Michael Waddington

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Michael Waddington
Michael Waddington.jpg
BornNew Castle, Pennsylvania
ResidenceEvans, Georgia
Other namesMichael Stewart Waddington
Alma materTemple University Beasley School of Law
OccupationCriminal defense lawyer
Spouse(s)Alexandra Gonzalez-Waddington

Michael (Stewart) Waddington is an American defense lawyer specializing in Court-martial cases, war crimes, and other serious felonies.[1] He defended Sgt. Alan Driver, accused of abusing detainees, and Specialist Hunsaker in the Operation Iron Triangle Case.


Waddington completed his BA in History at Duquesne University in 1997, and his law degree from the Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law in 2000.[1]


After graduating from law school, Waddington worked as a US Army JAG Corps Officer between 2001 and 2005, specializing in war crimes and other military-related cases. In 2006 he, along with his wife, launched a law firm, Gonzalez & Waddington, LLC, in Evans, Georgia.[2] He is also the President of Legal Niche Pros, an internet marketing firm.[3]

Among the clients that Waddington has represented are Sgt. Alan Driver, accused of abusing detainees during the War on Terror campaign and Specialist Hunsaker in the Operation Iron Triangle case.[1][4]

Several of Waddington's cases have been the subject of documentaries and films, including the documentary, Taxi to the Dark Side (2007), and Redacted (2007).[5]

Waddington appeared in the 2009 CNN documentary Killings at the Canal and also contributed to the book The State of Criminal Justice 2013, an annual publication of the American Bar Association.[6] He is also the co-author of the book, Dare to Succeed, published in August 2013.[7]

Notable cases[edit]

Bagram prisoner abuse[edit]

In February 2006, while an Army Captain, Waddington defended Sergeant Alan Driver at Fort Bliss, Texas. Driver was court martialed for allegedly abusing detainees captured in the 'War on Terror' campaign, and held at the Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, in 2002. Driver was charged with beating a Taliban commander called Habibullah, who later succumbed to injuries. He was also accused of throwing a shackled and handcuffed prisoner, Omar al-Faruq, against a wall.[8] After the public confession of the disappearance of al-Faruq, Sgt Driver was fully acquitted of all charges.[9][10] The Bagram Abuse Cases were the subject of the documentary, Taxi to the Dark Side (2007), which won an Academy Award in 2007 for the "Best Documentary Film."[11]

Operation Iron Triangle[edit]

In June 2006, Waddington was called on to defend SPC William B. Hunsaker at Fort Campbell, Kentucky in the case of a triple murder. Hunsaker was one of four soldiers belonging to the 101st Airborne Division who were accused of executing suspected al-Qaeda insurgents that were captured during a raid near Samarra, Iraq, on May 9, 2006.[12] SPC Hunsaker and PFC Corey Clagett, another defendant, entered plea deals that reduced their maximum sentence to 18 years.[13] Referred to as the Operation Iron Triangle case, this case became the subject of the 2008 book, "Rules of Engagement? A Social Anatomy of an American War Crime - Operation Iron Triangle, Iraq" by Stjepan Gabriel Meštrović.[14]

Allegation of murder by U.S. Soldiers[edit]

Waddington served in the defense of Sgt. Anthony W. Yribe, a U.S. Army soldier implicated in the alleged rape and mass murder in Iraq .[15]

Detainee abuse in Iraq[edit]

In February 2007, Waddington was called to defend Army Sergeant, SFC Timothy Drake, of allegations of using a baseball bat to beat enemy insurgents captured during the Battle of Fallajah, Iraq, in 2003. Drake was acquitted of aggravated assault with a bat, obstruction of justice, solicitation, and assault by kicking.[16] He was convicted of misdemeanor, battery and making false statements. He was sentenced to a reprimand, and was retained on active duty.[17]

Murder allegations in Kirkuk, Iraq[edit]

In July 2007, Waddington was called to defend Spc. Christopher P. Shore against a charge of murder under UCMJ art. 118(3).[18] The charges stemmed from a June 23, 2007 raid near Kirkuk, Iraq, where Shore's platoon of elite army scouts conducted a night-time raid into enemy territory. Shore was charged with shooting a detainee after his platoon leader, SFC Trey A. Corrales, shot him with an M-4 rifle.[19] Spc. Shore was acquitted of murder and convicted of discharging his weapon near the detainee (assault). He was sentenced to 120 days in jail, a reprimand, a two rank reduction, and no discharge.[20] On May 21, 2008, Bednarek reduced Shore's conviction to simple assault, erasing Shore's felony record.[21]

Rape allegation at the Naval Academy[edit]

In March 2008, Waddington was called to defend a third year Naval Academy Midshipman, Mark Calvanico, who was accused of breaking into the room of a fellow midshipman and raping her.[22][23] On June 3, 2008, Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Adm. Jeffrey Fowler dismissed all court martial charges against the midshipman.[24]

Execution of Iraqi snipers[edit]

In August 2008, Waddington defended an Army infantryman, SFC Joseph Mayo, who was accused of executing four Iraqi snipers that were caught in Baghdad. Multiple soldiers from the unit were charged in connection with the alleged shooting.[25] In March 2009, SFC Mayo pleaded guilty, indicating that he did it "in the best interests of my soldiers", and was sentenced to 35 years.[26]

Maywand District murders[edit]

Waddington represented Spc. Jeremy Morlock, one of five soldiers charged with the Maywand District murders, premeditated murder of three Afghan civilians, in 2010.[27][28] Morlock faced a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.[29] Morlock later pleaded guilty to three counts of murder, one count of conspiracy to commit assault and battery, and one count of illegal drug use in exchange for a maximum sentence of 24 years.[30]

