William J. DeBauche

Rated by Super Lawyers

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William J. DeBauche

Rated by Super Lawyers

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William J.

(6/19/1956 – 3/5/2022)


On March 5, 2022, our highly respected partner, William J. DeBauche, passed away from complications relating to COVID-19. Bill practiced with the firm for over 37 years, primarily in the areas of construction, arbitration and general litigation. Bill was a recognized expert in mechanic’s lien law, having taught a course at UMKC Law School for many years. More importantly, Bill will be remembered by his colleagues and clients as a strong advocate and trusted friend. May he rest in peace.

Bill has over thirty five years of experience with Brown & Ruprecht as an attorney concentrating in construction law, government contract law, general civil litigation, and alternative dispute resolution. Bill is experienced with contract and subcontract review and litigation and arbitration on public and private construction projects, in state and federal courts, before the Boards of Contract Appeals, and in arbitration hearings. Bill has represented general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, commercial and residential owners, developers, architects, engineers, and sureties in construction matters. Bill has handled cases involving disputes over payment, mechanic’s lien filings and lawsuits, payment bond claims and lawsuits, changes to work, multiple verbal changes never reduced to written change orders, scope and intent of the contract drawings and specifications, allegations of defective work by the contractor, delay claims, differing site conditions, subsurface defects, termination of the contractor, bid protests, architect and engineer liability and  many other cases. These cases have involved situations in which settlements were negotiated prior to legal proceedings, situations in which mechanic’s liens were filed by the contractor or designer, and situations in which lawsuits or arbitrations were filed.

Bill has taught many seminars for the Builders’ Association and several national seminar organizations on a variety of construction subjects, including mechanics’ liens, federal contract claims, construction arbitrations, payment issues, extra work and changes, claims against surety bonds, construction contract documents, bidding, bid mistakes, and bid protests, and professional responsibility in construction law practice. Bill has served as a mediator and arbitrator in over fifty cases, both for the American Arbitration Association and in private mediations and arbitrations.


B.A., University of Wisconsin, graduated with honors

J.D., University of Michigan Law School

Honors & Awards

Selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in the areas of Construction Law and Litigation – Construction (2011-2022)

Selected for inclusion in Missouri and Kansas Super Lawyers (2005-2021)

Selected as one of the Top Rated Lawyers in Litigation by American Lawyer Media – The American Lawyer (May, 2014)

Selected as one of the Top Rated Lawyers in Construction by American Lawyer Media – The American Lawyer (2012, 2014, 2016)

Best Lawyers in Kansas City – Construction/Surety Law – Ingram’s Magazine (2011-2012)

First-Tier Ranking, Best Law Firms, Construction Law and Construction Litigation, U.S. News & World Report (2010-2012)

Selected for inclusion in Missouri Best Lawyers (2012)

Outstanding Lawyers of America

Bar Admissions & Professional Associations


U.S. Court of Federal Claims

U.S. District Court – District of Kansas

U.S. District Court – Western District of Missouri

U.S. Supreme Court

Adjunct Professor, Construction Law, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law (1994-Present)

Arbitrator, American Arbitration Association (Construction Industry Panelist)

Civil Litigation Mediator under Missouri Supreme Court Rule 17, Certified by The Missouri Bar

Chair, Construction Law Committee, Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association (2018)

Business Law Section, Board of Directors, Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association, 2019-present

Continuing Legal Education Advisory Committee, Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association 2020-present

Member, Forum on the Construction Industry, American Bar Association

Member, Construction Law Committee, Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association

Member, Construction Law Committee, The Missouri Bar

President, University of Wisconsin Alumni Club, Kansas City Chapter, 2015-present

Seminars & Publications

Bill is a frequent speaker on construction educational topics and also writes articles on construction law issues for the Modern Builder magazine and other trade publications.