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.
After graduating from law school, Waddington worked as an 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. He is also the President of Legal Niche Pros, an internet marketing firm.
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.
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).
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. He is also the co-author of the book, Dare to Succeed published in August 2013.
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. After the public confession of the disappearance of al-Faruq, Sgt Driver was fully acquitted of all charges. 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."
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. SPC Hunsaker and PFC Corey Clagett, another defendant, entered plea deals that reduced their maximum sentence to 18 years. 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.
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 .
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. He was convicted of misdemeanor, battery and making false statements. He was sentenced to a reprimand, and was retained on active duty.
In July 2007, Waddington was called to defend Spc. Christopher P. Shore of a third-degree murder allegation. 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. 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. On May 21, 2008, Bednarek reduced Shore's conviction to simple assault, erasing Shore's felony record.
Rape allegation at the Naval Academy
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. On June 3, 2008, Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Adm. Jeffrey Fowler dismissed all court martial charges against the midshipman.
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. 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.
Waddington represented Spc. Jeremy Morlock, one of five soldiers charged with the Maywand District murders, premeditated murder of three Afghan civilians, in 2010. Morlock faced a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. 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.
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. 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.
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'.
Waddington has provided consultation services to several television channels including CBS for its legal and political drama, The Good Wife.
Waddington resides in Evans, Georgia with his wife, Alexandra Gonzalez, and their two children.