Lady Justice: Predictions for 2023

Having exhausted year end countdowns (including the one before midnight on December 31 that signals the start of our new year’s resolutions), it is time for humans to consult our inner Nostradamus and provide predictions for the upcoming year.

Lawyers are required to decide when an expert is needed to prove a client’s case and proceed to retain them and qualify them at trial. An “expert” is someone with specialized knowledge that a trier of fact would benefit from. Since nobody has been to the future and so cannot claim to be an expert, I think everyone is equally qualified to provide their prognostications, so here are mine.

Lawyers learn quickly that you cannot predict what a judge might do with your client’s case, so let me instead deal with non-legal predictions. I caveat this hesitation in making predictions in the court system by noting that technology is getting pretty good at predicting what judges will do, for instance, in sentencing and bail hearings. For instance, a hungry and tired judge later in the day can be tougher at bail hearings. The early jailbird gets the worm, so to speak. As I reflect, maybe I should have asked OpenAI’s ChatGPT to write this column for me. I do predict that the Red Deer Justice Centre will be completed on schedule.

In politics. I will take a big risk and predict that after this year’s election, Alberta’s Premier will be a woman. Whereas in federal politics, only the second in command in Canada is a female (from Alberta) and the only female Prime Minister took over for a short stint in 1993 without a vote (Kim Campbell, a lawyer) and lost in the election, women leaders in Alberta is now something you can take for granted (perhaps an overstatement).

In health. We will finally get the hospital expansion happening. While it is crucial to be improving access to justice in Central Alberta with the Red Deer Justice Centre, I also want to improve my and my fellow Albertans access to life and health care.

In the tech sector. As Red Deer Polytechnic, the Chamber and many others sponsor the first annual Smart MTX (Smart Manufacturing Technology Exposition), my prediction is this will lead in putting Central Alberta on the map as part of the technology revolution, just as Agri-Trade Equipment Expo has done in the agricultural sector. Central Alberta is far from a one trick pony. Just as the Germans set up their own Pavilion, I see Elon Musk 3D printing his own Twitter, I mean Tesla, booth. Hopefully he regains focus in 2023 or all his operations face being for the birds.

Also, whereas you see a lot of predictions, the “I told you so” yearend follow ups are fewer and far between. They bury you in countdowns so you don’t notice they are not accounting for their predictions. Speaking of which, my final prediction is that Rolling Stone magazine will be forced to issue Canadians a formal apology for excluding Celine Dion from their top 200 singers of all time. Ozzy Osbourne made the cut and while I personally might listen to Black Sabbath over hits from the Titanic movie, being a true Canadian, I object and advocate that we all seek a recount-down.

Donna Purcell, K.C., (aka Lady Justice) is a Central Alberta lawyer and Chief Innovation Officer with Donna Purcell QC Law. If you have legal questions, contact

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