Debra Tedeschi Varner

Shareholder / Corporate Secretary

Debra’s Contact Information
(304) 626-1100
(304) 623-3035


Debra Tedeschi Varner is a shareholder of McNeer, Highland, McMunn and Varner, L.C., working out of the firm’s Clarksburg office. Chair of the firm’s Insurance Coverage Group, Debra handles cases in both state and federal courts, in the areas of insurance coverage, insurance bad faith, and insurance defense and has tried cases in counties throughout the State of West Virginia. In addition to an active trial practice, Debra has an active appellate practice and has argued cases before the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, as well as the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Debra is admitted in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals as well as in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Debra is a member of the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC), having previously served on its Board of Directors and Executive Committee. Debra is a member of the Amicus Committee, Insurance Coverage Section, Extra Contractual Section and the Professional Negligence Section. In 2008, Debra was a co-recipient of the John Alan Appleman Award for outstanding substantive law section chair of the Appellate Law Section of the FDCC. Debra previously served as the Chair of the FDCC Leadership Institute. For the past few years she has served as a faculty member of the FDCC’s Litigation Management College and Graduate Program providing instruction in insurance coverage and bad faith. ppellate Practice. Debra is a Fellow in the American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel and is a member of the Board of Directors. Debra is a member of the Claims and Management Alliance, Defense Research Institute, the West Virginia State Bar and the Harrison and Randolph County Bar Associations. Debra is also licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Debra has been recognized as a SuperLawyer in the area of Insurance Coverage.

As a part of her practice, Debra routinely presents seminars and training sessions to insurance companies and corporate executives on claim handling and discovery throughout the country. Debra has also authored the following articles: FDCC Quarterly Winter 2007, Institutional Bad Faith: “The Darth Vader of Extra Contractual Litigation”; FDCC Quarterly Fall 2006, “Developing Areas of Commercial Bad Faith; Constructing Defenses He Who Ignores History Is Doomed To Repeat It” with James A. Varner and Natalie A. Givan; Co-Author: “The Best Defense is a Good Offense The Ultra Punitive Case When the Facts Can’t Get Any Worse”; “Expert Witnesses: To Be or Not to Be”; “West Virginia’s Bad Faith: Tidal Waves in the Reflecting Pool”; “West Virginia’s Bad Faith: Antaxerxes Legend.”

Reported Cases:

  • Berkhouse v. Great American Assur. Co., 2013 WL 6152414 (Memorandum Decision) (W. Va. 2013)
  • Longanacre v. Farmers Mut. Ins. Co., 2013 WL 5967104 (Memorandum Decision) (W. Va. 2013)
  • Chafin ex rel. Estate of Bradley v. Farmers & Mechanics Mut. Ins. Co. of W.Va., 751 S.E.2d 765 (W. Va. 2013)
  • AIG Domestic Claims, Inc. v. Hess Oil Co., Inc., 751 S.E.2d 31 (W. Va. 2013)
  • Lindsay v. Attorneys Liability Protection Soc., Inc., 2013 WL 1776465 (Memorandum Decision) (W. Va. 2013)
  • Ruckdeschel v. Falcon Drilling Co., LLC, 693 S.E.2d 815 (W. Va. 2010)
  • Jennings v. Farmers Mut. Ins. Co., 687 S.E.2d 574 (W. Va. 2009)
  • Dunn v. Rockwell, 689 S.E.2d 255 (W. Va. 2009)
  • Strahin v. Sullivan, 647 S.E.2d 765 (W.Va. 2007)
  • Brown v. City of Fairmont, 655 S.E.2d 563 (W.Va. 2007)
  • Strahin v. Cleavenger, 603 S.E.2d 197
  • Dairyland Ins. Co. v. Conley, 624 S.E.2d 599 (W.Va. 2005)
  • Clark v. Druckman, 624 S.E.2d 864 (W.Va. 2005)
  • W.Va. Fire & Cas. Co. v. Stanley, 602 S.E.2d 483 (W.Va. 2004)
  • Gulas v. Infocision Mgmt. Corp., 599 S.E.2d 648 (2004)
  • Findley v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 576 S.E.2 807 (W.Va. 2002)
  • Estate of Davis by Casey v. Farmers Mut. Ins. Co., 533 S.E.2d 33 (W.Va. 2000)
  • Mallet v. Pickens, 522 S.E.2d 436 (W.Va. 1999)
  • Mulledy v. West Virginia Ins. Co., 495 S.E.2d 566 (W.Va. 1997)
  • Self v. Queen, 487 S.E.2d 295 (W.Va. 1997)
  • State ex. rel. Cavender v. McCarty, 479 S.E.2d 887 (W.Va. 1996)
  • Cavender v. Fouty, 464 S.E.2d 736 (W.Va. 1995)

In 1999, Debra received a special appointment as the Family Court Judge, 21st Judicial Circuit, Randolph, Tucker and Grant Counties, West Virginia, and served until 2001.

A graduate of University of Richmond, T.C. Williams School of Law, Debra also earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from William Paterson College.

Married to James A. Varner, Sr., Debra is an avid golf fan and enjoys cooking, wine and shopping for shoes.

Memberships & Associations

“McNeer, Highland, McMunn & Varner LC is well-known for meeting the challenges of its clientele in a very straightforward manner while maintaining a close attorney-client relationship. The attorneys on staff provide dedication to detail and professionalism to each client in a variety of practice areas. We are large enough to handle all your legal needs, and small enough to care.”

– James N. Riley (Director/President)