Jennifer Johnson Paradigm
School Constraints: Brookfield East
Overall—I do my best to be a tabula rasa flow judge. I believe, LD should be a theory debate. I will believe what you tell me to believe so long as it is well reasoned and articulated clearly. I care about the logical progression of your argument. I don’t care if you have a billion cards if you don’t make sense of them in your case or argument. If you don’t give me voters, I will pick my own.
Background--
I graduated from Brookfield East in 2005. I debated 4 years of LD in high school 2000-2005 I also did congress during the forensic season. I have been judging LD for the 2009 season. I do not coach any team. I did not debate in college.
It is probably important to know that I graduated from Mount Holyoke College (in MA) with a double major in Philosophy and History, as well as a certificate in logic. So, I am probably more sensitive to logical flaws/fallacies than the normal person. The two problems I hear most often are:
1) Appeal to Authority (just because some famous person said it, doesn’t mean it is right) make sure you tell me why the study/quote is valid
2)Slippery Slope—unless you have some empirical proof that something will happen or has happen in the past, don’t you dare tell me that is going to cause nuclear war.
I currently work in health care for a respiratory care provider.
Communication should not be so fast that you are not clearly articulating your points. I would much rather hear one card with a complete and thoughtful explanation of the card and its impacts, than hear 6 different cards at the speed of light with minimal discussion/understanding. In my mind, a persuasive argument will have a claim, a warrant, and the impact to the value structure. Moral of the story, because I firmly believe that LD is a theory debate, good reasoning is as important (if not more so) as evidence.
I am a flow judge—when I make my decision, I look at the flow and pick out what I think are the most important arguments. If you give me voters—it makes my decision about what to look at that much easier—if you don’t, I pick for myself what is important to the round. I will look at the last two arguments on that issue. Therefore, if your opponent drops something from your case—make sure you nail it all the way across the flow and make it a voter for me. If nothing is said after the first speech on it, you can guess I’m not going to really weigh it heavily in the round. Please, give me 3 or 4 reasons why YOU ACHIVE YOUR VALUE CRITERION and why this means we should affirm or negate. If you don’t, I will pick for myself.
I like roadmaps—I like signposting even better. I can for the most part follow and will cross apply, but if you are specific that you are arguing their third contention—the better for you because I know exactly where on the flow you want me to write your argument.
Value/Value Criterion is the most important part of the round. I like to hear, “I can achieve my opponent’s value better through my criterion”. Do not try to tell me that quality of life is more important that life itself (or vice versa). Overall, value normally is a wash, I am really listening to who better gets there through the criterion.
My ballotI use the top half to help you improve your case and to tell you how I would have responded to your case or the arguments you made, highlighting strengths and weakness of your case, in my opinion. Generally, these things have NO BEARING on my decision (unless your opponent said the same thing). I use the bottom part to highlight how I came about my decision and explain what I thought about your voters (or mine if you don’t give them).
Know your case—know at the very least your tag lines by heart. Try to know the cards you have off the top of your head (and what they say). I don’t believe it is kosher in LD to ask for your opponents case.
Pay attention to the specific wording of the resolution when writing your case. I like theory not policy.
Cross-examination should have two parts—clarification and poking holes in reasoning of your opponent’s case. I always listen to CX, but will not flow arguments made. If you want it on the flow, it should be brought up in your following speech. Be nice—I am very distracted by rude behavior.
BurdenI don’t really care, just keep it fair. If no burden is established, I will say the affirmative wins unless the negative can show me either why the aff is bad OR why the neg is better.

Any questions please feel free to email me jennifer.johnsn@gmail.com