Our Staff

Our office is headed by Lynn W. L. Fahey. She leads an 8-person management team, approximately 30 staff attorneys, and support staff.
Our attorneys have graduated from many of the top law schools in the country. They represent indigent criminal defendants by choice. They believe in fighting for the right to a fair trial and against unjust convictions and sentences. They are dedicated wholeheartedly to seeking equal justice for the poor.

Michael Arthus

Michael Arthus graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he served as Notes Editor of the Harvard Law Review and Managing Editor of the Harvard Journal of Racial and Ethnic Justice.  He also represented indigent criminal defendants at trial through the Criminal Justice Institute.  He holds a B.A. in International Relations and Spanish from New York University, where he graduated summa cum laude.

Prior to joining Appellate Advocates, Mike worked as a trial attorney at Brooklyn Defender Services.  He has published articles on topics including poverty-based incarceration, juvenile sentencing schemes, and constitutional equal protection.

Alexis A. Ascher

Alexis A. Ascher joined Appellate Advocates in 2002.  She graduated from Northeastern University School of Law in 2000.  Following law school, she clerked for two criminal court judges in the Massachusetts Superior Court.  She attended Brooklyn College (CUNY) and received her B.A. in Political Science.

Steven R. Bernhard

Steven R. Bernhard joined Appellate Advocates as a staff attorney in 1996 and has been a criminal lawyer for over three decades. After law school, he first worked for the Legal Aid Society of Nassau County. For more than eight years, he was the principal law clerk to the Honorable Marie G. Santagata of the Nassau County Court. He later was a solo practitioner for ten years, focusing primarily on criminal appeals.  He is a graduate of Binghamton University and Cornell Law School.  

Samuel E. Brown

Samuel Brown graduated magna cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School, where he received the Rockwell T. Gust Advocacy Award, was an executive editor of the Journal of Law Reform, and served as a student attorney in the Civil-Criminal Litigation Clinic and the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Project. While in law school, he interned for the ACLU of Michigan, Washtenaw County Office of Public Defender, and Northern Virginia Capital Defender Office and volunteered with the Michigan State Appellate Defender Office.

Before joining Appellate Advocates, he clerked for the Honorable Julian Abele Cook, Jr. in the Eastern District of Michigan. He received a B.A. in Economics and Russian & East European Studies from Middlebury College.

Isa Chakarian

Isa Chakarian received her J.D. from the City University of New York School of Law (CUNY) in 2012. Before joining Appellate Advocates, Isa worked as a criminal defense trial attorney at Brooklyn Defender Services. She received her undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Alan Chevat

Alan Chevat served for many years as an attorney for the New York Appellate Division, Second Department, including as Deputy Supervisor of the Law Department and, for over eleven years, as Chief Court Attorney, managing the Law Department's more than sixty attorneys.  Among other responsibilities, he reviewed and assigned all criminal appeals in the Appellate Division.  Previously, he served as an Administrative Assistant to Presiding Justice Mangano and as a Principal Court Clerk for Judge Gerard M. Weisberg of the New York Court of Claim.

Mr. Chevat holds a B.A. from SUNY Stony Brook, a M.A. from Columbia University, and a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School.

Cynthia Colt

Cynthia Colt graduated from New York University School of Law and cum laude from Wellesley College.  She worked as a litigation associate at a corporate law firm and, in 1994, began working at The Legal Aid Society.  There, she worked in the Criminal Appeals Bureau until 2000 and in the Trial Division from 2000 to 2011.  Before joining Appellate Advocates, she worked as the Principal Law Clerk for Justice Suzanne Mondo in Brooklyn Supreme Court.

Denise A. Corsi

Denise A. Corsi graduated from Georgetown University Law Center. She has worked as a trial and appellate litigator with public organizations and a private firm.  She joined Appellate Advocates in 2000.

