Debbie S. Champion

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Civil Litigation Attorney in St. Louis, MO

Rynearson, Suess, Schnurbusch & Champion, LLC
 | 500 North Broadway, Suite 1550
St. Louis, MO 63102
Phone: 314-421-4430
Fax: 314-421-4431
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2005, 2010 - 2018
Licensed Since: 1988
Practice Areas:
  • Civil Litigation: Defense (40%),
  • Business Litigation (20%),
  • Personal Injury - General: Defense (20%),
  • Employment Litigation: Defense (20%)
Attorney Profile

Debbie Champion is a founding partner in the firm Rynearson, Suess, Schnurbusch and Champion. 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 is honored to be included in the Best Lawyers in America, and she appears on the Best Lawyers list in Personal Injury Litigation-Defendants, Insurance Law, and Litigation-Insurance. Champion was selected in 2017 and 2016 as the only female to hold the designation of Best Women Lawyer in both insurance litigation and in non-litigated insurance matters. She is one of two women in Missouri to hold the Best Women Lawyer designation in the area of personal injury defense. She appears in the America’s Top 100 Attorneys List.

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 a number of years, Ms. Champion has been named as one of the top 50 Women Lawyers in Missouri and Kansas by Superlawyers. 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 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.

Ms. Champion received the Lawyer's Lawyer Award by the Women's Justice Awards. 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.

Ms. Champion serves on the Board of Lift for Life Academy, the first charter school in the city of St. Louis. She is also on the Board of Seeds of Blessing, the for-profit arm of the Blessing Basket Project. In the past, she served on the Board of Directors and the Advisory Board of the Junior Chamber of Commerce, and the Board of Directors of Shelter the Children. She was an active early member of Kids' Inc., a charitable organization for underprivileged children of East St. Louis, Illinois. Ms. Champion is founder and president of Tools for Schools, a not for profit corporation which distributes school supplies to needy schools and children.

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 serves as the President Elect of the Missouri/Southern Illinois Chapter. She is a member of the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance, formerly Council for Litigation Management. She is on the Board of Directors for the Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers. She is a Fellow in the American Bar Foundation.

Ms. Champion served on the 21st Judicial Circuit Judicial Commission as part of Missouri's non-partisan court plan for a 6 year term. Ms. Champion has served for the Supreme Court of Missouri as a member of the Ad Hoc Committee to Study Expert Discovery. In 2013, she acted as the Chairman of the Steering Committee for Legal Services of Eastern Missouri.

Practice Areas
Lawyer Practice Area Pie Chart

Civil Litigation (40%)

Business Litigation (20%)

Personal Injury - General (20%): Motor Vehicle Accidents, Slip and Fall, Wrongful Death, Construction Accident, Brain Injury, Personal Injury - Defense

Employment Litigation (20%): Employment Discrimination, Employment Law - Employer

Focus Areas

Motor Vehicle Accidents, Slip and Fall, Wrongful Death, Construction Accident, Brain Injury, Personal Injury - Defense, Employment Discrimination, Employment Law - Employer


Selected to Super Lawyers for 10 yearsbottom-image

Super Lawyers: 2005, 2010 - 2018

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To: Debbie S. Champion
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White Papers

  • Cutting Employers' Worker's Compensation Costs (2011) - Suggestions for employers attempting to cut costs in administering worker's compensation claims

  • About Debbie Champion

    Admitted: 1988, Missouri

    Professional Webpage:


    • Best Lawyer, Insurance Law, 2016
    • Best Women Lawyer-Missouri, Personal Injury, 2016
    • Best Women Lawyer-Missouri, Insurance, Litigation and Non-Litigation, 2016
    • Best Lawyer, Insurance Litigation, 2016
    • Best Lawyer, Personal Injury Defendants, 2016
    • Outstanding Litigator, Women's Lawyer Awards, Missouri Media, 2016
    • Outstanding Young Alumni, Washington University, 2012
    • Most Defense Verdicts, Missouri Lawyers Media, 2011
    • Missouri Lawyer's Weekly, Top 10 Defense Verdicts, 2011
    • Lawyer's Lawyer Award, 2008
    • Volunteer Lawyer's Award, Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, 1996
    • Pro Bono Publico Award, Missouri Bar Association
    • William McAlpin Pro Bono Award, Legal Services of Eastern Missouri
    • AV rating, Martindale-Hubbell
    • 10 Outstanding Young St Louisan, Junior Chamber of Commerce St Louis
    • Distinguished Young Alumni Award, Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, Missouri, 2012
    • Top 50 Women Lawyers
    • Super Lawyers of Missouri & Kansas
    • Rated 10 (Superb) on

