Debbie S. Champion

Debbie S. Champion

Rynearson, Suess, Schnurbusch & Champion L.L.C.

Recognized since 2015

St. Louis, Missouri

Practice Areas

Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law

Government Relations Practice

Insurance Law

Litigation - Insurance

Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants

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Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2023 - Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2020 - Litigation - Insurance
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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. 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 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.

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 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


Insurance Law

Insurance Coverage

Probate & Estate Planning

Pharmacy Liability

Domestic Relations


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


Missouri Bar

Illinois Bar

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


Best Lawyers in America

American Board of Trial Advocates

American Bar Association

American Bar Foundation, Fellow

Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis

Lawyers Association of St. Louis

Defense Research Institute

Volunteer Lawyers' Program

Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers

Fellow, Litigation Council of America

Claims and Litigation 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

Litigation Counsel of America

  • 500 North Broadway, Suite 1550
    St. Louis, MO 63102
  • English
  • Washington University in St. Louis, J.D., graduated 1988
  • Columbia University, CLMP, graduated 2011
  • Murray State University, Psychology, graduated 1983
  • Murray State University, BA Criminal Justice, graduated 1983
Bar Admissions
  • Missouri, 1988
  • Illinois, 1989
  • Wyoming, United States
  • American Bar Association - Member
  • American Bar Foundation - Fellow
  • American Board of Trial Advocates - Advocate
  • Bar Association of Metropolitan St Louis - Member
  • Claims and Litigation Management Alliance - Member
  • Lawyers Association of St Louis - Member
  • Lift for Life Academy - Board Member
  • Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers - Board
  • Theodore McMillian Inns of Court - Master, Board
  • Tools for Schools - President
  • Women Lawyers Association - Member
  • Your House Counsel - Member
Federal Clerkships
  • United States District Court

Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2023 - Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2020 - Litigation - Insurance
Named "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers® for:
  • Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants, St. Louis (2023)
  • Litigation - Insurance, St. Louis (2020)
Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® 2024 for work in:
  • Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law
  • Government Relations Practice
  • Insurance Law
  • Litigation - Insurance
  • Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants
  • Most Defense Verdicts in Missouri
  • Largest Defense Verdict in Missouri
  • Lawyers Lawyer Award, Women's Justice Award
  • Outstanding Young St Louisan
  • Distinguished Young Alumni Award, Washington University School of Law
  • Superb Rating on AVVO
  • AV Rating, Highest Rating on Martindale Hubbell
  • Superlawyer of Missouri and Kansas
  • Top 50 St Louis Attorney, Superlawyers
  • Top 50 Women Attorneys in Missouri and Kansas
  • Pro Bono Publico Award, The Missouri Bar
  • Fellow, Litigation Council of America
  • Advocate, American Board of Trial Advocacy
  • Best Lawyers in America, Insurance
  • Best Lawyers in America, Insurance Litigation
  • Best Lawyers in America, Personal Injury Defense Litigation
  • Willliam McAlpin pro bono award, Legal Services of Eastern Missouri
  • Outstanding Volunteer Attorney, Legal Services of Eastern Missouri
Additional Areas of Practice:
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Litigation - Municipal
  • Transportation Law
  • Trusts and Estates


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