Passanise and Dee Wampler also recognized by “Best Lawyers” in additional categories.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (August 20)—Springfield attorney Joseph S. Passanise, partner in Wampler & Passanise Law Office, was recognized by Best Lawyers in America, 2021 Ed., as Springfield Lawyer of the Year for Criminal Defense: General Practice. In addition, Passanise and partner Dee Wampler received Best Lawyer designations for General Practice Criminal Defense and White-Collar Criminal Defense in Springfield, with Passanise also being recognized for DUI/DWI Defense. Wampler has received recognition by the publication for the past 20 years, Passanise the last 15.
Recognition by Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review. Nominated attorneys are evaluated by peers on the basis of professional expertise. The highest reviews go through an additional round of credential and practice vetting before being announced. Only one lawyer is recognized as the “Lawyer of the Year” for each specialty and location. Lawyers are not required, or allowed, to pay to be featured; therefore, inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a prestigious honor.
Wampler received his Juris Doctor from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law. He served as assistant prosecutor for Greene County for three years before being elected to prosecuting attorney in 1971-72. He is one of the youngest ever elected to that position. Wampler began private practice in 1973, specializing in felony criminal defense. Several of his most high-profile cases have been featured on Saturday Night with Connie Chung, Inside Edition, Prime Time and Court TV.
Passanise obtained his Juris Doctor, with honors, from Washburn University School of Law. He 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 was awarded the Charles M. Shaw Award for excellence in trial advocacy in 2013. He is past president of the Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers; a member of the National College of DUI Defense; the National Child Abuse Defense and Resource Center; and a member of the National Trial Lawyers Criminal Defense Top 100 for 2019. He was appointed to the Missouri Tourism Commission by Governor Mike Parson in 2020.
Both Wampler and Passanise are Fellows of the American Board of Criminal Lawyers (ABCL).