Michael Persoon is an associate with Despres, Schwartz and Geoghegan, Ltd. He is a results-focused attorney who has represented workers and unions in fighting for justice in the work place since 2008. In addition to fighting race discrimination, wrongful termination, minimum wage violations and unfair labor practices, Mike has advised employees and prospective employers on matters relating to non-compete clauses, trade secret issues as well as negotiating severances, including in the technology startup sector.
Since 2008, Mike has helped recover more than $7 million for workers and restored many of them to their jobs with backpay.
Mike has also worked on key constitutional law cases from protecting the principle of one-person, one-vote; to the landmark case Judge v. Quinn, 387 Fed. Appx. 629 (7th Cir. Ill. 2010)(enforcing the 17th Amendment’s requirement of direct election of senators), to securing a 9-0 opinion enforcing due process rights from the U.S. Supreme Court in Union Pac. R.R. v. BLET, 558 U.S. 67 (U.S. 2009).
Beyond his work in civil rights, consumer class actions, and constitutional law, Mike has provided ongoing consulting to organizations, drafted and negotiated legislation, and provided right-priced counseling and litigation to technology startups, their employees and owners.
Education, Bar Admissions and Memberships
J.D. (2007) DePaul University College of Law
Admitted to practice in:
- All Illinois Courts
- 7th Circuit Court of Appeals
- 8th Circuit Court of Appeals
- Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar)
- Central District of Illinois
- Eastern District of Missouri
- Eastern District of Wisconsin
Mike also has represented persons before:
- Private arbitration
- Federal Railroad Administration
- National Railroad Adjustment Board
- Surface Transportation Board
- National Labor Relations Board
- Illinois Labor Relations Board
- Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board
- D.C. Cir. Court of Appeals
- United States Supreme Court
- Won $750,000 resolution of race discrimination claim related to disparate treatment of government contractor.
- Won significant monetary relief upon filing of complaint for single mother who suffered pregnancy discrimination.
- Won more than $1.75 million for three classes of persons who suffered mass layoffs in violation of the WARN Act.
- Secured significant monetary damages for worker wrongfully terminated after filing a workers compensation claim.
- Negotiated enhanced severance for worker wrongfully terminated.
- Successfully asserted Lanham Act and right of publicity rights of not-for-profit against national political figure.
- Successfully represented Union in contested representation hearing before the NLRB.
- Negotiated favorable settlement for plaintiff suing consumer lender for charging excessive interest.
Defense Work and Counseling
- Resolved claims brought by U.S. Attorney against national not-for-profit in politically tinged fraud case.
- Won directed verdict in favor of technology entrepreneur on breach of contract claims after previously having won dismissal of claims for fraud, consumer fraud, and breach of the covenant of good faith.
- Prevailed on motion to dismiss case brought by ERISA fiduciary to claw back money paid to retired worker.
- Won partial dismissal and ultimately resolved without payment or liability a multi-billion dollar claim brought by Fortune 500 technology company against employee as part of suit alleging international corporate espionage and theft.
- Negotiated severance for key employees of technology startup.