleged failure to pay deferred compensation, and the group’s claims against the doctor for alleged self-dealing 
  • Personal Injury
    • Mediated matter where ladder fell on shopper at major discount store
    • Mediated case involving youth who lost an eye to fishing pole accident at camp
    • Mediated slip and fall case involving guest in shower at luxury Carmel hotel
    • Arbitrated several uninsured/underinsured motorist cases 
  • Professional Liability
    • Arbitrated and mediated numerous medical, chiropractic, and legal malpractice cases
  • Real Property
    • Mediated and arbitrated a wide variety of residential and commercial property matters including issues regarding tenancy in common, eminent domain, easements, commercial lease disputes, partition actions, home improvement contract disputes, buy-sell disputes including claims of non-disclosure, among others
    • Mediated a dispute over the scope of a major utility company’s easement for high tension power lines (and damages for allegedly exceeding the scope of that easement)
    • Mediated sellers and brokers liability for fraudulent and/or negligent non-disclosure in the sale of real property
    • Arbitrated matter to determine the rights of the parties under a mining rights lease
    • Arbitrated dissolution of limited partnership owning numerous San Francisco income properties
    • Arbitrated claims of seller of multi-million dollar residential property in San Francisco against defaulting buyer
    • Arbitrated matter to determine the fair market value (FMV) for commercial leasehold in downtown Carmel after tenant exercised option to extend lease at FMV 
  • Intellectual Property
    Successfully resolved a number of cases involving alleged theft or misuse of trade secrets, including: 
    • Claim by well-respected software pioneer that internationally prominent graphics software company stole his concept for a meta-data retrieval program that he had previously unsuccessfully “pitched” to that company
    • Claim by computer parts company that departing employee had taken trade secrets, including confidential customer lists, to new employer and inappropriately used them there
    • Claim by software licensee that licensor had intentionally failed to reveal that the licensed software was already subject to claims of infringement by a third party, resulting in licensee being sued for infringement by that third party
    • Settled software developer’s claims of misappropriation and under-reported license usage brought against “flagship” Silicon Valley networking company
    • Served on tripartite arbitration panel hearing multi-million dollar dispute over whether software development firm had performed its contract with a consortium of Fortune 500 companies to produce a secure, portable, and reliable system for maintaining and accessing digital health records for employees of those companies
    • Arbitrated dispute over whether a firm that provided website usage monitoring and research services had properly performed under its agreement
  • Consumer
    • Mediated case concerning investors’ claims against investment company offering off-shore tax shelters
    • Mediated foreclosed homeowners’ action against bank and title company
    • Arbitrated investor’s claims against nationally-known financial advisor
    • Arbitrated matter concerning scope of coverage of medical insurance policy
    • Arbitrated credit card holders claims against card issuer for allegedly unfair practices
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, Santa Clara County Trial Lawyers, Association, 2006
  • Trial Judge of the Year, Santa Clara County Trial Lawyers Association, 2000
  • Founders Award, Law Foundation of the Silicon Valley, 1999
  • Executive Committees, Municipal and Superior Courts, 1985-2005
  • Court representative, SCCBA's Civil Practice Committee, 1996-2000
  • Civil Law and Procedure Committee, California Judges Association, 1984-1985
  • Board of Directors, Conflicts Administration Program, 1984-1990 (Chair 1990)
  • Board of Directors, SCCBA Law Foundation, 1980-1982
  • Advisory Board Member, Santa Clara County Justice System, 1978-1980
  • Commissioner, California State Bar Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation, 1977 and 1978
  • Board of Trustees, SCCBA, (several terms) 1977-1983
  • Arbitrator, Judicial Arbitration Program, 1975-1983
  • Board of Directors, SCCBA Barristers Club, 1973-1976
  • Member, California Judges Association
  • Member, Santa Clara County Bar Association
  • Visiting Lecturer in Law (Federal Courts and Jurisdiction), Santa Clara University School of Law, 1979-1980
  • Moderator/Panelist before various bar and professional organizations
  • "Managing People: Mediator Robert Baines wins praise for his low-key style," ADR Profile, Daily Journal, January 29, 2016
  • Judge, Santa Clara County Superior Court, 1997-2005
  • Judge, Santa Clara County Municipal Court, 1983-1997
  • Assistant City Attorney/Head of the Litigation Division, San Jose City Attorney's Office, 1980-1983
  • Directing Attorney, Head of Litigation, Public Interest Law Firm of the Santa Clara County Bar Association Law Foundation (now the Law Foundation of the Silicon Valley), 1975-1980
  • Staff Attorney and Senior Staff Attorney, Legal Aid Society of Santa Clara County, 1970-1975
  • J.D., University of California, Berkeley School of Law (formerly Boalt Hall School of Law), 1969
  • B.A., (Phi Beta Kappa and with Highest Honors) University of California, Riverside, 1966

Counsel Comments

    • “[Judge Baines] made a very contentious and difficult case manageable. He was one of the most prepared and attentive of all arbitrators I’ve encountered.”

      – In-house counsel
    • “He's brilliant. He is pro-active, kind, and a pleasure to work with." 

      –  Plaintiff’s Counsel 
    • "He had done his homework. When he came in, he was conversant on the technicalities of the contract but also the technology. You could tell by the questions he asked that he had cut to the heart of the case.” 

      –  Attorney




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