A. Alexander Donn

Alex Donn graduated with honors from the University of Michigan Law School in 2006.  Before joining Appellate Advocates, he was a litigation associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP.  Prior to attending law school, he worked as a political aide and speechwriter, taught high school English, and worked as a teaching assistant in a San Francisco elementary school.  He received a B.A. in Classics from Yale University.

Lynn W.L. Fahey

Lynn W. L. Fahey is the Attorney-in-Charge of Appellate Advocates.  She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Vassar College and "With Distinction" from Cornell Law School.  She has devoted her professional life to representing criminal defendants who are poor.  Before founding Appellate Advocates, she spent more than 20 years with the Criminal Appeals Bureau of The Legal Aid Society, where she served as Assistant Attorney-in-Charge from 1986 to 1995. 

In 2003, she was the first recipient of the New York State Bar Association's Criminal Justice Section award for "Outstanding Contribution in the Field of Appellate Advocacy."  In 2009, she was the first attorney to successfully establish a convicted New York murder defendant's actual innocence. 

She is one of the principal authors of the West book New York Criminal Law (first, second, and third editions), for which she has written the chapters explaining the law of homicide, assault, robbery, and burglary, among other crimes.  She has lectured widely on criminal law, criminal procedure, and appellate practice under the auspices of various public defender organizations, bar associations, and the New York court system.  

Golnaz Fakhimi

Golnaz Fakhimi received her J.D. from the City University of New York School of Law (CUNY) in 2011.  Before joining Appellate Advocates, she worked as an immigration staff attorney at The Bronx Defenders, a staff attorney at the International Justice Network, and a clinical adjunct at CUNY, and volunteered at New York County Defender Services.  She received undergraduate degrees in Mathematics and in the Plan II Liberal Arts Honors Program from the University of Texas at Austin.

Rebecca J. Gannon

Rebecca J. Gannon graduated summa cum laude from Brooklyn Law School, where she was a Sparer Public Interest Law Fellow, a Notes and Comments Editor on the Brooklyn Law Review, and a member of the Moot Court Honor Society.  During law school, she interned for Youth Represent, The Legal Aid Society, and the Southern Poverty Law Center, and participated in the Capital Defender and Federal Habeas Clinic.  

After graduating law school, Rebecca clerked for the Honorable Lois Bloom in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York.  Rebecca holds a B.A. in the Program of Liberal Studies and Psychology from the University of Notre Dame.

David P. Greenberg

David P. Greenberg, a Supervising Attorney, graduated from SUNY Albany, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, with an interdisciplinary major in physics and mathematics, and from New York University School of Law. Following law school, he clerked for federal Magistrate [now Judge] Nina Gershon. He served as a supervisor at The Legal Aid Society, Criminal Appeals Bureau,  from 1984 to 1996.  He joined Appellate Advocates in 1996 as an original member of the legal staff.  

Caitlin Halpern

Caitlin Halpern graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School, where she was the Supreme Court Chair of the Harvard Law Review and a finalist in the Ames Moot Court Competition.  While in law school, she interned at the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Legal Services Center.  She also represented low-income criminal defendants as a student attorney with the Harvard Defenders.

Before joining Appellate Advocates, Caitlin clerked for the Honorable Paul A. Engelmayer in the Southern District of New York and the Honorable Kim McLane Wardlaw in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  She holds a B.A. in Sociology, magna cum laude, from Columbia University.

Meredith Holt

Meredith Holt is a graduate of Washington University School of Law, where she was a student attorney in the Juvenile Law and Justice Clinic and an Executive Notes and Projects Editor for the Journal of Law & Policy.  While in law school, she interned with ArchCity Defenders in St. Louis and the Federal Defenders for the Middle District of Tennessee. 

Prior to joining Appellate Advocates, Meredith clerked for the Honorable Julie A. Robinson and the Honorable Gerald L. Rushfelt in the District of Kansas and for the Honorable Steven M. Gold in the Eastern District of New York.  She received a B.A. in Spanish and Women & Gender Studies from Washington University in St. Louis.

