Zygmont A. Pines
Zygmont A. Pines, court administrator of Pennsylvania, has been named the recipient of the 2010 Warren E. Burger Award for Excellence in Court Administration by the National Center for State Courts (NCSC).
The highest award for court management presented by the National Center, the Burger Award is named for the former chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court who helped found the NCSC in 1971. The award honors an individual who has made significant contributions to the improvement of state or local court operations and whose work has application to courts nationwide.
Pines has devoted the majority of his career to Pennsylvania’s judicial system. He was appointed court administrator of Pennsylvania in 2000, following nine years of service as chief legal counsel for the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts. From 1978-91, Pines was assistant chief staff attorney for the Superior Court of Pennsylvania. He also was an attorney with the Philadelphia firm of Raynes, McCarty, Binder, and Mundy from 1975-78.
One of Pines’ most notable accomplishments as head of the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts has been the implementation of cost-effective security initiatives in the state’s 67 trial courts and more than 500 district courts. Under his leadership, statewide facility assessments were initiated to inventory security measures, gather first-time data on court security incidents, and collect security recommendations from court staff. As a result of these assessments, duress alarms and video surveillance have been installed in district courts and county courthouses, and metal detectors and X-ray equipment have been placed in county courthouses. He also was instrumental in the creation of emergency preparedness manuals for judges and court staff, publications that now serve as national models for other court systems.
As co-chair of the Conference of Chief Justices and Conference of State Court Administrators Joint Committee on Court Security and Emergency Preparedness, Pines has used his experience in Pennsylvania to help courts nationwide focus on the critical issues they may face following natural disasters, security breaches, and pandemics. Earlier this year, the committee’s work resulted in the publication of a handbook identifying the best practices for court security and emergency preparedness.
Pines has authored several publications on criminal justice, appellate procedures, and ethics, and has testified before a U.S. House subcommittee on court security. He received his master of law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, his juris doctor from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, and his bachelor’s from Wilkes College in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.