Anthony Debre practices civil litigation, insurance defense, and insurance coverage in state and federal courts throughout Missouri and Illinois. He concentrates in the defense of claims involving professional liability, medical malpractice, employment discrimination including age and gender discrimination under the Missouri Human Rights Act, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duties, personal injury, premises liability, wrongful death, property damage, product liability, construction negligence, automobile negligence, transportation matters, and other commercial general liability matters.
In addition, Mr. Debre represents insurance carriers in coverage disputes, including claims for coverage under property and CGL policies, class action suits, and alleged violations of federal statutes, including the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. He focuses on analyzing policy provisions and exclusions, evaluating coverage, drafting coverage opinions, prosecuting complaints for declaratory relief, filing motions for summary judgment, and obtaining declaratory judgments.
Mr. Debre engages in all phases of litigation, including pleadings, complex discovery, claim investigation, legal research, motion practice, oral arguments, depositions, witness preparation, mediations, settlement negotiations, and trial.
Prior to joining Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP in 2015, Mr. Debre worked for nearly six years as a litigation associate in the Chicago office of a multi-state insurance defense firm, where he managed a variety of cases as lead attorney from inception through trial. He concentrated primarily in premises liability, auto and construction negligence, wrongful death, dram shop, medical malpractice, product liability, breach of contract, bad faith, and insurance coverage. Mr. Debre has represented a variety of clients, including hotels, restaurants, shopping centers, nightclubs, grocery stores, health clubs, railroads, general contractors, subcontractors, insurance companies, insurance agents, doctors, landlords, and tenants.
Over the last few years, Mr. Debre has tried multiple jury cases to verdict as both 1st-chair and 2nd-chair, taken over 100 depositions, drafted appellate briefs, and successfully argued over 100 motions, including motions for summary judgment. Moreover, he has engaged in extensive discovery and achieved favorable outcomes in several arbitrations, mediations, and settlement negotiations.
In the past, Mr. Debre represented plaintiffs in personal injury matters and clerked for a trial judge, where he researched evidentiary matters and wrote court opinions. He also interned with the St. Louis County Public Defender Office. With this diverse background, Mr. Debre has the insight and ability to analyze a case from all perspectives and obtain the best results for his clients.
Mr. Debre earned his law degree from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis graduating with honors on the Dean’s List and receiving CALI Awards for the highest grade in Legal Writing and Advanced Trial Advocacy. During law school, he excelled in Moot Court oral arguments and brief writing.
- Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers, Member (2015 – Present)
- Missouri Bar Association, Member (2015 – Present)
- Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, Member (2015 – Present)
- Chicago Bar Association, Member (2010 – 2016)
- Illinois State Bar Association, Member (2009 – 2016)
Mr. Debre has first-chair and second-chair trial experience. He has achieved many successful results in jury trials, arbitrations, mediations, settlement negotiations, motions for summary judgment, and motions to dismiss.
- Obtained favorable verdict representing Defendant restaurant and its valet driver who struck Plaintiff pedestrian crossing the street after arguing Plaintiff was not injured to the extent claimed and was partially responsible for her own injuries by jaywalking, failing to use nearby designated crosswalks, and failing to keep a proper lookout for surrounding traffic. (Nov. 2014) (surgical repair of broken wrist; pre-trial demand of $250,000; Plaintiffs requested $917,393.50 at trial; jury verdict for $171,893.05)
- Successfully obtained defense verdict in favor of Defendant trucking company and its driver who struck Plaintiff's vehicle after arguing Plaintiff was at fault for causing the collision by improperly attempting to pass the truck on the right without obeying the designated lanes of traffic or yielding the right of way. (Apr. 2014)
- Successfully obtained defense verdict in favor of Defendant driver after arguing Plaintiff driver caused the collision by swerving into Defendant's lane of traffic and Plaintiff driver and passengers were not injured to the extent claimed. (Apr. 2013) (back and neck injuries; medical specials totaling $358,819.39; pre-trial demand of $250,000; jury verdict for Defendant)
- Successfully obtained defense verdict in favor of two Defendant business partners by arguing co-defendant truck driver was not operating within the scope of his employment at the time he ran a red light and struck Plaintiff's vehicle leaving Plaintiff in a coma with brain damage. (Jan. 2013) (pre-trial demand of $4.5 million; Plaintiff requested $8.653 million at trial; jury verdict for two Defendants)
- Successfully obtained defense verdict in favor of Defendant truck driver who rear-ended Plaintiff's vehicle by arguing Plaintiff braked suddenly, constituting contributory negligence that caused the collision, and arguing Plaintiff was not injured to the extent claimed. (Feb. 2012) (surgical repair of torn rotator cuff; pre-trial demand of $350,000; Plaintiff requested over $200,000 at trial; jury verdict for Defendant)
- Represented Defendant excavation company who struck underground gas lines during drilling while arguing the utilities were improperly marked by co-defendant locator company. (Oct. 2010)
- Obtained favorable binding award representing Defendant insurance company in first-party UM claim by arguing Plaintiff was not injured to the extent claimed and successfully persuading the arbitrator that the majority of Plaintiff's medical treatment, including his fourth and fifth back surgery, was unrelated to this motor vehicle accident. (July 2015) (medical specials totaling $403,336.58; pre-arbitration demand of $210,000; Plaintiff requested $900,000 at arbitration; arbitration award for $97,849.48)
