OAD Team

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Legal Staff

Christina A. Swarns

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President and Attorney-in-Charge (August 2017 to present); Litigation Director, NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. (June 2014- July 2017); Director, Criminal Justice Project, NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. (November 2003-June 2014); Supervising Assistant Federal Defender and Assistant Federal Defender, Capital Habeas Unit, Philadelphia Federal Community Defender (November 1996-November 2003); Staff Attorney, Legal Aid Society, Criminal Defense Division (February 1994-November 1996). 

Counsel of Record, Buck v. Davis, 137 S.Ct. 759 (2017). 

University of Pennsylvania Law School (1993); Howard University (1990).


David Billingsley

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Staff Attorney, Office of the Appellate Defender (2017 – present); Poverty Justice Solutions Fellow, Housing Practice, Mobilization for Justice (2015-2017); Student Attorney, Federal Defenders of New York Clinic, New York University School of Law (2014-2015); Legal Intern, Alaska Public Defender Agency (2014); Clinic Student, Equal Justice and Capital Defender Clinic, New York University School of Law (2013); Legal Intern, New Jersey Institute for Social Justice (2013).

New York University School of Law, J.D., 2015; Columbia University, B.A., 2009.


Caitlin Glass

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Staff Attorney, Office of the Appellate Defender (2017-present); Law Clerk, Hon. Ann M. Donnelly, United States District Judge, Eastern District of New York (2016-2017); Assistant Director, Clemency Resource Center, New York University School of Law (2015-2016); Karpatkin Fellow, ACLU Racial Justice Program (2014-2015); Clinical Student, Equal Justice and Capital Defender Clinic, New York University School of Law (2013); Legal Intern, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project (2013); Summer Associate, Jenner & Block, LLP (2013); Clinical Student, Racial Justice Clinic, New York University School of Law (2013); Legal Intern, ACLU Capital Punishment Project (2012).

New York University School of Law, J.D., 2014; The University of Chicago, B.A., 2008.


Anastasia Heeger

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Director, Reinvestigation Project, Office of the Appellate Defender (2012-present); Supervising Attorney, Office of the Appellate Defender, (2017-present); Senior Staff Attorney, Office of the Appellate Defender (2007-2017); Law Clerk, Hon. Theodore H. Katz, United States Magistrate Judge, Southern District of New York, New York, NY (2006-2007); Volunteer Attorney, Office of the Appellate Defender (2006); Consultant, ABC News Internet Ventures, New York, NY (2005); Author, Securing a Journalist's Testimonial Privilege in the International Criminal Court, 6 San Diego Int'l L.J. 206 (2005); NBC News Decision Desk, New York, NY (2002, 2004); Research Assistant, Brooklyn Law School, Brooklyn, NY, (2003-2004); Safe Harbor Clinic, Brooklyn Law School Legal Services, Brooklyn, NY (2003); Judicial Intern, Hon. Irma S. Raker, Maryland Court of Appeals, Rockville, MD (2003); Intern, Prisoners' Rights Project, The Legal Aid Society, New York, NY (2003); Researcher, Media Law Resource Center, New York, NY (2002-2003); Managing Producer/Director of News Coverage, ABC News.com, New York, NY (1997-2002); Reporter/Editor, The Associated Press, New York, NY (1991-1997).

Brooklyn Law School, J.D., magna cum laude, 2004, Martha J. Prince Scholar, Prince Merit Scholar; The University of Chicago, M.A., 1994; George Washington University, B.A., 1991.


Rosemary Herbert

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Supervising Attorney, Office of the Appellate Defender (1995-present); Adjunct Professor, New York University School of Law (2008-present); Director of Training and Legal Developments, Office of the Appellate Defender (2003-present); Vice-President, First Department Assigned Counsel Corporation (1996-present); Staff Attorney, Public Defender Service of Washington, D.C. (1988-1994); Karpatkin Fellow, American Civil Liberties Union (1987-1988); Law Clerk, Hon. Thurgood Marshall, U.S. Supreme Court (1986-1987); Law Clerk, Hon. Wilfred Feinberg, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (1985-1986). Editor, Yale Law Journal; Yale Moot Court Semi-Finalist; Benjamin Cardozo Prize. Author, Women's Prisons: An Equal Protection Evaluation, 84 Yale L.J. 1182 (1985); Contributing Editor, Criminal Practice Institute, Trial Manual (1989-1993).

Yale University, J.D., 1985; Harvard College, B.A., magna cum laude, 1980.


Mandy Jaramillo

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Senior Staff Attorney, Office of the Appellate Defender (2017-present); Investigations Attorney, The Innocence Project, Inc. (2012-2017); Staff Attorney, The Center for Family Representation (2010-2012); Law Clerk, Spivak Lipton LLP (2009); Law Clerk, Vladeck, Waldman, Elias & Engelhard, P.C. (2009); Volunteer, New York City Civil Court, Housing Part (2007-2009).

Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 2010; The University of Chicago, B.A., 1999.


