Staff & Board of Directors
Marissa Boyers Bluestine
Marissa Boyers Bluestine started with the Pennsylvania Innocence Project as its first Legal Director in 2009. In June, 2017, she was named Executive Director. As Executive Director, Marissa sets the course for the organization in policy and public awareness. She also promotes our mission through public education, advocacy, and legislative reform for issues and laws related to innocence and the criminal justice system. Marissa works directly with law enforcement to train, update, and include them in investigative techniques empirically proven to exceed outdated practices.
Marissa is a graduate of Trinity College in Hartford (B.A.), Connecticut and Temple University School of Law (J.D., cum laude). Before officially joining the Project, she was an Assistant Defender with the Defender Association of Philadelphia for over 10 years and also worked as a litigation associate at Duane Morris LLP.
In April, 2010, the Legal Intelligencer, a popular law journal included Marissa in its biennial list, Women of Distinction. The Philadelphia Bar Association honored her with the Andrew Hamilton Award for Distinguished Service in Public Interest Law in 2013.
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.
In 2012, Max first started working with the Pennsylvania Innocence Project as a volunteer law student. He went on to participate in a practicum during his 3L year under the supervision of then-Staff Attorney Nilam Sanghvi. During these experiences, Max developed interests in post conviction law and the causes of wrongful convictions, including government misconduct, flawed forensic science and underfunded and ineffective representation.
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.
Emeritus Executive Director
Richard Glazer was a member of the working group that transformed the idea of a Pennsylvania specific innocence program into reality. He served as our Executive Director from the Project’s inception in 2009 until 2017. His leadership was integral to the early success of the Project and is currently furthering its four-fold mission.
Mr. Glazer is a graduate of Tufts University (B.S.) and Temple University School of Law (J.D.). He clerked for the Honorable James H. Gorbey, of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania from 1970-72.
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. He worked on a tuberculosis control project that became a prototype for other programs designed to detect, treat, and eradicate infectious diseases.
He is a founder of Cozen O’Connor, one of the 100 largest law firms in the U.S. where he served as Regional Managing Partner and Department Chair from 1972 through 2003. For almost 20 years, Richard served as a board member and Chair for the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia. He spent 10 years as a member and leader of the Committee of Seventy. The Committee is a non-partisan political watchdog organization focusing on election, school, law enforcement, and judicial reform.
Richard sat as the Senior Advisor to the City of Philadelphia’s Managing Director from 2004 to 2006. He provided strategic oversight of special projects for Philadelphia’s chief administrative officer. In 2006, he became the first elected Chair of the Philadelphia Board of Ethics. This is an independent board focused on ethics and strong government that he served until 2013. After the election of Larry Krasner as Philadelphia’s new District Attorney in 2018, Richard went to work for Mr. Krasner as a Special Advisor.
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