Staff & Board of Directors
Richard C. Glazer
Richard has been the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Innocence Project since its inception in 2009, having served as a member of the working group that turned the idea of an innocence project serving the state of Pennsylvania into a reality. His leadership has been integral to the early success of the Project in furthering its four-fold mission.
Richard is a founder of the law firm of Cozen O’Connor, one of the 100 largest law firms in the United States, where he served as Regional Managing Partner and Department Chair from 1972 through 2003. Mr. Glazer served as Senior Advisor to the City of Philadelphia’s Managing Director from 2004 to 2006, providing strategic oversight of special projects for Philadelphia’s chief administrative officer. He was the first elected Chair of the Philadelphia Board of Ethics, an independent board focused on ethics and good government, and served in that capacity from 2006 to 2013.
Richard’s commitment to public service and the law began with his service as a volunteer with the United States Peace Corps in Malawi, from 1964 to 1966, where he worked on a tuberculosis control project that served as a prototype for similar programs designed to detect and treat infectious diseases, and work towards their eradication.
Richard’s service has included serving as a board member, from 1987 to 2006, and as board Chair, from 1994 to 1996, for the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia, and as a member and leader of the Committee of Seventy, a non-partisan political watchdog organization focusing on election, school, police and judicial reforms, from 1996 to 2006.
Mr. Glazer is a graduate of Tufts University (B.S.) and Temple University School of Law (J.D.). He clerked for the Hon. James H. Gorbey, of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania from 1970-72.
Marissa Boyers Bluestine
Marissa has served the Pennsylvania Innocence Project as Legal Director since its inception in 2009. Marissa coordinates and supervises the legal efforts of the organization. In addition, Marissa promotes the mission of the Project to strengthen and improve the effectiveness of the criminal justice system in Pennsylvania through public education and advocacy. She engages in public education, advocacy and legislative reform efforts on issues that relate to innocence and the criminal justice system. Working directly with law enforcement, Marissa is helping our criminal justice system respond to the challenges raised by the over 330 DNA exonerations nationwide through improving investigative techniques.
Prior to her work with the Project, Marissa worked for over 10 years as an Assistant Defender with the Defender Association of Philadelphia, and for several years as a litigation associate at Duane Morris. In April, 2010, the Legal Intelligencer included Marissa in its biennial list of “Women of Distinction.” In 2013, the Philadelphia Bar Association honored her with the Andrew Hamilton Award for Distinguished Service in Public Interest Law.
Marissa is a graduate of Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut and Temple University School of Law.
Nilam graduated from Columbia University in 1999 and received her J.D., cum laude, from the Georgetown University Law Center in 2002. At Georgetown, Nilam was on the executive board of the American Criminal Law Review and was a member of the Appellate Litigation Clinic. After law school, Nilam clerked for the Honorable William B. Shubb in the Eastern District of California and the Honorable Thomas L. Ambro on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
Nilam has practiced at law firms in New York, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia, where she was a partner in the litigation services department at Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP. While at Schnader, Nilam received the firm’s Earl G. Harrison Pro Bono Award and was named a Rising Star in Civil Litigation Defense by Super Lawyers and a Lawyer on the Fast Track by the Legal Intelligencer. Most recently, Nilam was a supervising attorney and clinical teaching fellow at the Georgetown University Law Center Appellate Litigation Clinic and received her LLM in Advocacy from Georgetown in 2013. In addition to her work at the Pennsylvania Innocence Project, she is an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she teaches Appellate Advocacy. Nilam also serves as a trustee of the Philadelphia Bar Foundation and the co-chair of the Board Observer Program.
Yvonne Y Carter
Yvonne was the first staff member to join the Pennsylvania Innocence Project. Since the office opened in 2009, Yvonne has coordinated all of the office functions and kept the Project running smoothly. In addition to her responsibilities as Office Manager, Yvonne also coordinates intake and overseeing volunteers conducting initial reviews of cases. Before joining the Project, Yvonne worked as a Legal Secretary, first for a bankruptcy attorney, and later at the law firm of Pepper Hamilton LLP in Philadelphia. A graduate of Community College of Philadelphia, Yvonne earned her Associates Degree in Paralegal Studies.
Zach began working as the Project’s staff investigator in September 2016. Before that, he served as an investigator and mitigation specialist in the post-conviction stage of capital cases at the office of the Capital Collateral Regional Counsel in Tallahassee, Florida. Prior to that, Zach worked as a paralegal at the Homeless Advocacy Clinic in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, assisting in the representation of chronically homeless individuals seeking Social Security Disability benefits. Zach received his bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Ithaca College.
