Four Lewis Rice Attorneys Named 2024 ‘Lawyer of the Year’ by Best Lawyers in America®

Best Lawyers® has named Lewis Rice members John M. Hessel, Joseph E. Martineau, Jaime R. Mendez, and Douglas S. Stone among its "Lawyers of the Year" for 2024. Best Lawyers® compiles lists of outstanding attorneys by conducting exhaustive peer-review surveys in which thousands of leading lawyers confidentially evaluate their professional peers. Only one attorney in each practice area and designated metropolitan area may receive the honor of "Lawyer of the Year."

Click here to view the 2024 Lewis Rice attorneys named Best Lawyers® .

John M. Hessel - Litigation and Municipal Law Lawyer of the Year

John M. Hessel represents business clients in commercial transactions and commercial litigation. His diverse client base spans a variety of industries, including service institutions, manufacturers, municipal corporations, financial institutions, publishing companies and local and national media entities. A particular focus of John's practice is Municipal Law. John is the long-standing city attorney for Kirkwood and Florissant, Missouri. He advises these cities and other municipalities, fire districts, state and local bonding authorities, and other governmental bodies in a number of complex matters including labor law, Sunshine Law, contractual issues, environmental issues, pension issues, zoning, and traditional litigation cases. Best Lawyers®  has included John in its annual list since 2009.

Joseph E. Martineau - Media Law Lawyer of the Year

Joseph E. Martineau focuses his practice on media and communications law as well as intellectual property law, health law litigation, and complex commercial litigation. His clients include local and national major media representatives. Joe has tried cases in both the state and federal courts in Missouri and Illinois, and he has argued cases in the appellate and Supreme Courts in each state. Joe writes articles and publications in the fields of defamation and invasion of privacy law, the First Amendment, and media law in general. An adjunct professor at Washington University for 20 years, he teaches a course on communications law. Furthermore, Joe frequently appears on panels and conferences dealing with media law issues, and he authored the Missouri Bar CLE Tort Law chapters on Defamation, Invasion of Privacy, and Reputational Damages. Best Lawyers®  has included Joseph in its annual list since 2005.

Jaime R. Mendez - Trusts and Estates Lawyer of the Year

Jaime R. Mendez advises individuals who require sophisticated estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax planning. He handles sales to irrevocable grantor trusts, family limited partnerships, grantor retained annuity trusts, qualified personal residence trusts, and similar wealth transfer techniques. Jaime also advises individual and corporate fiduciaries in connection with estate and trust administration. He devotes a significant portion of his practice to representing individuals with estate and gift tax audits. Best Lawyers®  has included Jaime in its annual list since 2008.

Douglas S. Stone - Land Use and Zoning Law Lawyer of the Year

Doug provides both the private sector and municipalities with legal advice and strategic insight on conventional real estate projects as well as incentivized projects using such tools as tax increment financing, transportation development districts, urban redevelopment corporations and community improvement districts. He previously served as special counsel to Kansas City, Missouri with respect to the legal structure and financing of the downtown streetcar starter line, and remains deeply involved in civic discussions of improving public transit in and around Kansas City. Projects for which Doug has helped obtain zoning, incentives, and other governmental approvals include several well-known buildings, including the residential repurposing of the Western Auto Building and the Weld Wheel manufacturing facility in Kansas City, the development of the National Personnel Records Center of the National Archives in St. Louis, and Prewitt's Point and Eagles' Landing regional shopping centers at the Lake of the Ozarks. Best Lawyers®  has included Doug in its annual list since 2016.