DeBry v. Godbe

In DeBry v. Godbe, 1999 UT 111, 992 P.2d 979, the Court held that a letter sent to six people discussing out-of-court occurrences was not excessively published. The letter was sent by Ms. Godbe, Mr. DeBry's counsel during his divorce proceedings. In that case, the Court first held that the judicial proceeding privilege applied to the letter. Next, the Court determined which of the people who received the letter had a sufficient connection to the judicial proceedings. The Court held that four of the people, including the trial judge, Mr. DeBry, Ms. Godbe's co-counsel, and Ms. DeBry's counsel, were all "directly involved in the judicial proceeding." The Court noted that the letter was not published to a fifth person because she never received or read it. Finally, the Court held that the sixth person, Ms. Godbe's own attorney, was sufficiently connected to the judicial proceeding because he had originally advised her to send the letter and therefore had a "legally justified reason for receiving the letter." Accordingly, the Court held that Ms. Godbe's letter did not lose the judicial proceeding privilege through excessive publication.