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 degree 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. As the Managing Partner of Wampler & Passanise, he practices criminal defense in federal, state, and municipal courts with Associate Attorney Taylon Sumners and has litigated many high-profile trials.
Passanise is a Past President of the Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (MACDL) 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 the National Child Abuse Defense and Resource Center (2011-Present). He authored chapters for the book Witness Preparation and Examination for DUI Proceedings by Aspatore in 2013 and 2014.
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 investigatory process. Only five attorneys are selected in Missouri. Martindale-Hubbell has awarded Passanise the highest rating of “AV.” The Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers awarded Passanise the prestigious Charles M. Shaw award for excellence in trial advocacy in 2013. The Missouri Bar selected Passanise as a President’s Award Recipient (2009) for his leadership in bringing nonpartisan courts to 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.
His peers have recognized Passanise as a Best Lawyer in America (2007-Present) in the practice areas of criminal defense, white-collar crimes, and DUI defense. He was recognized by Best Lawyers In America, 20221 Ed., as Springfield Lawyer of the Year for Criminal Defense: General Practice. The following year, he was recognized in Best Lawyers in America: 2022 Ed., as Springfield Lawyer of the Year for Criminal Defense: White Collar. Wampler Passanise has been recognized as a Best Firm by Best Lawyers for over a decade (2010-Present).
Passanise has been selected as a Super Lawyer by Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers Magazine for 17 years. (2006-Present). He is listed in Who’s Who in American Law (2005-Present) and named a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers (2007-Present). He became a Sustaining Member of the National College for DUI Defense in 2021 and is a 2022 recipient of the AVVO 10.0 Rating for Criminal Defense and the Clients’ Choice Award. He was honored for Firm Leadership by Missouri Lawyers in 2023.
The Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association asked Passanise to Chair the historic Nonpartisan Court Plan, which began work in 2007 and culminated in November 2008 when Greene County voters supported merit selection for the 31st Circuit.
Passanise was appointed to the Missouri Tourism Commission by Governor Mike Parson in 2020 and the Senate Redistricting Commission in 2021. He was selected by the Springfield Business Journal as one of the publication’s 12 to Know in 2022, was recognized by SBJ as a Trusted Advisor in 2022 and was in the publication’s 2005 Class of 40 Under 40.