Melissa S. Horlick

Melissa S. Horlick has specialized in criminal law for nearly 20 years, with a primary focus on appeals.  Prior to joining Appellate Advocates in 2000, she served as court attorney to Barbara F. Newman of the Bronx Supreme Court, Criminal Term. She has handled every aspect of a criminal case, including arraignments, investigations, hearings, trials, and appeals.  

She holds a B.A. in Criminal Justice with honors from George Washington University and a law degree from Brooklyn Law School, where she served as the Vice-Chairperson of the Moot Court Honor Society.

Erica Horwitz

Erica Horwitz, a Supervising Attorney, joined Appellate Advocates at its inception in 1996, after almost 20 years representing criminal defendants in state and federal court, on the appellate and trial levels.  She started her career with the Criminal Appeals Bureau of The Legal Aid Society, and subsequently spent 15 years in private practice, first with Gerald B. Lefcourt, P.C., and then in her own practice.

For several years, she was a member of the Board of Directors of the New York Criminal Bar Association and a supervising attorney for law students participating in criminal appeals clinics at Brooklyn Law School and Cardozo Law School.  She graduated with honors from Harvard University and received her law degree from New York University School of Law.         

Leila Hull

Leila Hull graduated magna cum laude from Bryn Mawr College and Brooklyn Law School.  Prior to law school, she worked for the Middle East and North Africa Division of Human Rights Watch in their New York Headquarters and for Adalah, in Haifa. During law school, she represented asylum applicants through the Safe Harbor Clinic and was an Executive Articles Editor for the Brooklyn Journal of International Law. She also interned for the American Civil Liberties Union and Legal Aid’s Prisoners’ Rights Project. 

After graduating, she clerked for the Honorable Gabriel W. Gorenstein in the Southern District of New York before joining Appellate Advocates.

Kendra L. Hutchinson

Kendra L. Hutchinson, a Supervising Attorney, joined Appellate Advocates in 2006.  After attending New York University as a National Merit Scholar and graduating summa cum laude, she received her J.D. from City University of New York School of Law, where she was a Moot Court member, research assistant, and criminal law teaching assistant, and was awarded a Revson Public Interest Fellowship and Belle-Zeller Public Interest Scholarship.

Following law school, she clerked in the United States District Court, District of Maine, for Hon. D. Brock Hornby.  She is the secretary of the New York City Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Operations Committee. 

Lauren E. Jones

Lauren E. Jones graduated magna cum laude from New York University School of Law, where she was an Articles Editor of the New York University Law Review, a Hays Civil Liberties Fellow, and elected to the Order of the Coif. While in law school, she interned at the American Civil Liberties Union, the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, and New York County Defender Services, and participated in the LGBT Rights Clinic.

Prior to joining Appellate Advocates, she clerked for the Honorable Tucker L. Melançon in the Eastern District of New York. She received a B.A. in Politics and Spanish from NYU.

William G. Kastin

William G. Kastin, a Supervising Attorney, joined Appellate Advocates in 2002. He graduated from New York Law School cum laude in 1993, where he was the Editor in Chief of the Journal of Human Rights, published an article about the rights of criminal defendants in high publicity cases, and received an American Jurisprudence Award for Constitutional Law and Appellate Advocacy. 

Following law school, he clerked in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and in the New York State Supreme Court.  He attended college at Boston University and received his B.A. in Political Science with honors.

Anna Kou

Anna Kou graduated from the University of Michigan Law School, where she was an Associate Editor of the Journal of Race and Law and served as a student attorney in the Criminal Appellate Clinic and the Pediatric Advocacy Clinic. 

After law school, Anna worked as an appellate attorney at The Children’s Law Center.  She represented children in custody, visitation, paternity, and child protective cases, and argued before the First and Second Departments.