Colombian prostitution scandal[edit]

Waddington defended a US Special Forces soldier who was one of several people accused of being involved in hotel misconduct and a prostitution scandal in Colombia in April 2012.[31] The charges against the men included heavy drinking to soliciting prostitutes, two days before President Barack Obama arrived for the Summit of the Americas. Three of the implicated were cleared of serious misconduct charges, with four others, including Secret Service supervisor David Chaney, being forced out.[32]

Dare to Succeed[edit]

Waddington was one of the co-authors of the 2013 book, 'Dare to Succeed: The World's Leading Experts Reveal Their Secrets to Success in Business and in Life - and Dare You to Succeed'.[7]

Television consultation[edit]

Waddington has provided consultation services to several television channels including CBS for its legal and political drama, The Good Wife.[33][34]

Personal life[edit]

Waddington resides in Evans, Georgia, with his wife, Alexandra Gonzalez, and their two children.[3]


  1. ^ a b c "Lawyer fights to win his battles". The Augusta Chronicle. 20 March 2006. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
  2. ^ "Court Martial Lawyer | Military Attorney | Sex Assault Defense Army Air Force Navy Marine Corps Defense Lawyers — Gonzalez & Waddington, Attorneys at Law". Ucmjdefense.com. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
  3. ^ "Soldiers in murder case claim order to 'kill all military age males'". 21 July 2006.
  4. ^ "About Michael Waddington - Lawyer ratings and reviews for Evans, GA attorney". Avvo.com. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
  5. ^ "The State of Criminal Justice 2013". Apps.americanbar.org. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
  6. ^ a b The World's Leading Experts; Jack Canfield; Nick Esq. Nanton (27 June 2013). Dare to Succeed. CelebrityPress. ISBN 9780988641891. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
  7. ^ TOM LASSETER. "Detainee abuse routine at U.S. bases in Afghanistan - 06/16/2008". MiamiHerald.com. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
  8. ^ "The World Today - Indonesia kept in the dark over al-Qaeda chief's escape". Abc.net.au. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
  9. ^ "Soldier Acquitted in Prisoner Abuse Case". Military.com. February 23, 2006. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
  10. ^ https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0854678/
  11. ^ "Local News: Dexter native charged in Iraqi murder case". Dexter Daily Statesman. 27 October 2006. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
  12. ^ von ZIELBAUER, PAUL (January 4, 2007). "Soldier Reaches Plea Deal in the Killing of 3 Iraqis". New York Times. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
  13. ^ "4 Soldiers Accused of Iraq Rape, Killings". Ncadp.proboards.com. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
  14. ^ "Michael S. Waddington's Legal Cases - United States v. SGT Y. - Fort Campbell, KY". Avvo.com. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
  15. ^ "Army Sergeant Accused of Beating Detainees with Baseball Bat Avoids Prison". Prweb.com. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
  16. ^ Washington Times, The (16 August 2007). "Soldier gets lenient sentence for beating". Washington Times. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
  17. ^ "2 U.S. soldiers charged with murder". Los Angeles Times. 20 July 2007. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
  18. ^ "Soldier's sentence reduced". Online Athens. 22 May 2008. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
  19. ^ "Winder soldier told to 'finish off' Iraqi is no murderer, attorney says". 9 August 2007. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
  20. ^ Moni Basu and Jeffry Scott (August 8, 2007). "Winder soldier told to 'finish off' Iraqi is no murderer, attorney says". Who Is Calm?. Archived from the original on 2007. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
  21. ^ Witte, Brian (3 June 2008). "No court-martial for midshipman accused of rape - USATODAY.com". Usatoday30.usatoday.com. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
  22. ^ Witte, Brian (22 April 2008). "'He raped me,' woman says of fellow Naval Academy midshipman - USATODAY.com". Usatoday30.usatoday.com. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
  23. ^ Steve Vogel (April 23, 2008). "Midshipman Accused of Sex Assault". Washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
  24. ^ "AFP: US sergeant jailed for murdering prisoners in Iraq". Google.com. 30 March 2009. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
  25. ^ "Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Mayo: Bragg soldier gets 35 years in 4 deaths". Forums.militarytimes.com. 30 March 2009. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
  26. ^ "Murder in Afghanistan: Court Sentences 'Kill Team' Soldier to 24 Years in Prison - SPIEGEL ONLINE". Spiegel.de. 24 March 2011. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
  27. ^ Chris McGreal in Washington (27 September 2010). "US soldier accused of killing of Afghan civilians to appear at military tribunal | World news". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
  28. ^ Bernton, Hal (15 October 2010). "Local News | Stryker soldier Jeremy Morlock faces court-martial in Afghan killings". Seattle Times Newspaper. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
  29. ^ "US soldier Jeremy Morlock jailed for 24 years for Afghan murders". Dailymail.co.uk. 24 March 2011. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
  30. ^ "Secret Service sex scandal: Several say they didn't break the rules". The Washington Post. 22 May 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
  31. ^ David Nakamura and Joe Davidson (13 April 2012). "U.S. Secret Service agents recalled from Colombia". The Washington Post. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
  32. ^ Michael Waddington; Alexandra Gonzalez-Waddington (August 30, 2013). Upgrade Your Army Discharge eBook (Kindle ed.). Amazon.com. ASIN B00EW7IBVC. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
  33. ^ "Military Lawyer that Defends Court Martial Cases Worldwide". Courtmartiallawyers.com. Retrieved 29 September 2013.