Marco Cloutier's appointment as a provincial court judge in Saint John takes effect immediately. (McInnes Cooper)

Saint John lawyer Marco Cloutier has been appointed New Brunswick's newest provincial court judge.

He will serve on the bench in Saint John, effective immediately, Justice Minister and Attorney-General Marie-Claude Blais announced in a statement on Friday.

Cloutier's appointment will "ensure the timely management of court cases," said Blais.

"He is a well-respected lawyer and has extensive legal experience. I am confident that his leadership will serve the public well and he will be a welcome addition to the provincial court," she said.

Cloutier, a partner at McInnes Cooper, has specialized in insurance law, including coverage issues, personal injury, fatalities, and errors and omission claims against professionals, according to the firm's website.

He successfully conducted the first trial held in New Brunswick addressing the legislation for minor personal injuries arising out of motor vehicle accidents, it states.

Cloutier also developed a procedure unique to New Brunswick for preservation of a claimant’s private Facebook and contents.

In 2010, he was recognized as one of the country's leading lawyers under the age of 40 by Lexpert, a business magazine for lawyers.

Recipients are selected based on a range of criteria, including a successful track record with complex cases, a demonstrated value to their law firm or company, community involvement, being a team leader and being adaptable to change.

Now 22 full-time provincial court judges

Cloutier, who is bilingual, will join Saint John's other two full-time judges — Andrew LeMesurier and Henrik Tonning.

The New Brunswick provincial court system now has a total of 22 judges, eight so-called supernumerary judges, who continue to hear cases in semi-retirement and two per diem judges, as well as the chief judge and associate chief

Cloutier was called to the New Brunswick bar in 1998.

He obtained his law degree at the University of Moncton in 1997. He also has a 1994 Bachelor of Education from the University of Moncton.

In order to be appointed to the provincial court, candidates must have been members in good standing of the New Brunswick Bar for at least 10 years and have undergone a screening process conducted by a committee comprised of members of the public, the practicing bar, and the judiciary, according to the provincial government's website.

Provincial Court judges are appointed by the provincial cabinet.

Three new provincial court judges were appointed in April 2012, including Kenneth Oliver of Fredericton, D. Troy Sweet of Moncton and Brigitte Volpé of Saint-Jacques.