Sources: Settlement in Paula Deen discrimination lawsuit likely - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Settlement in Paula Deen discrimination suit likely, sources say

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

More filings were made Tuesday in the lawsuit against Paula Deen, but as WTOC first reported Monday, the lawsuit may not make it to trial. 

Neither side will confirm a settlement, but WTOC has been told by people close to the situation that a settlement, if it hasn't already been agreed on, is almost a done deal. 

Motions were filed in court Monday and Tuesday for summary judgment from both sides and responses from both sides. WTOC's sources call it "legal theater," with lawyers going though the motions and responding to make sure neither side missteps. 

On Monday night, legal counsel for the plaintiff Lisa Jackson told WTOC a settlement had been reached and final papers could be filed Monday night. On Monday night, he retracted his statement. 

Legal experts said that with a case this high-profile - details such as rehabilitating Deen's public image and who says what and when - is just as important as the money amount they agree on as a settlement.

In most cases similar to this, to make sure the agreement stays on the table, each side will continue to respond to motions made in court. But a settlement could be reached, if it hasn't already, soon. It just may not be announced publicly. 

All the motions made in court since Monday night have been sealed by U.S. District Court Judge William T. Moore. 

Jackson quit Uncle Bubba's Oyster House as their general manager exactly three years ago. This lawsuit has been going on for well over a year.

Even though the judge threw out the race allegations of the lawsuit on Monday morning, which are the allegations that drew the most publicity and attention and are largely to blame for Deen's recent public troubles, the core of the lawsuit remains.

Sexual harassment and work place discrimination made up the bulk of the lawsuit, but WTOC was told, it is highly unlikely this case will make it to trial. 

Both sides are not making any public comments so far. If a settlement is reached, it probably won't come with a news conference and statement. It will happen quietly.

Copyright 2013 WTOC. All rights reserved.

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