[eDebate] Adam Lee's judge Phil

Kuswa, Kevin kkuswa
Mon Oct 22 15:15:33 CDT 2007

Hi all,
We are attempting to post this on debateresults, but in case we
cannot--here is Adam Lee's judging philosophy:
Adam "ARLee" Lee

Rounds on the topic: 3
I debated in high school for 3 years
Debated at the University of Texas for 4 years
Coached at the University of Rochester for 2 years
Currently a Judicial law clerk to three Justices of the Maine Superior
I'm judging for Richmond

General Warnings 

I hate writing judging philosophies, because invariably debaters scan
them, focus on one or two seeming idiosyncrasies, and unfortunately
deviate from what they would normally do in an attempt to satisfy the
judge. The result is usually that you debate worse and I am more unhappy
than I would have been if you had just been yourself and not tried to
please me (which oddly tends to be the same thing that happens in
romantic relationships but I digress). The essence of my judging
philosophy is that my personal preferences be reduced to nothing and I
adjudicate the round as you would like me to, justifying why that it is
a preferable method to any other method proposed by the other team. The
pimento in that proverbial loaf of bologna (I have no idea, it just came
to me) is that YOU MUST WIN, which is best done through impact analysis.
Absent impact analysis, I will unfortunately be forced to see things the
way I do rather than how you would prefer me to see them.

Personal Warnings


I've judged about 15 rounds in the last three years while i was in law
school. I can still flow.  However my time not being involved full-time
in the activity provides me a level of comfort in admitting that I (and
I'd venture to say EVERY judge whether they'd admit or not) miss
arguments from time to time.  My distance from the activity has also
made me understand that putting your head down and giving a 2nr or 2ar
that sounds like a 1ar is a pretty bad idea in front of me.  


My time is spent primarily dealing with Summary Judgment motions and
M.R. Civ. P. 80B and C appeals for judicial review of a final agency
action, so don't expect me to have the expertise that you have from your
extensive study of the topic. Because you haven't explained something
well, doesn't mean I'm stupid...that's not to say I'm not stupid, but I
used to do this a whole bunch and if you do your job well, so can I.

The Arguments 


Topicality: It is about competing interpretations unless you convince me
why I should see otherwise. Your interpretation should have net
benefits; I feel that the limits debate (either way) usually makes a
pretty good one. My senior year I went for T in about 50% of my 2NR's,
of course that was Indian Country and no affs were topical.  Also, I
think that "kritikal affs" that say you don't have to be topical or
criticize Topicality as genocidal are being lazy.  (preface:  this next
sentence may come off with a certain "back in my day tone) My partner
and I ran an ironic affirmative on the Africa Topic, of course many
people went for T, we beat the vast majority of those teams because we
had a smart counter-interpretation.  The topic does not constrain
creativity, being topical doesn't either.  If the neg's interpretation
precludes creativity...doesn't that seem like an argument against their
interpretation rather than the notion that one should be topical?  To
presume that your aff is already excluded by the resolution is
silly...the resolution is a meaningless text only given meaning by being
debated...topicality debates are the opportunity to do that.  Consider
the rant over, but what you should take away is I love good T debates as
rare as they are.  

Theory: Sure, but I'd default to rejecting the argument and not the team
and tend to err negative on counterplan theory.  


"Framework": I still do not get why people suddenly put this on a
separate sheet of paper. In essence, these turn into Extra-Topicality
arguments and/or a reason why your impacts outweigh the other team's. I
can understand that there is no such thing as fiat, neither I nor anyone
else is mistaking you for Harry Reid (which is probably a good thing for
you because it probably means you have a larger effect on US foreign
policy, oh snap!); however, that does not mean that there is no reason
to evaluate the consequences of what happens if the Federal Government
does something. Conversely, this does not mean that the ethical
ramifications or problematic presuppositions of ideas should not also be
discussed. I do not understand why in a debate round you cannot debate
both of them. When my friends and I are sitting around actualizing our
agency and whatnot, we talk about what congress is doing and what
effects their actions will have, while at the same time being aware that
we're not capable of immediately affecting it and that in the process we
may be deluding ourselves to some negative end. Nevertheless, whatever
you wanna do, do (hehe I just said doodoo) it, I'm more than willing to
vote for you if you win the argument.

Disads: Love em, Uniqueness is important, but not determinative.  Yes,
it's hard to win zero risk of the disad, but propensity is as important
(your job to debate this) if not more important (again, I'll leave that
to you all in the debate) than magnitude. 

Counterplans: They're great.

Kritiks: Great, this was the other 50% of my senior year 2nrs. I love it
when you make your links specific to the aff (sometimes well done by
making arguments on the case debate) and articulate more than just some
ethereal concept as the alternative (however i will vote negative for a
well articulated reason that the kritik argument turns case). When you
do not do this, the Permutation often looks very attractive to me. In
addition, it pays to read "disads" to the permutation and for the aff to
read "disads" to the alt that do not link to the permutation. These are
things I remember that used to end up deciding most kritik debates for

Performance: Sure, but as with anything tell me why your ideas are
better than the other team's. I'm not really cool with, I read a
poem...it was about potato bugs of the East Antilles...poems are
good...I win. I think that diversity of both people and argument are
good things, but I do not think that because you read something before
the other team does, you win. Debate is about debating ideas; I do not
care HOW you debate those ideas so long as you do so and do so better
than the other team.


Case Debate:  If I had my way, this is all that there would be, but I
understand that it would put you as the negative at a great
disadvantage.  There's no excuse for not at least having something
specific to case.

Other stuff

Do not be a jerk to the other team or your partner, I love a little well
placed trash talking or humor, but do not be a jerk. 
Do not steal prep time. 
DO NOT under ANY circumstances, hand me evidence for which I have not
asked! You WILL lose speaker points and I reserve the right to eat,
pee-on or crumple your evidence.

Most of the time i'm pretty nice, so ask me any questions you may have.

Adam Lee
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