Experience as a prosecutor, criminal defense attorney,
and civil litigator, plaintiffs and defense.
I grew up right here in Greenville, South Carolina. Following highschool, I attended Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, where I was an NCAA Scholar-Athlete for the Rhodes Lynx soccer program.
I completed my law degree at University of South Carolina School of Law, where I was on the mock trial team and an editor for the Journal of Law and Education. Following graduation, I served as a judicial law clerk for Senior Judge Robert H. Hodges, Jr. on the Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C. My experience in D.C. trial courts solidified my desire to become a trial lawyer.
After completing my clerkship, I moved back to my hometown to gain trial experience. I worked for the 13th Circuit Solicitor’s office, initially under a National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations (NHTSA) Federal Grant to prosecute DUIs and DUACs exclusively. In this role, I prosecuted thousands of DUIs and DUACs, including numerous jury trials and appeals.
I also served as a speaker at the S.C. Commission on Prosecution DUI Conference, as well as for multiple other law enforcement and judicial conferences. I earned the privilege of being selected to attend a national DUI conference in Colorado, alongside other Greenville law enforcement agencies and a Chief Judge.
Though, my criminal law experience expands well beyond DUIs. As a prosecutor and criminal defense attorney, I have experience with criminal cases of every variety-from Simple Assaults and Simple Possessions to Armed Robberies, Burglaries, and Murder-in every State court level, from Magistrates and Municipal Court to General Sessions and General Sessions Appeals.
Aside from prosecutor and criminal defense experience, I have also worked in civil litigation on the defense and plaintiff’s side. One of my most cherished legal experiences thus far has been volunteering with South Carolina Legal Services, helping indigent folks resolve civil matters.
Experience as military prosecutor, general counsel, criminal defense attorney
and civil defense litigator.
I come to Greenville and Whalen Montalvo after spending more than twenty years in the Marine Corps as a leader and Judge Advocate—retiring in June 2019 as a Lieutenant Colonel. Those twenty years included eight moves across six states, ten different homes, marriage to my college sweetheart, and the birth of our three girls. It also included two deployments in support of counterterrorism and crisis-response operations in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.
I attended the University of South Carolina after being awarded a Naval ROTC scholarship and graduated with a degree in Public Relations. Upon graduation I was commissioned into the Marine Corps and designated a Supply/Logistics Officer. While serving I was able to earn a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Boston University, finishing #1 in my class. After seven years on active duty, I was selected for the Marine Corps Law Program, which started my career in the law.
I attended the University of South Caroline School of Law, finishing in the top 10% of my graduating class and serving as the Associate Managing Editor of the South Carolina Law Review. During law school I was a summer law clerk for the Honorable Cameron Currie, U.S. District Court Judge, District of South Carolina; a professorial research assistant, and a founding member of the student organization, Servicemembers and Veterans in Law.
After graduating law school, I served as a military trial counsel prosecuting servicemembers accused of crimes in military federal court. Cases I handled involved negligent homicide; assault; use, possession, and distribution of illegal drugs; theft; criminal domestic violence; and driving under the influence. Later in my career, I served as the Senior Prosecutor for the Eastern Region Complex Trial Team, which was responsible for investigating, charging, and prosecuting the most serious military offenses, including murder, manslaughter, sexual assault, crimes against children, and other felony-level offenses.
My other role as a Judge Advocate in the Marine Corps was that of a General Counsel, providing legal and policy advice to senior military leaders on criminal law matters, international and operational law, ethics, administrative and criminal investigations, and compliance with federal, state, and Department of Defense policy. While serving as a Judge Advocate I was privileged to earn a Masters in Law in Military Law with a specialization in International and Operational Law.
In addition to my legal experience, I have operated a small business in South Carolina employing more than 50 people in the Greenville area, which has given me first-hand experience navigating issues of business structure, employee discipline, liability insurance, worker’s compensation, and unemployment insurance.