FREDERICTON (GNB) – Mary Jane Richards of Fredericton has been appointed acting chief judge of New Brunswick’s provincial court, while Marco Cloutier of Saint John has been appointed associate chief judge. The announcement was made by Justice and Public Safety Minister Hugh J. Flemming.

“I extend my gratitude to Judge Richards for accepting this acting role. She will provide stability to the leadership and operations of the provincial court in the interim,” said Flemming. “I also congratulate Judge Cloutier, who steps into his new role with experience and insight from his eight years serving as a judge of the provincial court.”

Cloutier’s appointment as associate chief judge is for a seven-year term, replacing Richards who has completed her term in the role. She will serve as acting chief judge on an interim basis and will then return to her role as provincial court judge for Fredericton.

Richards is a graduate of the University of New Brunswick’s law program. She is a former chief sheriff and former assistant deputy minister of court services with the provincial government. She was appointed to the provincial court bench in 2005.

Cloutier obtained his law degree at the Université de Moncton and was called to the New Brunswick bar in 1998. Prior to his appointment to the provincial court in 2013, he was a partner with the Saint John office of a major Atlantic Canadian law firm where he gained experience in litigation and insurance law. In 2010, he was recognized by Lexpert as one of Canada's Top 40 Under 40 leading lawyers.

The appointments are effective today.