New judges named to Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, Provincial Court of New Brunswick

N.B. Provincial Court’s new associate chief judge among appointments

New judges named to Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, Provincial Court of New Brunswick
Ottawa has made judicial appointments in Newfoundland and Labrador, and New Brunswick

Peter Browne, Irene Muzychka, Trudy Button and Stacy Ryan have been appointed judges of the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, David Lametti, federal justice minister and Canada’s attorney general, announced on Mar. 24.

Browne replaces Justice Brian Furey in Corner Brook, who resigned effective Aug. 31, 2019. Browne was a partner at Curtis Dawe Lawyers in St. John’s, which he joined in 1986. At the firm, he focused his practice on complex civil litigation, medical malpractice defence, administrative and human rights issues and corporate and commercial matters.

Justice Browne, appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2008, has been a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and a member of provincial and national committees for the Canadian Bar Association, as well as branch president for Newfoundland and Labrador. Admitted to the bar of Newfoundland and Labrador in 1985, he holds a Bachelor of Laws from Dalhousie University.

Muzychka takes the place of Justice David Hurley in St. John’s, who passed away on July 15, 2020. Muzychka has served as managing partner at Curtis Dawe where she was litigation counsel for 33 years, as co-counsel to the Commission of Inquiry for the Muskrat Falls Project, as president and bencher of the Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador and as member of the Judicial Council of the Provincial Court and of the Legal Appointments Board.

Justice Muzychka was designated Queen’s Counsel in 2013. Called to the bar in 1988, she holds an LLB from the University of New Brunswick.

Button replaces Justice Kendra Goulding in Grand Falls-Windsor, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective Nov. 13, 2019. Button has served as legal counsel at the College of Registered Nurses of Newfoundland and Labrador in St. John’s and as a lawyer at Ottenheimer Baker and McInnes Cooper focusing on professional regulation, administrative law, personal injury and family law.

Justice Button has been an instructor at the Law Society’s bar admission course and teaching business law at Memorial University’s Faculty of Business Administration and has been a member of the Law Society’s Disciplinary Panel and of the Selection Committee for the Law Foundation Legal Research Awards. She earned her Bachelor of Laws from Dalhousie University in 1993.

Ryan takes the place of Justice Gillian Butler in St. John’s, who was elevated to the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador effective May 21, 2019. Justice Frances Knickle in Happy Valley-Goose Bay was transferred into the vacancy in St. John’s, so the relevant vacancy is in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

Justice Ryan has served as master of the Supreme Court and as staff solicitor of the Newfoundland and Labrador Legal Aid Commission in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. She has focused on criminal and family law for most of her two-decade career. Admitted to the bar in 2000, she received her Bachelor of Laws from the University of New Brunswick.

Mary Jane Richards of Fredericton has been appointed acting chief judge of the Provincial Court of New Brunswick, which she joined in 2005. Richards has served as chief sheriff and as assistant deputy minister of court services with the provincial government. She graduated with a law degree from the University of New Brunswick.

Marco Cloutier of Saint John will serve for a seven-year term in the role of associate chief judge of the Provincial Court of New Brunswick, which he joined in 2013. Cloutier replaces Richards, who has completed her term. He has been a partner at an Atlantic Canadian firm’s Saint John office, where he practised litigation and insurance law. Called to the New Brunswick bar in 1998, he got his law degree from the Université de Moncton.

Hugh Flemming, New Brunswick’s justice and public safety minister, announced that the judicial appointments took effect on Mar. 17.

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