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Understanding Separation Agreements

CareerCast - Life-long Career Development

Jon Vegosen Did you know that at will employment is the standard for many places around the world? While you may be aware of this, the vast majority of people who are presented with a separation agreement don’t know how to manage their initial reaction and what to do next. Jon Vegosen, founding member of Chicago corporate and litigation law firm Funkhouser Vegosen Liebman and Dunn Ltd. (“FVLD”) and former co-managing partner would tell you that there are strategies to be aware of and manage through. In the next CareerCast, Jon will share his insights on understanding separating agreements in a rapidly changing market so you can better handle the process by taking a preventive and proactive approach.

Aired January 20, 2023

Jon Vegosen is a founding member of Chicago corporate and litigation law firm Funkhouser Vegosen Liebman and Dunn Ltd. (“FVLD”), where he was co-managing partner for many years. Jon firmly believes in the importance of helping clients avoid and solve problems and earning their trust, especially by taking a preventive and proactive approach. He is widely known as the consummate, caring, and responsive lawyer that clients value.

While he has a broad-based legal background, including having served as a law clerk to a federal judge, Jon concentrates in labor and employment matters. Jon speaks widely, and has authored several articles, about employment and business issues, including hiring and terminating employees; employment and separation agreements; preventing and investigating harassment; the importance of documentation; effective interviewing; diversity and inclusion; non-competition and non-solicitation agreements; board effectiveness; and reinventing one’s business.

Since 2002, Jon has been a member of Vistage, a peer mentoring membership organization for CEO’s, and he has been a Vistage speaker since 2004. Jon received a 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award from Vistage, the world’s largest CEO coaching and peer advisory organization for small and midsize businesses. The Award honors long-standing members who “see no finish line in their pursuit of world class. With a track record of bold decisions benefiting company, community and beyond, they are a beacon to Vistage peers even as they achieve personal greatness.”

Jon has received the highest of professional peer review ratings, has been designated as a Leading Lawyer in Employment Law by Leading Lawyers Network for many years, and has been chosen as a Super Lawyer in Illinois in employment law for several years.  Jon has served on several boards of directors, including as Chairman of the Board, President, & CEO of the United States Tennis Association in 2011 and 2012. Since 2015, he has been Chairman of the Board of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.

Jon graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Northwestern University, where he played varsity tennis all four years, was captain of the tennis team his junior and senior years, and was selected to the All-Big Ten Conference Team his senior year. Jon received his J.D. from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, graduating cum laude. In law school, Jon served as a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Criminal and Criminology.

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Coming Back: How to Win the Job You Want When You've Lost the Job You Need by Fawn Germer (2021)

Getting More: How You Can Negotiate to Succeed in Work and Life, by Stuart Diamond (2012)

Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, by Roger Fisher and William L. Ury (2011)

Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High (Second Edition), by Kerry Patterson and Joseph Grenny (2011)

Secrets of Power Negotiating, 15th Anniversary Edition: Inside Secrets from a Master Negotiator by Roger Dawson (2010)

Negotiation Genius: How to Overcome Obstacles and Achieve Brilliant Results at the Bargaining Table and Beyond..., by Deepak Malhotra and Max Bazerman (2008)

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, by Robert B. Cialdini (2006)

Read Effective Use of Separation Agreements

Read the legal update for Effective Use of Separation Agreements In The Current Economic Crisis by Jonathan Vegosen.

Read the Excerpt