Bill is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Boston University School of Law. Prior to joining the Pennsylvania Innocence Project in September 2011, as Director of Development and Communications, he was the Community Court Coordinator for the Center City District for 13 years. Bill managed the planning phase for the creation of the Court and subsequently oversaw the administration of the Court following its opening in 2002.
Bill also served for ten years as a special master to the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, monitoring implementation of the consent decrees in Harris v. City of Philadelphia, and spent four years as executive director of the Pennsylvania Prison Society. Prior to moving to Philadelphia, he served as a monitor for the U.S. District Court in Houston in Ruiz v. Estelle, as a mediator for the Center for Dispute Resolution in Washington, as a clinical supervisor at the Antioch School of Law where he earned a masters degree in teaching, and as a staff attorney with the Florida Legal Services Prison Project.
Mr. Babcock’s public service has included one year as a VISTA volunteer, appointments to the Board of Trustees of the Philadelphia Prison System and the Mayor’s Task Force on Homeless Services, and board membership with the Pennsylvania Innocence Project, Pennsylvania Prison Society, Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, and National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women. He is also an adjunct professor in Temple University’s Department of Criminal Justice.
T.C. joined the Pennsylvania Innocence Project in August of 2015, increasing the Project’s legal staff to three full-time attorneys. T.C. graduated from Pennsylvania State University in 2009 and received his J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 2012.
Prior to joining the Project, T.C. worked as the appellateand post-conviction attorney for a private criminal defense firm in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, from 2012-2015. In those three years with the firm, T.C. litigated cases throughout Pennsylvania, and he drafted the PCRA petition and worked on the team that freed James Hugney after 35 years of wrongful incarceration. T.C. has been a volunteer at the Widener School of Law in Delaware as a Moot Court judge, at Penn State University, and with the Alzheimer’s Association.
Elizabeth graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2004 and then worked for a small non-profit organization that served at-risk children and families. As Director of Placement Services, she managed ten direct-care caseworkers and 36 foster families. While working full-time, Elizabeth attended Duquesne University School of Law in the evenings and received her J.D. in 2010.
After law school, Elizabeth was recruited by the Allegheny County Office of Conflict Counsel to develop two new programs to ensure quality legal representation for court-involved youth. She collaborated with community youth agencies, county government agencies, and court officials in developing the program model and mission. She was responsible for all policies and procedures, identifying and obtaining funding, and the recruitment of qualified staff. The juvenile delinquency and juvenile dependency divisions of the Office of Conflict Counsel were launched in the spring of 2011. Both programs have been widely praised and have continued to grow and expand over the last several years.
After passing the Pennsylvania bar exam, Elizabeth joined the Office of Conflict Counsel’s adult trial unit where she represented adult criminal clients in cases ranging in severity from summary disorderly conduct to first degree homicide. Most recently, Elizabeth gained invaluable federal criminal trial experience through her work as a Research and Writing Attorney and Assistant Federal Defender for the Federal Defender’s Office in the District of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Board of Directors
- President: Howard D. Scher; Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC
- Vice-President: Riley H. Ross III; Ross Legal Practice, LLC
- Vice-President: Samuel W. Silver; Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP
- Vice-President: John S. Summers; Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller
- Secretary: Carolyn P. Short; Reed Smith LLP
- Treasurer: Richard P. Myers; Paul Reich & Myers, PC
- Paul D. Brandes; Villari, Brandes & Giannone P.C
- Jeff Bresch; Jones Day
- Doris DelTosto Brogan; Villanova University School of Law
- J. Gordon Cooney, Jr.; Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
- Pedro de la Torre; The Chemours Company
- David Fawcett; Reed Smith LLP
- Ann C. Flannery; Law Offices of Ann C. Flannery, LLC
- Thomas M. Gallagher; Pepper Hamilton LLP
- Norman J. Glickman; Rutgers University Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy
- Martin Heckscher; Heckscher, Teillon, Terrill, & Sager
- Kelley B. Hodge; Elliott Greenleaf
- Michael J. Holston; Merck & Co., Inc.
- Thomas J. Innes, III; Defender Association of Philadelphia
- Michael L. Lehr; Greenberg Traurig, LLP
- Zane D. Memeger; Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
- Kevin V. Mincey; Mincey & Fitzpatrick, LLC
- Martha Morse; Pembroke Philanthropy Advisors
- Louis M. Natali, Jr.; Temple University Beasley School of Law
- Catherine Recker; Welsh & Recker, P.C.
- David Richman; Pepper Hamilton LLP
- David Rudovsky; Kairys, Rudovsky, Messing & Feinberg
- Elise Singer; Fine Kaplan and Black, RPC
- David Sonenshein; Temple University Beasley School of Law
- Joseph A. Sullivan; Pepper Hamilton LLP