- Successfully obtained defense award on behalf of Defendant employer operating a courier company by arguing that co-defendant driver was not operating within the scope of his employment at the time he collided with Plaintiffs' vehicle causing it to flip over. Award for Defendant. (June 2014)
- Successfully obtained defense award on behalf of Defendant trucking company and its driver who struck Plaintiff's vehicle after arguing that Plaintiff was at fault for causing the collision by improperly attempting to pass the truck on the right without obeying the designated lanes of traffic or yielding the right of way. Award for Defendant. (Sept. 2013)
- Obtained favorable award representing Defendant installation company and its driver after arguing that Plaintiff was not injured to the extent claimed by illustrating Plaintiff's medical records indicated only minor pain, no head trauma, no shoulder pain, normal ROM in arms, and normal x-rays and CT scans of the head, neck, and back, resulting in only a nominal award for Plaintiff (July 2013) (less than 25% of medical specials)
- Successfully obtained defense award on behalf of Defendant seafood distribution company and its driver after arguing that Plaintiff driver was at fault for causing the collision by suddenly swerving into Defendant's lane of traffic and arguing Plaintiffs were not injured to the extent claimed as they made no complaints of pain at the scene and their physical exams and x-rays in the emergency room were normal. Award for Defendant. (Mar. 2012)
- Obtained favorable award representing Defendant restaurant by arguing that co-defendant manufacturer of boneless chicken was responsible for sharp bone in Plaintiff's enchilada. (Oct. 2011)
- Successfully obtained defense award on behalf of Defendant restaurant by arguing that Defendants lacked notice of any alleged puddle or other hazardous condition on the premises and Plaintiff slipped due to his own intoxication. Award for Defendant. (June 2011)
Mediations & Pre-Trial Settlement Conferences:
- Achieved successful result at pre-trial conference by settling the case for a nominal amount on behalf of Defendant electrical company after arguing the defective electrical switch that shocked Plaintiff was installed, maintained, and controlled by other parties. (Sept. 2015)
- Achieved successful result at mediation by settling the case on behalf of Defendant R.V. driver after arguing the co-defendant truck driver was at fault for causing a highway collision resulting in catastrophic injuries and wrongful death to multiple Plaintiffs. (Aug. 2014)
- Achieved successful result at mediation by settling the case on behalf of Defendant snow removal company after arguing the co-defendant property management company was at fault for a defective awning design that caused ice to form on walkway underneath where Plaintiff slipped and broke her leg. (July 2012)
Motions for Summary Judgment:
- Successfully prosecuted and resolved action for declaratory relief in federal court by obtaining summary judgment on behalf of Plaintiff insurance company after arguing a TCPA exclusion in the CGL policy barred all coverage for the underlying suit, including claims of statutory violation and common law conversion. (Oct. 2016)
- Successfully resolved all claims by obtaining summary judgment on behalf of Defendant landowner after arguing that Plaintiff, who slipped on ice and broke his leg, was a trespasser upon the land and Defendant had a lower duty of care to only refrain from willful and wanton conduct, of which Plaintiff could provide no evidence. (Mar. 2015)
- Successfully prosecuted and resolved action for declaratory relief by obtaining summary judgment on behalf of Plaintiff insurance company after arguing the claimant injured on a construction site was an employee of the insured and the employee exclusion within the CGL policy applied to bar all coverage, including the duty to defend and the duty to indemnify. (Aug. 2014)
- Successfully prosecuted and resolved action for declaratory relief by obtaining summary judgment on behalf of Plaintiff insurance company after arguing the claimant was injured outside the boundaries of the insured premises and the homeowner's policy provided no coverage for the occurrence or bodily injury at issue. (Dec. 2012)
- Successfully resolved all claims by obtaining summary judgment on behalf of Defendant dram shop after arguing that Plaintiff presented insufficient evidence to establish the assailant was actually intoxicated or was served alcohol by Defendant and Defendant had no duty of care to Plaintiff. (Aug. 2012)
Motions to Dismiss:
- Successfully obtained dismissal with prejudice as to all counts against Defendant doctor in wrongful death case by arguing Plaintiffs' complaint lacked personal jurisdiction over Defendant and Plaintiffs' purported service of process on Defendant was improper. (Dec. 2016)
- Successfully obtained dismissal with prejudice as to all counts against Defendant property owners by arguing that Defendants were not controlling the leased premises where Plaintiff was injured and therefore owed no duty of care to Plaintiff. (Oct. 2015)
- Successfully obtained dismissal with prejudice on multiple counts, including statutory violations of the Physical Fitness Services Act and negligence per se, against Defendant tenant operating a health club by arguing Plaintiff was not a member of the class of persons the statute was intended to protect and statutory violations do not constitute negligence per se. (July 2014)
- Successfully obtained dismissal of Plaintiff's medical malpractice suit on behalf of Defendant doctor on an issue of first impression regarding medical affidavits after arguing that veterinary care of a horse qualified as "healing arts" under the statute in the absence of any statutory definition or case law interpretation. (July 2010)
- Pro Bono Panel for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, Member
- Newport Landing Homeowners Association, Board Member and Trustee
J.D., Washington University in St. Louis School of Law, 2009
- Dean's List
- CALI Award – Legal Writing
- CALI Award – Advanced Trial Advocacy
- Moot Court – Best Brief Honorable Mention Award
B.A., summa cum laude, Psychology, University of Dayton, 2006
- Dean's List
- Mock Trial – Captain; Vice President; 2005 National Qualifier
- Phi Alpha Delta – Service Chair
- Award of Excellence to the Most Outstanding Student in Psychology – Sole Recipient for Class of 2006
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Trial Bar
- U.S. District Court for the Central, Eastern, and Southern Districts of Illinois
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Missouri