Bryan Kreykes

Bryan Kreykes is a graduate of Colorado State University and New York University School of Law.  During law school, he served as President of the HIV Law Society and interned with the Centre for the Study of AIDS and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Pretoria, South Africa. Prior to joining Appellate Advocates, he worked in the Criminal Appeals Bureau of The Legal Aid Society of New York City and the Washington, D.C., office of Latham & Watkins, LLP.  Additionally, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable Dickinson R. Debevoise of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.  

Paul Skip Laisure

Paul Skip Laisure, Assistant Attorney-in-Charge, joined Appellate Advocates at its inception in 1996. He has a B.A. in Psychology and Philosophy from Bowling Green State University and an M.S. in Education from Iowa State University.  He received his J.D. degree from Albany Law School, where he was Editor-In-Chief of the Albany Law Review.  He was a co-founder of the Albany Law School student chapter of the National Lawyer’s Guild and interned as student clerk for Hon. Roger Miner, Judge of the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. 

After graduating, he served as Law Clerk for Hon. Franklin S. Billings, Jr., Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Vermont. He worked briefly as an associate at Patterson, Belknap, Webb and Tyler, and for three years at the Office of the Appellate Defender before joining Appellate Advocates.

Joshua M. Levine

Joshua M. Levine joined Appellate Advocates as a staff attorney in 1998. He has been arguing appeals and handling other post-conviction litigation in criminal cases in New York’s state and federal courts since 1994.  He is a graduate of Binghamton University and Brooklyn Law School.

Tammy E. Linn

Tammy E. Linn graduated with honors from Brooklyn Law School, where she was an Executive Notes and Comments Editor of Brooklyn Law Review and a writer for the 2009 Jerome Prince Memorial Evidence Competition, a national moot court competition focused on appellate advocacy of criminal evidence issues.  Also during law school, she interned for the Honorable David Trager in the Eastern District of New York and served as a teaching assistant in Legal Writing I and II. 

After graduation, she joined the Children’s Law Center as a post-graduate fellow in its trial division, and then as an appellate attorney.  She represented children in custody, visitation, paternity, abuse, and neglect cases, and argued before the First and Second Departments.  She received a B.A. with honors in Psychology and Sociology (Criminal Justice Track) at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Benjamin S. Litman

Benjamin S. Litman is a cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School and a magna cum laude graduate of Yale University.  During law school, he volunteered at the Harvard Defenders, the Harvard Prison Legal Assistance Project, and the WilmerHale Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School and, as a Vorenberg Equal Justice Fellow, interned in the Appellate Division of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia.  He also served as Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard International Law Journal and as a member of Harvard Law School Advocates for Human Rights.  He is the co-author of Keeping the Peace in Haiti:  An Assessment of the U.N. Stabilization Mission in Haiti Using Compliance with Its Prescribed Mandate as a Barometer for Success (Harvard Law School Advocates for Human Rights and Centro de Justica Global 2005).

Following law school, he clerked for the Honorable Ronald Lee Gilman of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.  He then worked for nearly seven years in private practice at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, a law firm in New York City.

Sean Murray

Sean Murray graduated summa cum laude from Amherst College and received his law degree from Columbia University Law School, where he was a James Kent Scholar and a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.  Before joining Appellate Advocates, he clerked for the Honorable Nicholas G. Garaufis of the Eastern District of New York and for the Honorable Julio M. Fuentes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.  In addition, he practiced police-misconduct and other civil rights litigation for two years at Beldock Levine & Hoffman LLP and worked for five years as a litigation associate at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP.

Lisa Napoli

Lisa Napoli, a Supervising Attorney, joined Appellate Advocates in 1999 after serving as a Pro Se Law Clerk at the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.  She attended the University of Toronto and graduated from Cardozo Law School in 1996 after years as a community organizer on the Lower East Side.       

Anders Nelson

Anders Nelson is a graduate of the University of California Davis School of Law, where he received the CLEA Outstanding Clinical Student Award and was elected to the Order of the Coif.  During law school, he participated in the Prison Law and Immigration Law clinics, was co-chair of the UC Davis chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, and interned at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center and Alameda County Public Defender.  Upon graduation, he worked as a staff attorney at Brooklyn Defender Services for several years, representing indigent defendants in criminal matters.  He also holds a B.A. in Philosophy and Religious Studies, magna cum laude, from New York University.

