University of Pittsburgh
September 27, 1998



PITTSBURGH, September 28 -- Thomas B. Darr, deputy court administrator of Pennsylvania, was among representatives of the media and the judiciary from the United States who participated in a seminar this summer on Media and Judiciary" in Tuzla, Bosnia.

Approximately 120 Bosnian judges and journalists attended the two-day seminar sponsored by the American Bar Association and the Central and East European Law Initiative on June 29-30. The seminar was held to help develop ways for the courts and the media in Bosnia to better understand the issues and overcome the problems they face following the conflict in the war-torn country.

Darr earned his master's degree in public administration from the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh in 1978. His responsibilities as deputy court administrator include being the primary media contact for the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts (AOPC) and he spoke at the seminar on "The Role of Press Officer in the Court System or Judges Association."

Darr also participated in two panel discussions. The first, on "Rights and Responsibilities of Journalists Covering the Courts," focused on issues such as ethics and qualifications for the news media in covering the judiciary, balancing the right to fair trial and rights of the media, and difficulties media members experience in covering the courts. The second panel discussion, "Media Access to Court Proceedings," examined issues such as cameras in the courtroom, docket access, access to documents, and handling high profile cases.

Darr, a native of Indiana, PA, graduated cum laude from Grove City College and also has a master's degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Prior to joining the AOPC, Darr served as deputy secretary for legislative affairs to former Governor Dick Thornburgh, was a freelance writer for several publications, including "Governing," the Congressional Quarterly monthly covering state and local governments, and was a producer for C-SPAN, the Washington, DC-based public affairs network.

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