Robert Baines

Hon. Robert A. Baines (Ret.)

JAMS Mediator, Arbitrator and Referee/Special Master

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

Robert A. Baines is available to conduct cases virtually. JAMS is equipped to provide virtual ADR services on a variety of online platforms, including Zoom, Microsoft Teams, WebEx, and more.


Hon. Robert A. Baines (Ret.) has 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. 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.

Representative Arbitrations

  • Real Estate Disputes  
    • Fraud and nondisclosure claims in the sale of residential and commercial property
    • Fair value determination for lease renewal of resort town retail property
  • Software & Intellectual Property Issues
    • Contract matter concerning whether software development firm had fulfilled its multi-million dollar duty to develop innovative software for a nationwide system for digital medical records
    • Contract dispute regarding performance of internet usage monitoring software
  • Commercial
    • Determined whether major beer importer unreasonably denied sale of distribution rights held by distributor
  • Employment
    • FEHA claim alleging failure of large HMO to accommodate disabled employee’s condition
    • Determined whether medical group wrongfully denied accrued deferred compensation to discharged doctor 
  • Medical Malpractice
    • Standard of care issue involving high school boy’s loss of hearing allegedly due to adverse reaction to medication
    • Claim of brain damage to elderly patient due to hypoxic episode (i.e., alleged insufficient oxygen to the brain following surgery) 
    • Allegedly improper chiropractic care in the use of a back-stretching machine causing aggravation of patient’s pre-existing low back condition
    • Determined damages for patient who suffered catastrophic stroke 
  • Personal Injury
    • Underinsured Motorist Claim (UIM) by worker permanently injured by a drunk driver
    • Slip and fall of patron at gaming casino
  • Healthcare
    • Health plan coverage dispute involving an elderly diabetic patient in a skilled nursing facility
Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS.

  • 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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