Staff & Board of Directors
Interim Executive Director
David co-founded the Pennsylvania Innocence Project with David Rudovsky, and he served as its President from its inception through 2016. He assumed the position of interim executive director on June 1, 2019, pending the search for a successor to Marissa Bluestine to whom he credits the Project’s accomplishments.
Since 1974 David has been with the firm of Pepper Hamilton LLP. He was a litigation partner and held a number of leadership positions from 1978 until 2012. He was subsequently made of counsel and is currently special counsel to the firm. Before joining Pepper Hamilton, David was an assistant district attorney in Philadelphia from 1969-74, the last year as chief of the appeals division.
From 1982-2000, David was lead counsel to the plaintiff class in Harris v. City of Philadelphia, a federal suit that challenged and improved the conditions of confinement in Philadelphia’s prison system.
Besides his central role in launching the Project, David has been an officer or board member of a number of other Philadelphia public interest law firms. He chaired the board of the Education Law Center-Pa. for twelve years, has served as an officer or board member of the Defender Association of Philadelphia for the past 36 years, and formerly served as an officer or board member of the Public Interest Law Center and Pennsylvania Prison Society. He was for many years an adjunct professor of law at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law. He is currently a member of the board of the Germantown Branch of Settlement Music School and of Lower Merion Township’s Environmental Advisory Council.
David received the PNC Achievement Award in 2015 in recognition of his contributions to the administration of justice in Pennsylvania and in 2009 was selected as the first recipient of the University of Pennsylvania Law School’s Howard Lesnick Pro Bono Award. David is a 1966 magna cum laude graduate of Dickinson College where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and a 1969 cum laude graduate of Penn Law.
As Legal Director, Nilam coordinates and supervises the legal efforts of the organization. She has practiced at law firms in New York, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia. She was a partner in the litigation services department at Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP. There, Nilam received the firm’s Earl G. Harrison Pro Bono Award. Super Lawyers and a Lawyer on the Fast Track named her the Rising Star in Civil Litigation Defense.
Nilam is a graduate of Columbia University (B.S.) and received her J.D., cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center. At Georgetown, she was on the executive board of the American Criminal Law Review and a member of the Appellate Litigation Clinic. After law school, she clerked for the Honorable William B. Shubb in the Eastern District of California and the Honorable Thomas L. Ambro in the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
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 Carter was one of the first to join the Pennsylvania Innocence Project. Since 2009, she has coordinated all of the office functions. 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. She is a graduate of the Community College of Philadelphia (AA) in Paralegal Studies.
John Robert Butler
John came to the Pennsylvania Innocence Project in December 2018. He is a graduate of Louisiana State University (B.A.) where he studied Political Science and Mass Communications. He is also a graduate of the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel where he received a Master’s Degree in Counter-Terrorism and Homeland Security.
Before working at the PAIP, John was a Supervising Investigator at the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) where he conducted investigations into allegations of NYPD misconduct. He investigated the most complex cases at the agency, including deaths in custody and sexual harassment allegations, and received specialized training in forensic video analysis. John also supervised a team of junior investigators and served as a lead instructor on police use of force issues for the CCRB New Investigator Training.
Prior to working at the CCRB, John worked as a researcher for various international studies think-tanks and published an article on terrorist radicalization for the International Institute for Counter Terrorism in Herzliya, Israel.
Amelia Maxfield, Esq.
Forensic Science Specialist
Amelia started a two-year fellowship with the Pennsylvania Innocence Project in February, 2018. The focus of her fellowship is on litigating flawed forensic science cases. Amelia has unique experience in this area. Our of law school, Amelia served as Post-Conviction counsel at the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers where she coordinated the FBI Microscopic Hair Comparison Analysis Review. She then served as an Assistant Public Defender for the Montgomery County office of Maryland Office of the Public Defender.
As a Public Defender Amelia routinely challenged the admissibility and use of unreliable or unvalidated forensic sciences at trial. Amelia graduated cum laude from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 2015. She is a member of the Order of the Coif, and was the Symposium Editor of the Wisconsin Journal of Law, Gender, and Society. During law school Amelia participated in the Wisconsin Innocence Project clinic, and interned in the Strategic Litigation Department of the Innocence Project.
Managing Attorney – Pittsburgh Office
Liz currently runs our Pittsburgh Office. Before joining us, she worked for a small non-profit organization that served at-risk children and families. As Director of Placement Services, she managed 10 direct-care caseworkers and 36 foster families. While working full-time, Liz attended law school in the evenings to earn her J.D. in 2010.
Liz is a 2004 University of Pittsburgh (B.A.) and Duquesne University School of Law (J.D.) graduate. After law school, the Allegheny County Office of Conflict Counsel recruited Liz to develop new programs to ensure quality legal representation for court-involved youth.
Here, she collaborated with community youth agencies, county government agencies, and court officials in developing a program model and mission. She was responsible for all policies, procedures, staff recruitment, and identifying and obtaining funding for the programs. As a result, the juvenile delinquency and juvenile dependency divisions of the Office of Conflict Counsel launched in the spring of 2011. Both programs have received praise and continue to grow and expand.
After passing the Pennsylvania bar exam, Liz joined the Office of Conflict Counsel’s adult trial unit where she represented adult criminal clients in cases varying cases. Most recently, Liz 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.
Administrative Assistant – Pittsburgh Office
Meera Rajput graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2018 with Summa Cum Laude Honors with a B.S. in Psychology and a Minor in Economics. During her undergraduate career, she was involved in many activities including a chapter of the international organization called Asha for Education, a non-profit that raises awareness and fund raises towards socioeconomic factors that affect access to education for underprivileged children in India. She was also a member of Psi Chi, an Honors Psychology Society, and the Vice-President of Behavioral Economics Club, which looked at the intersection of psychology and economics in the consumer market. Outside of the university, she served as an undergraduate intern at the Women’s Law Project, a public interest legal center devoted to protecting and advancing the rights of women. Her future career plans include attending law school and pursuing public health/healthcare law. She currently serves as a fellow through the Pittsburgh Urban Leadership Service Experience (PULSE) at our Pittsburgh office as the Administrative Assistant.
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 Martha Morse – Pembroke Philanthropy Advisors
Treasurer Harris Devor, CPA – Friedman LLP Accountants and Advisors
Mira Baylson – Akin Gump
David Berardinelli – DeForest Koscelnik Yokitis & Berardinelli
Paul D. Brandes – Villari, Brandes & Giannone P.C
Jeff Bresch – Jones Day
Professor 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
Professor David Harris – University of Pittsburgh School of Law
Martin Heckscher – Heckscher, Teillon, Terrill, & Sager
Tomi Herold – Highmark
Kelley Hodge – Elliott Greenleaf
Alycia Horn – Comcast Cable Communication LLC
Michael L. Lehr – Greenberg Traurig, LLP
Zane D. Memeger – Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
Kevin V. Mincey – Mincey & Fitzpatrick, LLC
Anton Moore – Unity in the Community
Joshua Snyder – Boni, Zack & Snyder LLC
David Sonenshein – Temple University Beasley School of Law