454 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 76 PART 3 MAY 2018
legitimacy as an academic. A litigator was born, but the memory of judging
remained, and the interest in its intellectual challenges tugged at her thereafter.
Andrea started litigating in the Crown Attorney’s office in Barrie,
Ontario. She quickly impressed her coworkers there with her diligence and
common sense. Her position was secure, but love intervened. On a flight to
B.C. to visit her brother, Andrea found herself seated next to a young man
from Chilliwack named Jeremy Sibley. He won her heart. She made quick
work of moving her career to Chilliwack, easily persuading Gregg Goodfellow,
the administrative Crown counsel at the time, of her potential as a
Jeremy and Andrea live life fully. They run and cycle competitively.
They hike. Jeremy managed a bank, invested as an entrepreneur and now
designs and builds custom furniture, most recently for the movie industry.
First they built a house, and then they filled it—at first with art and good
food and then with a son. But Sebastien’s arrival exposed another hidden
facet in Andrea. At her desk, she may appear immersed in a file with a serious,
solemn demeanour. But one need only inquire after Sebastien’s latest
achievement and a sunny joy and levity will sweep across her face. With
sparkling eyes, she will then recount with wit and drama the petty triumphs
and struggles of her energetic son.
Andrea and Jeremy saw the importance of balancing life with work.
Before Sebastien grew too old, they took six months off in Nice, France.
They played on the beaches, explored Europe, ate good food and drank good
On her return, Andrea accepted the position of administrative Crown
counsel in Chilliwack. Nobody else in the office wanted the headaches and
responsibilities that came with the position. And so, after only 14 years at
the bar, Andrea found herself supervising lawyers many years her senior.
She succeeded in this position not merely by brainpower and hard work,
but also by humility, compassion, common sense and an eagerness to learn.
In other words, she rose quickly in her career because she has traits necessary
for good judging.
But does she understand the people who will appear before her? Much of
the business of the Provincial Court involves disadvantaged people suffering
from addiction or mental health issues or both. Have her accomplishments
insulated her from their lives such that she will judge them by
unrealistic standards? No. She has substantial personal experience with
someone so troubled. To protect privacy, the details will not be laid out
here, but suffice it to say that her experience with this individual inspired