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Yes, his actions would give you a cause of action for defamation. Let me explain what constitutes defamation first. Defamation can result from either slander or libel. Libel is defamation that can be seen...i.e, a writing, printing, effigy, movie,or statue. Slander is defamation that is spoken and heard. They are both civil injuries that harm reputation, cause a reduction in respect, regard or confidence, or cause disparaging, hostile or disagreeable opinions or feelings against an individual or entity. The laws regarding libel and slander are the same. To prevail in a defamation suit for libel or slander and recover damages, a person ("Person A") must prove 4 things: (i) another person ("Person B") conveyed a
defamatory message they knew or should have known to be false; (ii) the material was published (i.e., conveyed to someone other than Person A); (iii) Person A can be identified as the person referred to in the defamatory material; and (iv) Person A suffered an injury to Person A's reputation as a result of the communication. Your situation would satisfy the foregoing elements. Typically, before actually filing the suit, you would send them a letter detailing the situation and demanding that they: i) retract all prior defamatory statements made, and ii) cease and desist from making any in the future. In my experience, the letter is generally sufficient as the offending party will comply with your demands rather than risk the costs of a suit they are sure to lose, the actual and possibly punitive damages that may be imposed by a court, and the judgment being on the record.
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