BUSINESS LAW

Our firm focuses on Business Law. Conveniently located in Saint Louis, Missouri, we serve national and local clients in the Bi-State area where the demand for our professional skills and expertise span dozens of local counties in Missouri and Illinois.

 

Whether the client is a large corporation or an entrepreneurial startup, and regardless of whether there are only two parties involved in the matter or multiple entities with varying and competing interests, we approach the representation with the same strategic, solution-driven intensity.

The Gateway Arch, Saint Louis, Missouri

 

We recognize that we have a responsibility to help clients solve their legal problems favorably, promptly, and economically. We believe that a practical, common sense and cost-effective approach to client problems and objectives is the best practice, and are assertive, strategic and effective advocates with a reputation for credibility earned by many appearances before state and federal judges, arbitrators and mediators.

 

CORPORATE FORMATION, RESTRUCTURING AND BUSINESS TRANSACTIONS

Corporate structuring and business agreements often involve complex legal issues and significant business and tax implications. We help our clients navigate the legal issues involved in transactions of all kinds and sizes from relatively straight-forward loans and leases to multimillion dollar acquisitions and sales. We advise and assist clients in a wide range of business-related transactions, providing seasoned and experienced counseling, assisting with the negotiation of terms, and drafting the appropriate contracts and documents. Every detail is done in a timely manner and in the most cost-effective fashion available.

 

REAL ESTATE LAW

Time is often money in real estate matters, and so we strive to deliver prompt turnaround without sacrificing quality or integrity. Our firm has helped landowners, developers, builders, investors, tenants, lenders and private homeowners achieve their real estate objectives through sound and experienced counseling.

 

We have extensive experience in representing lending institutions in dealing with all phases of distressed commercial real estate loans, from portfolio analysis to REO disposition. The firm has represented banks, insurance companies and other institutional lenders, and worked on all property types from single-family suburban land developments to downtown office buildings. We have represented numerous institutional creditors in negotiated restructurings, bankruptcies, foreclosures, receiverships of distressed investments, and REO disposition. The firm's legal team has also represented numerous institutional mortgagees in enforcing their lien rights in out-of-court restructurings, foreclosures and in bankruptcy proceedings.

 

314-795-9148

 

JOHN MARK HONGS, Principal Attorney

 

John is a business lawyer specializing in the areas of corporate formation and structure, commercial contracts, and real estate. His experience includes representing Fortune 500 Companies, other leading public corporations, banks and financial institutions, land holding companies and trusts, shopping mall developers, private equity funds, municipalities, and closely-held entities. He is also a recognized and peer-reviewed business litigator having significant successes in both jury and judge-tried cases.

 

More about John

12.04.2018
Westminster Legal Group
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NUTS AND BOLTS FOR THE NON-LAWYER: ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGE AND CONFIDENTIALITY The FBI’s recent raid of the office, home and hotel room of Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s longtime personal attorney, has pushed the issue of attorney-client privilege and confidentiality into the national conversation. At the time of the raid, the FBI sought documents and information relating to alleged “hush-money” payments made to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal to determine whether Cohen’s involvement rises to a level of a crime, prompting the President to post on Twitter that, “attorney-client privilege is dead.” The FBI’s raid is unusual and there is particular sensitivity in this case because Cohen’s activities were allegedly performed for the direct benefit of the President who the FBI may be investigating for possible obstruction of justice. In this context, the attorney-client privilege and confidentiality deserves some explanation. Fundamentally, the privilege exists so that a client is free to be completely honest and transparent with his legal counsel without fear of exposure or reprisal. It also exists so that the attorney may adequately and properly assist the client in the matter being discussed. Normally, a lawyer cannot reveal information relating to representation of a client unless the client consents to the disclosure. The attorney-client relationship begins when the legal advice of an attorney is sought and received from a lawyer. Generally speaking, the attorney-client privilege applies to information shared voluntarily by a client to a lawyer in confidence in a manner that no other recipient (other than those reasonably necessary for the transmission of the information) is expected to receive the information. It exists for the benefit of the client and survives the death of the client. The privilege applies to individuals as well as to corporate entities. For example. A manager or members of top management of a company may be a “client” for purposes of the privilege between the company and the attorney. There are exceptions to the attorney-client privilege. The privilege does not apply, for instance, where: - the attorney is authorized to make disclosures that are impliedly authorized in order to carry out the representation, except where the client's instructions or special circumstances, prohibit the disclosure; - the client’s communications concern future or contemplated frauds or crimes and where the lawyer believes that disclosure is reasonably necessary to prevent the client from committing a criminal act that will cause bodily harm or death; - competing claimants claim through the same deceased client necessitating the disclosure; - joint clients subsequently become involved in a controversy between or among themselves necessitating the disclosure; - in criminal proceedings when the attorney-client privilege is trumped by a criminal defendant's need for exculpatory evidence, and - the client has sued a lawyer for malpractice. A client may waive the attorney-client privilege. This occurs when the client specifically and expressly waives the privilege. In the case of a corporation, the company’s management, officers and directors may waive the privilege. Presumably, the FBI’s justification for the raid and search for attorney-client privileged information from the President’s attorney falls under the exception relating to fraud and crime. Specifically, the FBI was seeking evidence concerning a cover-up. The circumstances suggest that a judge issued the search warrant after concluding that the attorney-client privilege between President Trump and his attorney was being used in furtherance of a criminal act or that the privilege was being used to perpetuate a fraud. Normally, judges vigorously protect the sanctity of the attorney-client relationship and only abrogate that protection when there is sufficient and justifiable reason to do so.
Westminster Legal Group LLC
4240 Duncan Avenue, 2nd Floor
Saint Louis, Missouri 63110-1123
Phone: 314-795-9148 314-795-9148
Fax: 888 510-2972
E-mail Address:

Nothing presented on this website is intended to be legal advice. Every client’s situation must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

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© Westminster Legal Group, LLC. Licensed in Missouri and Illinois. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements. This disclosure is required by the Supreme Court of Missouri. The Supreme Court of Illinois does not recognize certifications of specialties in the practice of law and a certificate, award or recognition is not a requirement to practice law in Illinois.

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