About Our Award-Winning Attorneys

When residents in the Springfield area and throughout Missouri are struggling with serious criminal matters, they turn to our award-winning lawyers at Wampler & Passanise. For over 20 years, our criminal defense firm has provided zealous representation to adults and juveniles charged with misdemeanor and felony offenses.

We believe your goals and opportunities shouldn’t be held hostage by one mistake. You can rely on us to pursue all legal options as we work to protect your future.

To learn more about our attorneys’ legal qualifications and backgrounds, follow these links:

Recognized Nationwide For High-Quality Counsel

With over 70 years of legal experience, Dee Wampler and Joe Passanise have a deep understanding of state and federal criminal laws. They have successfully represented individuals in a range of matters spanning DWI violations to white collar criminal charges to drug offenses and other serious violations. Trial-tested, they provide high-quality advocacy in municipal, state and federal courts.

Both attorney Wampler and attorney Passanise are regularly commended by local and nationally recognized organizations. These are just a few of the recent honors they have received:

Dee Wampler

  • Selected for inclusion to the Super Lawyers list in Kansas and Missouri, from 2005 to 2019
  • Assigned Emeritus Status Notification by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in 2017
  • Recognized as Senior Counselor by the Missouri Bar Association in 2015
  • Selected as one of the Best Lawyers of the Ozarks

Joe Passanise

  • Lifetime Achievement, America’s Top 100 Attorneys
  • Top 100 Trial Lawyer, The National Trial Lawyers, awarded 2007-present
  • Selected for inclusion to the Super Lawyers list in Missouri and Kansas from 2006 to 2019
  • 2018 Lawyer of the Year, Missouri Criminal Defense for white collar defense

Committed To The Community

Longtime residents of the area, Dee and Joe work to better the community. They deliver speeches at churches, colleges and professional organizations, discussing social justice and safe practices. Dee is an active member on the Springfield Symphony Board and the Springfield Crime Stoppers Board. Joe volunteers his time at the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks and the Theta Chi Iota Beta alumni board of directors.

Our lawyers view their profession as their vocation, striving to improve lives in and out of the criminal justice system. Their experience and local insight can give you an advantage when you are grappling with a challenging legal issue.

Learn More About Our Team

Connect with one of our knowledgeable lawyers to discuss your concerns and your options today. You can reach our Springfield office online or at 417-427-6800.

In Memoriam
Dee Wampler

Dee Wampler

As Greene County’s youngest elected Prosecuting Attorney, at the age of 29, Wampler’s reputation as a leading trial attorney was quickly established. A Springfield native, Dee’s education began at Rountree Elementary, and continued at Jarrett Junior High, and Central and Parkview high schools. Drury University was next, followed by Northwestern University, with graduation from the University of Missouri-Columbia (Bachelor of Science in 1963 and Juris Doctor 1965). He was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity.

A veteran of the United States Army Reserve (1958-1965) he contemplated government service and was invited to a private audience with legendary FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover early in his practice. Forsaking a career in the FBI, he chose instead to become an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney and was then elected Prosecuting Attorney (1970-1972) and, at the age of 29, was the youngest person elected to that position.

Over the course of his 55-year career, Dee received many awards and honors. He was Springfield’s Outstanding Young Man in 1971 and one of Missouri’s Top Five Outstanding Young Men in 1972. Dee was involved in politics and charities, serving on the board of directors of many organizations including the Chamber of Commerce and the Safety Council of the Ozarks. He served terms as President of the Greater Springfield Area Bar Association and had also been a member of the Missouri Board of Bar Governors. He organized and served as the first President of CrimeStoppers.

Wampler helped create and was a lifetime board member of the Messiah Project; was President of the Civil War Roundtable of the Ozarks; and on the Board of Directors of the Boy Scouts, Hammons Center for the Performing Arts, Ozarks Crime Prevention Council, and the Springfield Symphony. His firm was also a major sponsor of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks.

A man of great faith, Dee attended several churches and, earlier in his life, had served as a lay leader at King’s Way United Methodist Church. His openness about his faith led to him being asked to speak at more than two hundred churches in the Midwest over the years.

He was recognized in Who’s Who in American Politics, Best Lawyers in America, Super Lawyers and U.S. News & World Report’s Best Lawyers. He received numerous additional legal recognitions, including from the Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and being winner of Best Lawyer in Springfield in 417 Magazine and the Springfield News-Leader. He had been selected as a Top Ten Lawyer in the State of Missouri, published more than 200 articles for law enforcement journals and blogs (deewampler.com) and authored six books including The Trial of Christ – A Criminal Attorney Defends Jesus, The Myth of Separation of Church and State, One Nation Under God, Standing on the Front Line and five books on Missouri criminal law.

Dee had hosted a daily radio program, Standing on the Front Line, on Bott Radio Network, and appeared on KSGF’s The Gun Show every Saturday with Matt Canovi. He was a regular guest on The Nick Reid Show (KSGF) and with Steve Largent on KICK. Over his expansive career he appeared on national television programs including The 700 Club, The O’Reilly Factor, Inside Edition, Unsolved Mysteries, American Family Radio, Truths that Transform with D. James Kennedy and Focus on the Family. His most notorious cases have been featured on Court TV, in the New York Times, on The Today Show, Good Morning America and in newspapers around the world.