A Former Prosecutor and Experienced Advocate
Kevin J. Kiernan is a founding partner of Silva, Kiernan & Associates, PLLC, where he concentrates the majority of his practice on Criminal Defense, DWI, and Bankruptcy matters. Prior to joining Matthew Silva in private practice, Mr. Kiernan had been a successful prosecutor in North Carolina’s Fourth 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 later raised in Raleigh. Mr. Kiernan is the son of two chemists who have since retired from what was originally Burroughs Wellcome (now Glaxo SmithKline) – one of the companies involved in the marketing of Sudafed (pseudoephedrine) – and his father ultimately retired as the Vice President and Worldwide Director of Compliance at Glaxo Wellcome.
Upon graduating from Raleigh’s distinguished Needham B. Broughton High School with high honors, Mr. Kiernan went on to study Chemistry and Computer Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) where he was also an active member and officer of Delta Upsilon International Fraternity. During his time at Georgia Tech, Kiernan began working for G.S. Beverage in Georgia and South Carolina, where he ultimately became a General Manager, whose duties included negotiating cost and price structures with area distributors in order to maximize his store’s profits. In that position, Kiernan was able to use his knowledge and understanding of reporting software and human relations to achieve a significant increase in profit margin, while negotiating purchase agreements that were beneficial to both his store and the distributors.
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, 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 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 rape to 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 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 negotiations, human relations, computer science and engineering, as well as 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, as well as Kiernan’s parents’ knowledge of chemical analyses and processes 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). Indeed, this wealth of available experience and information had direct impact on Mr. Kiernan’s ability to succeed in the dismissal of a methamphetamine manufacturing case, an acquittal of a DWI case involving prescription medication, and the return of a misdemeanor verdict in another felony controlled substance case.
Mr. Kiernan is a present member of the National College for DUI Defense, 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.