Patricia Pazner

Patricia Pazner is a graduate of Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.  While in law school, she interned with Magistrate Judge Ronald L. Ellis in the Southern District of New York, as well as with the Legal Aid Society Law Reform Unit, Housing Division. After graduation, she worked as a fellow with The Legal Aid Society Criminal Appeals Bureau before joining Appellate Advocates.  

Elizabeth Plimpton

Elizabeth Plimpton graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center.  Before joining Appellate Advocates, she worked as a litigation associate at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and clerked for the Honorable Margo K. Brodie in the Eastern District of New York.  She received a B.A. in history with distinction from Yale University.

De Nice Powell

De Nice Powell, Director of Innocence Investigations, is a graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, New York University, and Northeastern University School of Law.  After defending corporate defendants in civil matters, she joined The Legal Aid Society where she worked on criminal appeals for several years before joining the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem. At the Neighborhood Defender Service, she represented indigent defendants in criminal matters.  She joined Appellate Advocates in 1996.

Jonathan Schoepp-Wong

Jonathan Schoepp-Wong is a graduate of Columbia Law School, where he was an Essay & Review Editor for the Columbia Law Review, a James Kent Scholar, and a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.  Before joining Appellate Advocates, Jonathan was a litigator at Kirkland & Ellis LLP in New York, focusing on criminal defense, civil rights, and complex commercial litigation.  He also clerked for the Honorable Harold Baer, Jr. and the Honorable Valerie Caproni, both of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, and for the Honorable D. Brooks Smith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.  Jonathan graduated cum laude from Dartmouth College with a degree in Government and minors in Moral Philosophy and Chinese Language & Literature.

Yvonne Shivers

After receiving her J.D. from New York University School of Law in 1986, Yvonne Shivers worked at the Legal Aid Society’s Criminal Appeals Bureau and as an Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Division of the New York State Attorney General’s Office.  She recently returned to Appellate Advocates, where she worked from 1998 until 2005, after ten years of litigating federal appeals, habeas petitions, and collateral motions in private practice.  

Angad Singh

Angad Singh is a graduate of Oberlin College and American University Washington College of Law.  During law school, he completed two years of clinical education, representing a detained client facing wrongful deportation.  He was also a member of the Mock Trial Honor Society and the American University Law Review, and published an article on criminal procedure.  Prior to joining Appellate Advocates, he defended the indigent accused at the trial level as a Staff Attorney at Brooklyn Defender Services.  

Laura Tatelman

Laura Tatelman graduated magna cum laude from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.  During law school, she was a participant in the Criminal Appeals and Criminal Defense Clinics, interned in the Appellate Section of the New Jersey Office of the Public Defender, and was a student advocate for the Suspension Representation Project, which trains law students to represent New York City public school students at suspension hearings and helps to protect their right to education.  Before joining Appellate Advocates, Laura clerked for the Honorable John C. Kennedy of the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey.   

Nao Terai

Nao Terai received her J.D. with pro bono distinction from Stanford Law School where she was a member of the Stanford Law Review and a student attorney in the Criminal Defense Clinic.  After graduating from law school, she was a Research Fellow at Reprieve, a British anti-death penalty organization; a Research & Writing Attorney at the Office of the Federal Public Defender in the District of Nevada; and clerked for the Honorable James C. Francis, IV in the Southern District of New York.  During law school, she interned for the Innocence Project and was a summer associate at Debevoise & Plimpton. 

