Paula Deen's Horrible Legal Advice, With Don McNay, Huffington Post Columnist & Settlement Expert

When considering doing a deposition, one needs to think about whether they want the lawsuit out in public.  This decision needs to be made from a risk-management standpoint and Don McNay, settlement expert and Huffington Post columnist, says that he doesn't know what Paula Deen was trying to gain from doing the deposition. 

McNay suspects the Paula Deen camp never anticipated the backlash that has since ensued from the deposition, leading to a destroyed career.  In her situation, McNay says they would have been better off settling the case.  Paula Deen has turned a $100,000 harassment employment case into a million dollar case, not to mention the millions she's going to lose on the other side.  "There's that point if you're assessing a risk, you have to look at everything," he adds.  Lawsuits can get very personal, says McNay but it's not just about emotions, rather it's about the long-term and the money.  The settlement is going to happen in money and "outrage doesn't pay for a whole lot," McNay says. 

McNay believes that if you schedule an appearance, you show up and that Paula Deen's You Tube video was poorly put together.  From a PR standpoint, it didn't win her over and it was a disaster, he notes.

Lawsuits are often settled to avoid public backlash and if you are a brand, especially a single-person brand in this case, a legal team should do everything to protect that brand.   "That's what risk-management should do," says McNay.  While he's not sure if Paula Deen insisted on testifying but even then, her lawyers should have taken control of the situation.  "If you have good lawyers, you need to listen to them and that's the first thing I tell anybody," McNay adds.

Don McNay

Don McNay

Don McNay is a columnist with the Huffington Post.  To read his column on this case, click here.   For more information on Don McNay, go to  This video was broadcast by The Legal Broadcast Network, providing online, on-demand, legal video content.



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