Will Kendall

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Senior Staff Attorney, Office of the Appellate Defender (2017-present); Staff Attorney, The Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem (2011-2017); Law Clerk, Hon. Ronald L. Ellis, United States Magistrate Judge, Southern District of New York (2010-2011); Law Clerk, Bredhoff & Kaiser, P.L.L.C. (2009); Law Clerk, Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (2009); Death Penalty Investigator, The Southern Center for Human Rights (2004-2007);   Intern Investigator, Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (2001, 2002).

Northeastern University School of Law, J.D., 2010; Wesleyan University, B.A., 2004.


Margaret E. Knight

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Supervising Attorney, Office of the Appellate Defender (2012-present); Senior Staff Attorney, Office of the Appellate Defender (2002-2012); Student Intern, New York Capital Defender Clinic, New York University (2001-2002); Legal Intern, Public Defender Service of the District of Columbia (2001); Legal Intern, D.C. Prisoners' Rights Project (2000); Legal Assistant, Holland & Knight LLP (1999).

New York University School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 2002; New College of the University of South Florida, B.A., 1996.


Daniel R. Lambright

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Law Clerk, Office of the Appellate Defender (2016-present); Law Fellow, AARP Foundation Litigation (2015-16); Extern, Capital Habeas United, Federal Community Defender Office (2014); Intern, Legal Aid Society Civil Practice (2014); Intern, Penn Law School Criminal Defense Clinic (2014); Intern, Philadelphia Commission on Human Rights (2013).

University of Pennsylvania Law School, J.D., 2015; Bates College, B.A., 2012.


Eunice C. Lee

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Adjunct Professor of Clinical Law, New York University School of Law (2003-present); Director of Recruitment and Outreach, Office of the Appellate Defender (2003-present); Supervising Attorney, Office of the Appellate Defender (2001-present); Staff Attorney, Office of the Appellate Defender (1998-2000); Law Clerk, Hon. Eric L. Clay, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (1997-1998); Law Clerk, Hon. Susan J. Dlott, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio (1996-1997). Research Assistant, Hon. F.L. Norcott, Jr., Associate Justice, Connecticut Supreme Court (1995-1996); Summer Legal Intern, Dept. of Justice, Civil Division (1995); Legal Intern, People for the American Way (1995); Summer Intern, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (1994); Summer Associate, Shearman & Sterling (1994).

Yale Law School, J.D., 1996; Ohio State University, B.A., summa cum laude, 1993.


Kami Lizarraga

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Staff Attorney, Office of the Appellate Defender (2017-present); Appellate Litigation Associate, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP (2011-17); Volunteer Appellate Defender, in association with Office of the Appellate Defender (2013-15); Law Clerk, Hon. William H. Pauley III, United States District Judge, Southern District of New York (2009-10); Student Mediator, Mediation Clinic (2008); Summer Associate, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP (2008); Public Interest Extern, Save the Children (2008); Summer Associate, Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP (2007).

Columbia Law School, J.D., 2009; Andrews University, B.S., summa cum laude, 2005.


Sam Mendez

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Staff Attorney, Office of the Appellate Defender (2014-present); Student Advocate, Criminal Appellate Defender Clinic (2014); Legal Intern, Brooklyn Defender Services, Criminal Defense Practice (2013); Legal Intern, Federal Defenders of New York, S.D.N.Y. (2012); Legal Assistant, White & Case, LLP, International Arbitration Group (2007-2008).

New York University School of Law, J.D., 2014; Middlebury College, B.A., 2007


Kate Mollison

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Staff Attorney, Office of the Appellate Defender (2015-present); Law Clerk, Hon. Myron H. Thompson, Montgomery, AL (2014-15); Supervising Clinical Student, Educational Opportunity and Juvenile Justice Clinic, Yale Law School (2012-14); Clinical Student, Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic, Yale Law School (2012-14); Law Intern, Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, New York, NY (2013); Legal Intern, ACLU of Southern California (2013); Law Clerk, Orleans Public Defenders, New Orleans, LA (2012).

Yale Law School, J.D., 2014; University of Pennsylvania, M.S., 2010; Wesleyan University, B.A., 2008.


Joseph M. Nursey

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Supervising Attorney, Office of the Appellate Defender (1999-present); Private Practitioner, criminal defense and civil rights litigation, Atlanta, GA (1994-1999); Supervising Attorney, Office of the Appellate Defender (1992-1994); Attorney and Director of Interns, The Team Defense Project, Atlanta, GA (1978-1992); Assistant Public Defender, Tallahassee, FL (1977-1978). Argued Burger v. Kemp, 483 U.S. 776 (1987), in U.S. Supreme Court.

Instructor at numerous state and regional programs on death penalty defense and criminal defense, including: Faculty, National Defender Training Project, 2017 Trial Advocacy Program, University of Dayton School of Law, Dayton, OH, June 2017; Faculty, Ohio State Public Defender, Appellate Defender Training, Dayton, OH, March 2016; Faculty, Federal Defender Services, Persuasive Writing Workshop, Washington, DC, August 2015; Faculty, National Legal Aid & Defender Association and National Alliance of Indigent Defense Educators, Appellate Defense and Persuasive Writing Skills Institute, New Orleans, LA, January 2015; Faculty, Public Defender Association of Pennsylvania, Appellate Advocacy Training, The Dickinson School of Law, Carlisle, PA, March 2011; Faculty, Public Defender Association of Pennsylvania, Trial Advocacy Training, The Dickinson School of Law, Carlisle, PA, June 2008.

