BREAKING NEWS: Fighting a Bully – And Winning

BREAKING NEWS: Fighting a Bully – And Winning

By Robert Haugh

I have great news. Four months after Santa Clara Weekly Publisher Miles Barber filed a lawsuit against me in an effort to stop me from writing Santa Clara News Online, we’ve won the case.

Judge Mary E. Arand has granted my special motion to strike the complaint under California’s Anti-SLAPP statute, finding that the complaint was aimed at my free speech and that Miles could not produce sufficient evidence to show he could prevail.


This was a case of a bully using a lawsuit to try to intimidate me, and stop me from publishing news and opinion. Miles used frivolous and incorrect information.  And he lost.

I’m sure he thought I couldn’t fight back … But the community rallied to help me by contributing to a legal defense fund that allowed me to hire Kenneth White, a great lawyer who believes in the First Amendment.  I’ll always be grateful to the community and Kenneth.

This is also a win for online publishing and the First Amendment.

We’re not quite done. Miles has 60 days to decide to appeal. I’ll let all of you know if we’re going to Round 2 of this fight. I hope you’ll be with me again.

Thanks for helping with this victory. I’m as happy as Steph Curry and Kevin Durant this week.

Here are links to what I wrote in the past about this lawsuit:

  • I Stood Up to a Bully and Others Are Standing With Me

  • Fighting a Bully Publisher, the Community Rallies

  • Help Protect the First Amendment and Freedom of the Press in a David vs Goliath Fight in Santa Clara

Editor’s Note:  I wanted to share this news right away. I’ll do a recap of the council meeting tomorrow. I hope you don’t mind.







  1. Weak case, but publicity … He’d be an idiot to appeal … Never mind … I’ve read his columns.

  2. Good for you Robert … MIles must be grumpier than usual after that dose of cold water.

    Well done and well deserved!

  3. Wonderful news.

    I hope Miles doesn’t appeal, but I would not be surprised if he does.

    I wonder if some outside person or organization is bankrolling Miles lawsuit.

  4. I’m an attorney (retired) and know plenty about SLAPP and anti-SLAPP motions. Congratulations. You were indeed wise enough to hire a good attorney. Speaking from decades of experience, this is the most critical thing a client can do to help his or her chances of prevailing. I’m sure Mr. White will tell you that Mr. Barber must pay your legal fees for the motion and, if you prevail, as I believe you would, on appeal, Mr. Barber will be responsible for those additional costs as well.

    The anti-SLAPP law was established to prevent people from using frivolous lawsuits to intimidate others from exercising their right to free speech and help protect our beloved First Amendment. I’m glad to see in your case that it worked.

  5. I contributed for Round 1 and I will happily do it again for Round 2. My friends and neighbors will contribute too because they now see that the fight can be won. Great job. Keep up the fight.

  6. Great news, Robert. As you say, we all won. Our first amendment rights are under attack daily and it is nice to see one in the win column. If you go to round two you can count on me again. (but not the big bucks dark money dollars like the 49ers)

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