Staff

Staff

Sandy Ellis

Sandy Ellis

Receptionist

Sandy Ellis is our Receptionist and brings more than 50 years of experience to the Firm. Her past work encompasses the educational and judicial systems, having served in the Willard R-2 School System, the Greene County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Missouri Court of Appeals.

A graduate of Southwest Baptist College in Bolivar, Missouri, Sandy also graduated from high school in Bolivar as well.

She and her husband Larry, married for more than 50 years, have one child and one grandchild.

Sarah Shewmaker

Sarah Shewmaker

Senior Paralegal

Sarah Shewmaker is the Senior Paralegal for the Firm, working directly for Managing Partner Joseph S. Passanise.

Sarah joined the Firm in October 2013. As part of the trial-preparation team, she conducts research, files briefs, and creates a variety of other legal documents needed for criminal defense cases and appeals.

A graduate of Drury University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology, Sarah also holds an Associate’s Degree in Paralegal Studies from Drury as well.

Teresa Funk

Teresa Funk

Paralegal

Teresa Funk is a Paralegal for the Firm, working directly for Associate Attorney Taylon Sumners. She works on the trial-preparation team, preparing documentation, filing briefs and conducting research.

Teresa was with the Greene County Prosecutor’s Office before moving to Lincoln, Nebraska. There she worked as the Clerk of the District Court for three years.

She worked for the Nebraska Department of Corrections and the Nebraska State Penitentiary before returning to Springfield.

Pam Mosier

Pam Mosier

Firm Administrator

Pam Mosier is the Administrator for the Firm and has overall responsibility for managing finance and operating procedures.

She brings an extensive background in organizational and financial management to the Firm, having served as a Clinic Manager for Mercy Hospital for more than 25 years. There, she had finance oversight and was responsible for revenue projections and budget reconciliation.

Pam has an Associate’s Degree in Computer Programming from Mayo Vo Tech.

 Madison Tinker

Madison Tinker

Legal Assistant

Madison Tinker joined the firm in 2021 as a Legal Assistant responsible for supporting the Attorneys, Paralegals, and Firm Administrator in various ways.

She supports the legal-defense team during the discovery phase of cases and serves subpoenas for depositions and court testimony. She also assists the Attorneys during trials as needed.

In Memoriam

Dee Wampler

Dee Wampler

Our friend and colleague Dee Wampler died on October 8, 2021. He earned his Juris Doctor in 1965, giving up an opportunity to join the FBI to become an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for Greene County. He became the youngest elected Prosecuting Attorney in the county’s history at the age of 29. In 1973, he began in private practice, eventually founding Wampler & Passanise Law Office with his law partner Joseph S. Passanise.

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.

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 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 JesusThe Myth of Separation of Church and StateOne Nation Under GodStanding on the Front Line and five books on Missouri criminal law.

As we move forward, he can rest assured that the example he set will continue to inspire us. For one of the true legends in criminal defense in this region, court stands adjourned.

Shawna Kipp

Shawna Kipp

In business, they say everyone is replaceable. However, we have learned the hard way that’s simply not true. It is with the heaviest of hearts that we say goodbye to our friend, colleague and the glue that held us together, Shawna Kipp, our Senior Paralegal and Office Manager. She left this life tragically on January 27, 2021 and leaves behind a grieving family, colleagues, and a host of friends for whom life will not be the same without her.

Shawna had been with us for more than a decade. She was the epitome of hard work and dedication, respected from this office all the way to the courthouse and throughout the community at-large. We will miss her easy and infectious smile, her calm in the midst of chaos and her enduring friendship. Blessed are we for the opportunity to have known her and to have her as our friend. To know her was to love her.

As a champion of children of all ages and a highly devoted grandmother, Shawna would be thrilled that we are requesting donations be made in her name to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital (stjude.org). Rest in peace our beautiful, irreplaceable friend.

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.

Shawna Kipp

Shawna Kipp

In business, they say everyone is replaceable. However, we have learned the hard way that’s simply not true. It is with the heaviest of hearts that we say goodbye to our friend, colleague and the glue that held us together, Shawna Kipp, our Senior Paralegal and Office Manager. She left this life tragically on January 27, 2021 and leaves behind a grieving family, colleagues, and a host of friends for whom life will not be the same without her.

Shawna had been with us for more than a decade. She was the epitome of hard work and dedication, respected from this office all the way to the courthouse and throughout the community at-large. We will miss her easy and infectious smile, her calm in the midst of chaos and her enduring friendship. Blessed are we for the opportunity to have known her and to have her as our friend. To know her was to love her.

As a champion of children of all ages and a highly devoted grandmother, Shawna would be thrilled that we are requesting donations be made in her name to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital (stjude.org). Rest in peace our beautiful, irreplaceable friend.