Deen in Paula Deen's Kitchen at Chicago Harrah's Joliet Casino & Hotel, which will be closing
The drama around Paula Deen
Nearly a week after parting ways
with her longtime agent Barry Weiner, the southern cook has decided to cut ties with the legal team of the firm Oliver Maner. The team was defending her against the civil lawsuit filed by Lisa Jackson, a former manager of Uncle Bubba's Seafood and Oyster House that Deen co-owns with her brother, Bubba Hiers.
A source close to the Deen family says "she and her team decided the previous attorneys were out of their depth."
Instead, Deen has hired Grace Speights, a Washington, D.C.-based partner in Morgan Lewis's Labor and Employment practice.
"They are one of the top labor firms in the country," says the source.
Her legal team will also consist of Patricia Glaser, whom The Hollywood Reporter
named one of America's top entertainment power lawyers this year and who has worked with Conan O'Brien and Keith Olbermann, and Harvey Weitz, a Savannah, Ga.-based attorney.
Deen is continuing to work with the publicity firm The Rose Group and has also hired Judy Smith – a.k.a. the inspiration for the main character, Olivia Pope, in ABC hit drama Scandal
– to help her come back from the dramatic downfall
, in which she lost a multitude of business deals
, following her admission in May to using a racial slur
during a legal deposition in connection with Jackson's civil suit.