University of Florida College of Law, J.D., cum laude, 1976; University of Central Florida, B.S., magna cum laude, 1974.


Lisa A. Packard

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Supervising Attorney, Office of the Appellate Defender (2017-present); Senior Appellate Counsel, Center for Appellate Litigation (2015-2017); Appellate Counsel, Center for Appellate Litigation (2011-2015); Co-Director, Sex Trafficking Project, Center for Appellate Litigation (2014-2017); Co-Director, SORA Project, Center for Appellate Litigation (2011-2013); Staff Attorney, Office of the Appellate Defender (2008-2011); Intern, Wisconsin Office of the State Public Defender, (2007); Law Intern, Hon. P. Michael Mahoney, United States Magistrate Judge, Northern District of Illinois (2006).

Lewis & Clark Law School, J.D., 2008; Marquette University, B.S., magna cum laude, 2004.


Katherine M. A. Pecore

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Staff Attorney, Office of the Appellate Defender (2016-present); Litigation Associate, Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP (2013-16); Student Attorney, Harvard Criminal Justice Institute (2012-13); Law Clerk, Capital Post-Conviction Project of Louisiana (2011); Student Attorney / Case Assignment Director, Harvard Defenders (2010-12); Law Clerk, ACLU of Maryland (2011).

Harvard Law School, J.D., 2013; Brown University, B.A., 2008.


Emma L. Shreefter

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Staff Attorney, Office of the Appellate Defender (2017-present) (awaiting bar examination results; authorized to practice by court order); Student Attorney, Main Street Legal Services, Criminal Defense Clinic, CUNY School of Law (2016); Legal Intern, Legal Aid Society, Criminal Appeals Bureau (2016); Legal Intern, Federal Defenders of New York, Southern District (2016); Legal Intern, Office of the Appellate Defender (2015-2016); Paralegal, Legal Services NYC, Bankruptcy Assistance Project (2013-2014); Paralegal, Legal Services NYC, Staten Island Homeowner Defense Project (2012-2013).

City University of New York School of Law, J.D., 2017; Smith College, B.A., 2012.


Lauren Stephens-Davidowitz

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Senior Staff Attorney, Office of the Appellate Defender (2010-present); Law Clerk, Hon. James C. Francis IV, United States Magistrate Judge, Southern District of New York (2009-2010); Legal Intern, Equal Justice and Capital Defender Clinic, New York University School of Law (2009); Legal Intern, The Bronx Defenders, Criminal Defense Practice, Bronx, NY (2008); Research Assistant, Prof. Anthony G. Amsterdam, New York University School of Law (2007-2008); Legal Intern, Office of the Georgia Capital Defender, Atlanta, GA (2007).

New York University School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 2009; Yale University, B.A., 2003.


Stephen R. Strother

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Staff Attorney, Office of the Appellate Defender (2016-present); Staff Attorney, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (2014-16); Intern, New York County Defender Services (2012-13); Intern, Federal Defenders of San Diego (2013); Research Assistant, Professor Anthony Thompson (2013); Student Advocate, Criminal Appellate Defender Clinic (2012); Intern, Office of the Federal Public Defender, Nashville, TN (2012); Summer Associate, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP (2012)

New York University Law School, J.D., 2014; University of Louisville, M.A., 2010; Belmont University, B.A., 2007.


Victorien Wu

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Staff Attorney, Office of the Appellate Defender (2017–present); Assistant Counsel, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (2017); Fried Frank Fellow, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (2015–17); Associate (LDF Fellow), Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP (2012–2014); Law Clerk, Hon. Beverly B. Martin, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit (2011–2012); Law Clerk, Hon. Eldon E. Fallon, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana (2010–2011); Summer Law Clerk, LGBT & AIDS Project, American Civil Liberties Union (2009); Student Advocate, Employment Civil Rights Clinic, WilmerHale Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School (2009); Clinical Intern, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the Boston Bar Association (2008); Summer Law Clerk, Victor M. Glasberg & Associates (2008).

Harvard Law School, J.D., cum laude, 2010; Stanford University, B.A., with honors and with distinction, 2004.


Administrative Support Staff


Allie Anderson | Intake Specialist     

Allie Anderson | Intake Specialist     

Renee Lemmel | Intake Specialist

Renee Lemmel | Intake Specialist

Roslyn Allison | Finance Officer

Roslyn Allison | Finance Officer


Carolyn S. Norris | Office Manager & First Monday Event Coordinator

Carolyn S. Norris | Office Manager & First Monday Event Coordinator

Alan Litwa | Paralegal

Alan Litwa | Paralegal

Abraham Ruiz, Jr. | Administrative Assistant & Interpreter

Abraham Ruiz, Jr. | Administrative Assistant & Interpreter