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 been a full time neutral with JAMS since 2005, and has over 40 years of legal experience, including 22 years on the trial bench in Santa Clara County.

Judge Baines has accumulated a wealth of experience in business and commercial matters of every nature including contract and licensing disputes, business and partnership dissolutions, and fee disputes.

In addition to handling a vast number of common commercial cases, Judge Baines has mediated, arbitrated, served as discovery referee for, or presided over a number of unique “Silicon Valley” cases, ranging from multi-million dollar disputes between venture capitalists and their funded companies, to complex cases testing the parameters of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act. 

Representative Matters

  • Representative Mediations
    • Mediated numerous matter involving software licensing agreements and royalty payments
    • Mediated numerous disputes regarding performance of software development contracts
    • Mediated dispute involving sale of specialty machine shop catering to high-tech businesses
    • Mediated the dissolution of real estate investment partnership
    • Mediated matter concerning the commission claims of a high-end commercial mortgage loan broker
    • Mediated fees dispute between graphic designer and client
    • Mediated claims by commercial landlord of tenant’s alleged non-compliance with maintenance and repair requirements in lease
  • Representative Arbitrations
    • Arbitrated dissolution of long-standing joint venture between national insurance company and its third-party administrator for professional disability insurance, including issues involving trade secrets and employee mobility under Business & Professions Code § 16600
    • 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, medical software licensing agreement dispute to determine whether annual payments were owed to the licensor
    • Arbitrated, by panel, alleged wrongful denial by national beer manufacturer/importer of the transfer of distribution rights held by long-term distributor
    • Arbitrated fees dispute between radiologist and his former medical practice group for deferred compensation being withheld on grounds of his alleged misconduct
    • Arbitrated dispute between healthcare network and healthcare insurance provider for alleged excessive charges for medical services
    • Arbitrated numerous disputed software development contracts
    • Arbitrated dispute between owner of high-tech clean room facility and tenant over condition of premises at surrender
    • Arbitrated mineral leasing rights disputes
    • Arbitrated dispute regarding enforcement of agreement by which legal assistant was to receive a percentage of a multi-million dollar award in an underlying case
    • Served as a discovery referee under appointment from the Superior Court in various trade secrets matters

Supplementary Matters

  • Representative Business/Commercial Matters
    Matters handled on the bench include the following:
    • Randall v. Campbell - Jury trial on claims by CEO that venture capitalist did not make good on promise to adequately fund the business venture (a corporate aviation business), thus allegedly causing demise of the business and leaving CEO out of work and with tarnished reputation
    • KLA Tencor v. Rigg – Heavily contested hearing on request for injunctive relief, under the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, to prevent departing scientist from undertaking similar work with competitor; included issue of application of doctrine of “inevitable disclosure” of trade secrets 
    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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