April 29, 2015

PA Supreme Court Announces Court Administration Leadership Changes

Zygmont A. Pines, Esq. will step down July 31, 2015 as Court Administrator of Pennsylvania and be succeeded by Deputy Court Administrator Thomas B. Darr, the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts announced Wednesday on behalf of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.
Established in the state constitution, the Court Administrator of Pennsylvania serves as the chief administrative officer for the Supreme Court in exercising its supervisory and administrative authority over the Unified Judicial System.
Pines has been a part of the judiciary staff nearly his entire career, as a law clerk, staff attorney, Chief Legal Counsel to both Superior Court and the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts and, since 2000, as Court Administrator of Pennsylvania.  
During his career with the judiciary Pines also served in 1987 as counsel to the Governor’s Commission on the Study of the Judiciary (popularly known as the “Beck Commission.”)
Pines was the 2010 recipient of the National Center for State Courts’ Warren E. Burger Award for Excellence in Court Administration. In 2013-2014 he served as president of the national Conference of State Court Administrators and on the National Center’s board.  
His interests in court administration have included judicial emergency preparedness and he was co-chair in 2014 of the Supreme Court’s Task Force on Elder Justice in the Courts.  Pines will continue to serve on and consult for the Elder Justice in the Courts Advisory Council which was established as one of the Task Force’s recommendations.
Much of Darr’s career has also been in state government, from 1979 through 1985 in the office of Gov. Dick Thornburgh and beginning in 1988 at the AOPC. Since 1996 he has been deputy state court administrator.  Darr also worked briefly as a reporter for Governing magazine and as a producer at C-SPAN, both in Washington, DC.
Based in Harrisburg, Darr has played a key role in professionalizing the AOPC while serving as a senior advisor to recent Chief Justices.  Darr has also been involved in various projects of the National Center for State Courts, was president of the national Conference of Court Public Information Officers, and a past participant in the American Bar Association’s Central and Eastern European Law Initiative.
Darr earned graduate degrees from Northwestern University (journalism) and the University of Pittsburgh (public administration) and his undergraduate degree in political science from Grove City College.