Somerville (PC Inno)

CPCS Innocence Program
7 Palmer Street, Suite 302
Roxbury, MA 02119
Phone: 617-209-5666


OUR TEAM


Program Director

Lisa M. Kavanaugh, Send Email

In her capacity as Director of the Innocence Program, Lisa Kavanaugh evaluates and litigates potentially meritorious Massachusetts innocence claims and provides litigation support and oversight of funding for the investigation and expert resources needed to successfully litigate these claims. She is also actively involved in developing statewide training programs on forensic evidence. In 2013, she formed a Working Group of criminal justice leaders that is focused on improving access to post-conviction DNA analysis and secured federal funding to support this work. Ms. Kavanaugh first joined CPCS in 2002 as a staff attorney in the Somerville Superior Court trial unit. From 2007-2009, she worked in the Appeals Unit and litigated numerous felony appeals. She is a 1996 graduate of Yale University and a 2000 graduate of Harvard Law School. From 2000-2002, she served as a Prettyman Clinical Teaching Fellow with the Criminal Justice Clinic at Georgetown University Law Center. A frequent lecturer at MCLE and CPCS training programs, she has also served as an Adjunct Professor with the Innocence Clinic at Boston College Law School and a Visiting Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School. She presently serves on the Forensic Science Oversight Board and the Supreme Judicial Court Standing Committee on Eyewitness Identification. She also serves on the boards of the New England Innocence Project and the national Innocence Network.

Staff Counsel

Jill Tessier, Send Email

Jill Tessier joined the Innocence Program in 2021, after eleven years of criminal trial practice in the CPCS Public Defender Division, primarily in Superior Court. As the Innocence Program staff counsel, Jill reviews and litigates innocence claims in Massachusetts trial and appellate courts. She also supervises, advises, trains, and serves as co-counsel with post-conviction panel attorneys who are appointed to handle state innocence cases. Jill received her J.D. in 2009 from the University of New Hampshire School of Law, and her B.A. in Art History, magna cum laude, from the Commonwealth College Honors Program at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2006. While in law school, Jill was a Public Interest Coalition Fellow and recipient of the Douglas J. Wood Chairman’s Scholarship. Jill also completed internships at the Federal Public Defender for the Middle District of Tennessee, the Metropolitan Davidson County Public Defender in Nashville, TN, and served as a law student volunteer for the New England Innocence Project.

Staff Counsel Rotation

Libby Hugetz, Send Email

Elizabeth (“Libby”) Hugetz joined the Innocence Program in 2021 for a two year grant-funded Staff Counsel rotation. In her current position, she reviews new applications and provides litigation support in state innocence cases. She also serves as the liaison with our grant partners at the Boston College Innocence Program and the Suffolk County Integrity Review Bureau. Attorney Hugetz first joined CPCS in 2012 as a trial attorney in the Lowell District Court Trial Unit. She later moved to the Lowell Superior Court Unit where she remained prior to her rotation with the Innocence Program. Attorney Hugetz earned a J.D. from Boston University School of Law (2012) and a M.A. from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University (2012). She has contributed to several publications, and presented at continuing legal education programs across the Commonwealth. Attorney Hugetz currently sits on the board of the Greater Lowell Bar Association.

Lead Investigator

Rob Selevitch, Send Email

Rob Selevitch first joined CPCS as a staff investigator in the Somerville Superior Court office in 2009, and he has served as a regional supervisor for Public Defender Division investigators in Middlesex and Essex Counties since 2011. In December 2015, he was hired to serve as the Lead Innocence Program Investigator (IPI), a position created with federal grant funding from the Wrongful Conviction Review Program. In his capacity as Lead IPI, Rob works closely with attorneys to develop comprehensive and thoughtful investigation plans. He has investigated over a dozen innocence cases from around the state, working with both in-house and panel post-conviction attorneys.

Paralegal

Kristen Gondim, Send Email

As the Innocence Program Support Paralegal, Kristen Gondim oversees the workflow of intakes, screenings, and assignments and assists with preliminary case review of new applications for assistance. She serves as the liaison between IP staff, applicants, clients, panel attorneys, investigators, and other program partners and manages data collection for grant progress reports.

Legal Fellows & Grant Law Clerks

The Innocence Program currently has two full time post-graduate legal fellows, Nicole Collins, a 2019 graduate of Columbia Law School, and Martin Ryan, a 2020 graduate of Boston University Law School.