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I have a strong suspicion that my former employer contacted my prospective employer (shortly after I resigned) and possibly, out of malice, gave me a negative recommendation or made false statements to persuade her to recind my employment offer. ...
In addition to the common law theories mentioned by others (which are looking at the potential liability of the prospective employer), Labor Code Section 1050 makes it illegal for a former employer to make a misrepresentation to a prospective employer. It's unlikely that the prospective employer will tell you what the former employer said. Consider using one of the reference check services, either with or without the guidance of an attorney.See question