A Former Prosecutor and Experienced Advocate
Kevin Kiernan is a founding partner of Silva, Kiernan & Associates, PLLC, where he concentrates the majority of his practice on Criminal Defense and DWI matters. Prior to joining Matthew Silva in private practice, Mr. Kiernan had been a successful prosecutor in North Carolina’s Fifth Prosecutorial District, which is comprised of Onslow, Jones, Sampson, and Duplin Counties.
Mr. Kiernan is a native of North Carolina, having been born in Greenville, and raised in Greenville and Raleigh, and presently lives with his wife Dani in Kenansville, approximately 50 miles from where he was born. Mr. Kiernan is the son of two chemists who retired from what was originally Burroughs Wellcome (now Glaxo SmithKline) – one of the companies involved in the marketing of Sudafed (pseudoephedrine).
Kiernan completed his undergraduate education at North Carolina State University (NCSU), where he graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. While he completed his studies at NCSU, Kiernan worked as a Teaching Assistant in Computer Ethics, and continued to work full time as a software developer at CISYS LifeSciences, Inc., where he spent the majority of his time enhancing software specifically designed for the monitoring of the processes and outcomes of Diabetes care.
Once he received his B.S. from NCSU, Kiernan accepted a scholarship to attend Indiana University School of Law (IU) in Bloomington, Indiana. While at IU, Kiernan focused his studies on the legal aspects of technology and science, criminal law, and trial advocacy. Kiernan participated in Moot Court competitions at IU and at Columbia University. He was also a member of the Trial Team, where part of his responsibilities were to assist in educating and mentoring newer students in the area of trial advocacy. Kiernan excelled in legal research and writing, and ultimately earned the coveted “A*” (highest grade in class) in his Pre Trial Litigation course, which focused on thorough preparation, knowledge of the law and procedure, and negotiations with adverse parties.
After law school, Kiernan joined the Office of the District Attorney for North Carolina’s Fourth (now Fifth) Prosecutorial District, where he began work in the District Court of Onslow County and ultimately became a true trial attorney. While in District Court, Mr. Kiernan primarily prosecuted drug crimes, assault offenses, and property crimes, but also worked extensively with DWI trials. One year after becoming a prosecutor, Kiernan was promoted to work in the Superior Court division in Sampson County, and later to include Duplin County. While working as a Superior Court Prosecutor, Kiernan handled cases from simple larceny to drug trafficking, rape, and murder, and everything in between. During this time, he maintained an excellent record both at trial and non-jury dispositions of his cases, and continued to hone and focus his knowledge of law, evidence, and procedure. Before leaving the Office of the District Attorney, Mr. Kiernan took the lead in arguing the case of State v. McKenzie at the Superior Court level – prevailing on his arguments and preparing the Order that would ultimately be substantially upheld by the Supreme Court of North Carolina – which has become a seminal case in the area of DWI law as it relates to CDLs.
Mr. Kiernan draws extensively from his own experience and knowledge of the law, negotiations, human relations, computer science, and chemistry in evaluating his cases and preparing his legal strategy. Merging Mr. Silva’s knowledge and experience with chemistry in the pharmaceutical field with Kiernan’s own exposure to the subject, has been invaluable in evaluating and addressing cases involving prescription medication and controlled substances, from DWIs to Methamphetamine Manufacturing (where pseudoephedrine is the essential precursor compound).
Since 2013, Mr. Kiernan has defended clients charged with everything from traffic tickets to homicides, and everything in between, in stout defense of the U.S. and N.C. Constitutions. In the advent of Covid-19, and the resulting mandates out of Raleigh, he has assisted small business owners in the district with protecting their inherent ability to operate and earn a living for their families and employees.
Mr. Kiernan has served as the State Bar Councilor for the Fifth District since 2019; is a local member of the attorney network for the United States Concealed Carry Association (U.S.C.C.A.); is a present member of the National College for DUI Defense; has successfully completed National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recognized DWI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFST); has successfully completed NHTSA recognized Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE); has successfully completed NHTSA and International Association of Chiefs of Police recognized the DWI Detection and SFST Instructor Development Course, which now allows him to serve as an instructor for the NHTSA recognized DWI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing course; has twice been a guest lecturer at Campbell University’s Norman A. Wiggins School of Law; has served as the President of the Sampson County Bar for 2014 and 2015; and was invited to be a presiding judge at the American Mock Trial Association’s Regional Tournament at Furman University in 2015.