Debbie Champion
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Debbie Champion

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DEBBIE S. CHAMPION
PARTNER
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Office: 314.421.4430

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Debbie Champion is a founding partner in the firm Rynearson, Suess, Schnurbusch and Champion, one of the 25 largest law firms in Missouri.  Ms. Champion actively practices in Missouri and Southern Illinois state and federal courts.  She has argued before the Missouri Supreme Court and the Eastern, Western and Southern District Missouri Courts of Appeals, and the Illinois Court of Appeals.  She has also argued in the federal court of the United States District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Missouri, and the Eighth Circuit and the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. She is a member of the Bar of the United States Supreme Court.

Ms. Champion has been named to the top 50 attorneys in St Louis and the top 100 attorneys in Missouri.  She has been honored by the St. Louis Small Business Magazine as a Wonder Woman. and by the St Louis Business Journal as one of the Top 25 Most Influential Business Women in St. Louis.

Ms. Champion has been selected to the Best Lawyers in America, and she appears on the Best Lawyers list in Personal Injury Litigation-Defendants, Insurance Law, and Litigation-Insurance. She is the Lawyer of the Year for Missouri in the area of Litigation-Insurance. She appears in the America’s Top 100 Attorneys List and received the Lawyer's Lawyer Award by the Women's Justice Awards.

Ms. Champion was selected to be a member of Litigation Counsel of America, an honorary society honoring the top one-half of one percent of American lawyers.  For several years, Ms. Champion has been named as one of the top 50 Women Lawyers in Missouri and Kansas by Super Lawyers. Champion achieved the most Defense Verdicts in Missouri in 2012 and 2013 and one of the largest Defense Wins in 2011.  In 2016, Champion received an award for Outstanding Litigation Practitioner by the Missouri Lawyer’s Weekly’s Women Justice Awards.  She was honored as one of Ten Outstanding Young St. Louisans by the St. Louis Junior Chamber of Commerce. She is rated as Superb on AVVO.com.   In 2013, she received the CLMP certification as a certified litigation management professional from her study at the Columbia School of Law in New York.

In addition to her heavy trial calendar and office responsibilities at the firm, Ms. Champion devotes many hours to community and charitable causes, and she actively provides legal services to the indigent.  She is a recipient of the William McAlpin Pro Bono Award, an Outstanding Volunteer Award from Legal Services of Eastern Missouri and the Missouri Pro Bono Publico Award from the Missouri Bar Association. She was recently honored by the Women's Law Caucus of Washington University for her commitment to the advancement of women in the law.  She was selected as an Outstanding Young Alumni of Washington University in 2012. She was awarded the Peter Perlman Award for 2019 for the Litigation Counsel of America, an award highlighting a career of community service.

Ms. Champion serves on the Board of Lift for Life Academy, the first charter school in the City of St. Louis. Ms. Champion is founder and president of Tools for Schools, a not for profit corporation which provides stipends to public school teachers who strive to provide enrichment to their classrooms.  She has served on multiple boards for non-profit companies in the St. Louis area.

Ms. Champion has served as an expert witness on insurance bad faith and vexatious refusal to pay cases.  She has authored several published articles and book chapters.  She often presents educational seminars to clients and to the legal community, including several annual conference presentations to industry groups each year.

Ms. Champion is an Advocate member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, a national association of experienced trial lawyers and judges dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the civil jury trial.  She is a member of the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance, formerly Council for Litigation Management. She currently serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors for the Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers.  She is a Fellow in the American Bar Foundation, and she is proud to be a Master in the Theodore McMillian Inns of Court.

Practice Areas:
Transportation
Premises Liability
Products Liability
Personal Injury
Bad Faith Litigation
Municipal Law
Employment Law
Fraud and Misrepresentation
Corporate & Commercial Litigation
Shareholder Litigation
Agen and Director Liability
Subrogation
Insurance Law
Insurance Coverage
Probate & Estate Planning
Pharmacy Liability
Domestic Relations

Education:
Washington University School of Law
     Juris Doctorate, 1988

Murray State University
     Bachelor of Science, Psychology, 1983
     Bachelor of Science, Criminal Justice, 1983
     Psychology Masters Coursework, 1984, 1985

Columbia University
     Certificat, Litigation Management Professional, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Licensure:
Missouri Bar 1988
Illinois Bar 1989
United States District Court for the Eastern & Western Districts of Missouri and for Southern Illinois
U. S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
Supreme Court of the United States

Associations:
Best Lawyers in America, Lawyer of the Year 2020 Litigation-Insurance
American Board of Trial Advocates
American Bar Association
America's Top 100 Attorneys
America's Top 100 Civil Defense Litigators
American Bar Foundation, Fellow
Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis
Lawyers Association of St. Louis
Litigation Counsel of America, Member
     Member, Diversity Law Institute
     Order of Certus, Order of Centurions
Defense Research Institute
Volunteer Lawyers' Program
Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers, Vice President
Fellow, Claims and Litigation Management Alliance
Women Presidents' Organization
Super Lawyers of Missouri & Kansas
     Top 100 Lawyers in Missouri
     Top 50 Lawyers in St. Louis
     Top 50 Women Lawyers
Commercial Law League of America
Your House Counsel, Missouri Member