Paula Deen replaces legal team, hires D.C. attorney Grace Speights

Paula Deen in 2010. (Nick Ut / AP) Paula Deen in 2010. (Nick Ut / AP)

Paula Deen has ditched her defense team — and hired a Beltway legal eagle.

The Southern foodie, facing allegations of racial slurs in a workplace discrimination suit, filed court papers Thursday cutting loose her Savannah-based law firms, Oliver Maner and Gillen, Withers & Lake.

In their place: A new legal team led by Grace Speights, an employment litigation specialist and partner in the D.C. office of Morgan Lewis, who has an interesting resume. She’s a regular on those “top Washington litigators” and “most powerful women lawyers” lists — and in the ’90s, as local president of the National Bar Association, a group of African-American lawyers, pushed to diversify D.C. law firms.

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Paula Deen: Can she save her career? Crisis managers weigh in

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Amy Argetsinger · July 11, 2013