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Joseph S. Passanise graduated with honors from Missouri State University with an undergraduate degree in Political Science and Communication (1991) and a Master of Arts in Communication (1993). He continued his education as a Rotary Scholar, obtaining a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of London, Imperial College (1995). He received a Juris Doctor degree, with Honors, from Washburn University School of Law (1997).

Passanise is licensed to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, and both the Western and Eastern District Federal Courts in Missouri. He has been fortunate to practice in many Federal and State Jurisdictions in the United States. As the Managing Partner of Wampler & Passanise, he practices criminal defense in Federal, State, and Municipal Courts. For over 25 years, he practiced law with Partner the late Dee Wampler and has been at the Firm for close to 35 years.

His peers have recognized Passanise as one of the "Best Lawyers" in America for 17 years (2007-Present) in the practice areas of criminal defense, white-collar crimes, and DUI defense, and as Springfield Lawyer of the Year for Criminal Defense: General Practice (2021). He was "Springfield Lawyer of the Year for Criminal Defense: White Collar" (2022). Wampler & Passanise has been recognized as a "Best Firm" by Best Lawyers for over 13 years (2010-Present).

In 2013, Passanise was selected as a fellow by the American Board of Criminal Lawyers. (ABCL) The ABCL selects attorneys who practice criminal law after a rigorous vetting process. Only five attorneys have been selected in Missouri. Martindale-Hubbell has awarded Passanise the highest rating of “AV.” MACDL recognized him for Excellence in Trial Advocacy and awarded Passanise the prestigious Charles M. Shaw Award for excellence in trial advocacy (2013.)

The Missouri Bar selected Passanise as a President’s Award Recipient for his leadership during the nonpartisan judicial campaign for Greene County. He received the Missouri Bar’s Lon O. Hocker Trial Advocacy Award in 2002. The Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association honored Passanise with the 2008 President’s Award for extraordinary service. In 2023, Missouri Lawyers recognized him as a Firm Leader. Passanise has been selected as a "Super Lawyer" by Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers Magazine for 18 years. (2006-Present). He is a Top 100 Trial Lawyer with National Trial Lawyers (2007-Present).

Passanise is a Past President of the Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (2005-2006) and a frequent speaker at Missouri Bar and MACDL conferences. He has been chosen as a member by the National College of DUI Defense (2004-Present) and a Sustaining Member (2021). Has written articles on various topics over the years.

Passanise received Appointments from Governor Mike Parson to the Missouri Tourism Commission (2020), and the Senate Redistricting Commission (2021.) The Springfield Business Journal selected him as one of the publication’s 12 to Know in 2022 and recognized him as a Trusted Advisor in 2022. He was in the publication’s 2005 Class of 40 Under 40.

Contact & Links
  • 2974 East Battlefield Road
    Springfield, MO 65804
  • University of London, MBA, graduated 1995
  • Washburn University, Juris Doctor, graduated 1997
  • Missouri State University, Masters of Arts in Communications, graduated 1993
  • Southwest Missouri State University, BA in Political Science, graduated 1991
Bar Admissions
  • Missouri, United States

Wampler & Passanise
Headquarters: Springfield, Missouri

1 The Best Lawyers in America® award

1 Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch® in America award

Best Law Firms Badge Visit Website View Firm Profile

Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2022 - Criminal Defense: White-Collar Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2021 - Criminal Defense: General Practice Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2018 - Criminal Defense: White-Collar Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2016 - Criminal Defense: General Practice Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2015 - Criminal Defense: White-Collar
Named "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers® for:
  • Criminal Defense: White-Collar, Springfield, MO (2022)
  • Criminal Defense: General Practice, Springfield, MO (2021)
  • Criminal Defense: White-Collar, Springfield, MO (2018)
  • Criminal Defense: General Practice, Springfield, MO (2016)
  • Criminal Defense: White-Collar, Springfield, MO (2015)
Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® 2024 for work in:
  • Criminal Defense: General Practice
  • Criminal Defense: White-Collar
  • DUI / DWI Defense
Special Focus:
  • Drug Offenses
  • DWI Defense
  • Federal
  • Sex Abuse
  • State
  • Vehicular Manslaughter
  • Violent and Nonviolent Crimes
  • The American Trial Lawyer Association (2007-Present)
  • Who's Who in American Law (2005-2008, 2012)
  • Best Lawyers in America (2007- Present)
  • Super Lawyers in Missouri (2006- Present)
  • Best Lawyers® 2021 Springfield Criminal Defense Lawyer of the Year.
  • Lifetime Achievement selection among America’s Top 100 Attorneys®
  • Top 100 Super Lawyers in Missouri (2020)

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Where’s My Apology Letter? Client Control and Expectations Regarding Representation

by Joseph S. Passanise and Taylon Sumners

Through every interaction with clients, lawyers can practice effective client management, utilizing clear communication, transparency and diligence.

Professional men and women sitting around a table shaking hands and making business deals

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