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About me


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 included on the list of 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.  She was also 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.  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 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 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 Treasurer of the Missouri/Southern Illinois Chapter. She is a member of the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance, formerly Council for Litigation Management. She serves as the Secretary of the St. Louis CLM chapter.  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.



Litigation Practice Areas:    



Premises Liability

Products Liability

Personal Injury

Municipal Law

Employment Law

Fraud and Misrepresentation

Corporate & Commercial Litigation


Probate & Estate Planning

Pharmacy Liability

Domestic Relations





Columbia University, Certified Litigation Management Professional, 2013

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




Photos and videos

1855223 1290993884

Practice areas


  1. Lawsuits & Disputes: 50%
    28 years, 12.5 thousand cases
  2. Car Accident: 20%
    28 years, 12 thousand cases
  3. Transportation: 20%
    28 years, 11.5 thousand cases
  4. Employment: 10%
    28 years, 800 cases



Hourly ($195-250/hour)

Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

17 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Christine Antoinette Alsop

    Debbie excels in understanding the nuances of a case and developing a strategy that gives her client the clear advantage. If she is on your side, you have the gold standard in an advocate; if you are her opponent, you better keep on your toes.


    Christine Alsop Elder law Attorney
    Relationship: Worked together on matter

  • Brian Scott McChesney

    I highly recommend Debbie Champion. She has been my opposing counsel on multiple cases over the course of the last 23 years. In my opinion, she is one of the most skilled trial lawyers in St. Louis. She is is honest, ethical and -- as an added bonus -- an exceptional human being.


    Brian McChesney Personal injury Attorney
    Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter

Contact info

Rynearson Suess Schnurbusch & Champion, LLC

500 North Broadway
Suite 1550
St. Louis, MO, 63102-2448


ILActive And Authorized To Practice Law198908/10/2016
MOGood Standing, Active198801/08/2013
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
William McAlpin Pro Bono AwardLegal Services of Eastern Missouri2011
Top 10 Defense VerdictsMissouri Lawyers Weekly2010
Women in Law AwardWomen's Law Caucus Washington University School of Law2009
Lawyer's LawyerWomen Justice Awards2008
FellowLitigation Counsel of America2007
10 Outstanding Young St LouisansSt Louis Junior of Commerce1995
Pro Bono Publico AwardThe Missouri BarN/A
Volunteer Lawyer AwardLegal Services of Eastern MissouriN/A
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
PartnerRynearson Suess Schnurbusch & Champion LLC2000 - Present
PartnerEvans and Dixon1998 - 2000
AssociateEvans and Dixon1988 - 1998
Association namePosition nameDuration
Theodore McMillian American Inn of CourtMaster2010 - Present
National Restaurant and Retail Defense AssociationMember2009 - Present
National Association of Professional WomenMember2009 - Present
Lift for Life AcademyBoard Member2009 - Present
Tools 4 SchoolsPresident2008 - Present
Council for Litigation ManagementAttorney Member2007 - Present
Litigation Counsel of AmericaFellow2007 - Present
Lawyer's Association of St. LouisMember2000 - Present
Defense Research Institute, Insurance Law CommitteeMember2000 - Present
Missouri Organization of Defense LawyersMember1995 - Present
Bar Association of Metropolitan St. LouisMember1989 - Present
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Monnye Gross v. SNR, Manning, Theil, and BrachtCase settled after 5 days of trial with individual Defendant and Plaintiff dismissed case against all other defendants after 7 days of trial
Amanda Simmons et al v Heartland Wood ProductsWon-Defendant Verdict
Barbara Laber v. Dierbergs Markets, LLCWon--Defendant Verdict
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
Public Risk MagazineWorkers’ Comp Top Ten: How to Cut Costs in 20112011
Missouri Practice GuideSubrogation Chapter in Workers' Compensation Volume2004
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
Washington University School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1988
Murray State UniversityPsychology and Criminal JusticeB. S.1983
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Annual ConferenceConsidering Legal Process Outsourcing as Part of Wider Legal Cost Management: Limitations vs Benefits2011
Annual ConferenceVampires, Voodoo and Verdicts Frightening Issues in Insurance Defense Litigation2011
Adjuster TrainingMissouri First Party and Third Party Bad Faith Claims2011
Quarterly MeetingNegotiation 1012010
Missouri Legal UpdateVoir Dire2010