Prior to law school, she worked in the Racial Justice Program at the American Civil Liberties Union.  She graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

Erin Tomlinson

Erin Tomlinson joined Appellate Advocates after working for five years as a trial attorney with the Legal Aid Society’s Bronx Criminal Defense Practice. While attending the City University of New York School of Law, she represented clients in Queens Criminal Court as a member of the Criminal Defense Clinic and interned at the Louisiana Capital Assistance Center, the Southern Center for Human Rights, Innocence Project New Orleans and Legal Aid’s Prisoners’ Rights Project. Prior to law school, she worked in the Japan Program of the Social Science Research Council. 

Mark W. Vorkink

Mark W. Vorkink received his J.D. degree summa cum laude from American University, Washington College of Law, where he was the Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Human Rights Brief and a student attorney with the International Human Rights Clinic.  While in law school, he interned with the American Civil Liberties Union of the Nation's Capital and the International Organization for Migration, and served as a researcher for the United Nations Committee Against Torture. 

Upon graduation, he worked at the Staff Attorney’s Office of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and clerked for the Honorable Peter W. Hall on the Second Circuit. He also holds a B.A. in Religion, with University Honors, from Wesleyan University.

Kathleen E. Whooley

Kathleen E. Whooley graduated with honors from Macalester College and received her J.D. degree from New York University School of Law. During law school, she interned for the Louisiana Capital Assistance Center and the Brennan Center for Justice, and was a student advocate for the Federal Defenders of New York.

After law school, she interned in Chambers at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague before joining Appellate Advocates.  She has served on the Criminal Courts Committee of the New York City Bar Association.   

Jenin Younes

Jenin Younes is a graduate of Cornell University and New York University School of Law.  During law school, she interned for the Federal Defenders of New York and Human Rights First, and was a staff editor on the Journal of International Law and Politics. After graduating, she clerked for appellate judge Margaret Hayden in New Jersey before joining Appellate Advocates.  

Ronald Zapata

Ronald Zapata received a J.D. from the City University of New York School of Law and a B.A. in Communications from Fordham University.  Prior to joining Appellate Advocates, he was a law clerk with the Office of Pro Se Litigation at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.  While in law school, he represented indigent clients through Prisoners’ Legal Services of New York and The Legal Aid Society’s Criminal Defense Practice.  He has also interned for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and for the Honorable Deborah A. Batts in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. 

Before his legal career, he was a journalist who worked for the Associated Press and the legal news website Law360.

Hannah Zhao

Hannah Zhao received a Bachelor of Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2008 with a major in Management and a minor in Computer Science.  After college, she worked in international human rights for two years before attending Washington University School of Law, where she graduated cum laude in 2013.  During law school, Hannah was a member of the Philip C. Jessup International Moot Court Team and a student advocate in the Appellate Clinic.  In 2011, she worked on criminal appeals as a legal intern at Legal Aid in Durban, South Africa.  Upon completion of her J.D., Hannah received various accolades including the Equal Justice Works Award.

Prior to joining Appellate Advocates, Hannah practiced appellate criminal defense in St. Louis, Missouri, representing clients in direct appeal and post-conviction proceedings in Missouri and Illinois state courts, as well as in the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Seventh and Eighth Circuit.  In 2016, Hannah received the “Up and Coming” award from Missouri Lawyers Weekly. 

Dina Zloczower

Dina Zloczower received a J.D. degree from Rutgers University School of Law - Newark, and an undergraduate degree from the University College London.   During law school, she interned for the Honorable Barry T. Albin on the Supreme Court of New Jersey and served as an Executive Moot Court Member and Managing Articles Editor of the Computer & Technology Law Journal. 

Before joining Appellate Advocates, she was a litigator with an international law firm in New York representing a wide range of clients in state and federal courts.  She holds graduate degrees from the University of Leuven and the City University of New York. 

 

Jessica Aldana

Sheryl Berger

  • Clerical Assistant
  • VCARD

Dmitry Dolinsky

Peter Dontis

  • Office Services Manager
  • VCARD

Amanda Fairchild

Leslie Footman

Marco Llibre

Anthony Loiacono

Jose Marzan

Connie Portal

Samia Shafi

Jed Tifft

Irene Wojcicki