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The lawyer who said that you have a case only if you can prove he shared it with someone other than a family member gave you incorrect information. If someone is making false and defamatory statements about someone, he can sue for slander (spoken false and defamatory statements), libel (written false and defamatory statements), defamation of character, and for an injunction to stop defendant from continuing to make false and defamatory statements and for damages. The Plaintiff must prove all of elements that constitute defamatory statements,
1. Defendant made false and defamatory statements about Plaintiff
2. Defendant knew the statements were false, or were made in reckless disregard of their truthfulness
3. Defendant published" the false Published" means that he conveyed the false and defamatory statements to a person other than the Plaintiff verbally (slander), or in writing (libel)
4. Plaintiff suffered damages to his or her name and reputation in the community
A Plaintiff only needs to prove that the defendant made the false statements to an individual other than the Plaintiff. It could be to a family or non-family member, there is no distinction. If your husband made those statements only to you, that would not constitute a "third person", but if he made the statements to his family, then that satisfies the third element of "published" in defamation of character.
If your husband made or wrote statements saying that you had committed a crime, that would be "slander per se", or "libel per se", then you would not have to prove damages because the rule in defamation of character cases is that if a Plaintiff is accused of committing a crime, that is defamatory in and of itself and damages need not be proven. It is taken for granted that a Plaintiff will suffer damages if they are accused of a crime.
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