    Special Licenses/Certifications:

    • CLMP (Certified Litigation Management Professional), Columbia University School of Law., 2013

    Bar/Professional Activity:

    • Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers, Board Member, 2014
    • Member of the Ad Hoc Committee, Supreme Court of Missouri , 2010
    • Chairman, Alumni Executive Committee, School of Law at Washington University, 2006
    • Legal representative, 21st Judicial Circuit Judicial Commission under the Missouri non Partisan Court Plan, 2005
    • Chairman, Steering Committee for Legal Services of Eastern Missouri
    • St. Louis CLM chapter, Secretary
    • Treasurer, Southern Illinois Chapter
    •  Treasurer, Missouri Chapter
    • Claims and Litigation Alliance
    • Fellow, Litigation Council of America
    • Lawyers Association of St. Louis
    • American Board of Trial Advocates
    • Supreme Court of the United States
    • U. S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
    • United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois
    • United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri
    • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri
    • National Associan of Professional Women
    • Theodore McMillian American Inn of Court
    • Your House Counsel
    • Women's Lawyers Association
    • Missouri Organization of Defense Attorneys
    • Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis
    • Litigation Counsel of America
    • Counsel for Litigation Management
    • Commercial Law League of America
    • Defense Research Institute
    • Missouri Bar Association
    • American Bar Associateion, Tort & Insuranc Practice Section
    • American Bar Association, Trial Practice Committee
    • American Bar Association

    Pro bono/Community Service:

    • Board Member, Seeds of Blessing, 2011
    • Tools for Schools, President and Founder, 2008
    • Kids' Inc., Member
    • Board of Directors, Shelter the Children
    • Advisory Board, Junior Chamber of Commerce
    • Women Presidents' Organization
    • Volunter Lawyers' Program
    • Women's Professional Organization
    • Board Member Lift for Life Academy

    Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

    • Annual Conference, New Orleans, Considering Legal Process Outsourcing as Part of Wider Legal Cost Management: Limitations vs. Benefits, Council for Litigation Management, 2011
    • Annual Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana, Vampires, Voodoo & Verdicts; Frightening Issues in Insurance Defense, Council for Litigation Management, 2011
    • Presentation for Continuing Legal Education, How to Try a Premises Liability Case, Missouri Bar, 2008
    • Presentation to Missouri PRIMA, Lake of the Ozarks, Why do these attorneys take up all my time, Missouri Public Risk Association, 2008
    • Speaker at Prima Annual Conference, Anaheim, CA, Why do these Attorneys take up all my time, PRIMA, PRIMA, 2008
    • Presented at ANPAC annual attorney conference, Bad Faith: From levy failure to missing medical records, Ligation Conference, American National Property & Casualty Insurance Company, 2007
    • Discovering Discovery, Mini Law School, Bar Association of Metropolitan St Louis, St. Louis University, April 2010
    • Reservations of Rights, Training of Adjusters, Gallagher Bassett Services, Inc., Maryland Heights, MO, 2010
    • Litigation 102, Presentation for Adjuster Training, Swiss Re, Council for Litigation Management, 2010
    • Shakespearian Suggestions regarding the Attorney/Adjuster Obligations on Matters of Coverage. Council for Litigation Management, Annual Conference, Ponte Vedra, Florida, May, 2010
    • Negotiation 101, Missouri PRIMA Quarterly Meeting, Columbia, Missouri, November 2010
    • Voir Dire, Simon Law Firm Seminar to benefit Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, Missouri Athletic Club, June 2010
    • Negotiation 101, Missouri PRIMA Quarterly Meeting, Columbia, Missouri, November 2010
    • Missouri First Party and Third Party Bad Faith Claims, Claims Representative Training, Sentry Insurance Company, Davenport, Iowa, January 2011

    Educational Background:

    • Murray State University, Masters Coursework, Psychology, 1984 -1985, 1985
    • Murray State University, B.S., Psychology and Criminal Justice, 1983
    Find Me Online
    Website -
    Office Location for Debbie S. Champion

    500 North Broadway
    Suite 1550
    St. Louis, MO 63102

    Phone: 314-421-4430

    Fax: 314-421-4431

    Debbie S. Champion:

    Last Updated: 6/25/2018

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