Background: In college I debated on the national circuit. I formerly coached collegiate parliamentary and policy debate. I currently judge policy debate and serve on the Board of Directors of the Milwaukee Urban Debate League.

Judging Philosophy: I favor a policy making / stock issues philosophy. Ideally the AFF should advocate a policy topical to the resolution, and the NEG should explain why I should reject the specific policy case made by AFF.

Quick Tips:
  1. Speak clearly.
  2. Do not simply argue a tagline. Argue the evidence. Argue the logic.
  3. Maintain clash. Go down the flow. Debate line-by-line. Avoid jumping all over the flow.
  4. Provide a voting framework. Identify the voting issues.
  5. Restate your thesis in the rebuttal. Present the key compelling issues for your side.
  6. Provide impact assessments informed by relative risk analysis and evidence.
  7. Take advantage of the cross examination to force concessions and formulate your arguments.
  8. Do not be rude. Play nice. Be witty. Smile.
  9. Have fun.

Speed: I have no problem with spreading. That said, debate is orally communicative. I need to be able to hear your arguments, including your claims, warrants, impacts, links and evidence. I will let you know if I am having a hard time hearing you by saying "clear" or "louder." If I cannot understand you because you are not speaking clearly enough due to speed, any arguments you make will not be flowed. I do not have your cards or speeches in front of me, so while your opponent may have them and can follow along more easily, I can only flow and follow what you communicate to me in your speeches. Please remember that the quality of each of your arguments can be more important than the quantity of arguments made.

Calling for Cards: I do not call for cards unless a team specifically claims some form of evidence violation by the opposing team. If the opposing team is making an argument clearly not supported by the text of the card (i.e. the card is misused) or the opposing team is selectively highlighting or reading the card to distort meaning (i.e. the card is misquoted), then I will review the cards if a claim is made. A team needs to make clear that a dispute exists regarding the validity, context or meaning of a card before I will call for cards. So no, I do not want to be on your e-mail chain at the start of a round. Do not rely on a call for cards as a way to speak more quickly and less clearly. Do not expect me to weigh evidence independently by calling for cards and examining them myself. I expect you to argue and weigh the evidence in the round.

Stock Issues: While I think the AFF needs to maintain all five stock issues, I only vote on what I am told is a voting issue. If the NEG wants to concede certain stock issues, I won't intervene to vote on them. That said, the AFF must have some form of plan or advocacy statement (if the AFF isn't affirming any specific plan, advocacy or course of action, then the status quo doesn't change, and NEG wins on presumption). Significance arguments should have fleshed out impact assessments with relative risk analysis supported by evidence. While I try to keep my background knowledge from affecting my decision, I am able to spot ridiculous arguments that involve areas in my background (economics, law and political theory). Topicality arguments that are well developed and given time during the 1NC/2NC are more likely to be successful, and the NEG should explain how AFF violated a reasonable and fair framework. If you are going to argue topicality and the AFF asks what a topical plan would look like under your framework for topicality, you need to be able to give an answer. If you cannot provide an example of topicality under your own framework, your argument is very unlikely to persuade.

Cross Examination: I think cross examination is an extremely important and undervalued tool in current policy debate. I will flow a CX that adds arguments or forces concessions, and I recommend flowing those developments into your speeches. Do not be elusive in response to questions. A simple "I don't know" is an acceptable response if you do not know the answer. I expect a witness only to ask questions to the questioner when seeking clarification, and I have no problem with a questioner interrupting a witness, especially if a witness is attempting to filibuster, to ask for more concise answers or to stop a witness if an answer is sufficient. I do not prefer tag teaming on CX, and I award higher speaker points for individuals who do not rely on verbal assistance from a partner in asking or answering questions or making speeches.

Performance / Critiques of Debate: I do not enjoy performance debate or meta-critiques of debate. That said, I will not vote on a "Performance is inappropriate" or "Current debate practices are good" / "Status quo debate is good" without an argument stating so from the opposing team. If the opposition concedes framework, I will not vote on it, but if the opposition makes it a voting issue, I will.

Counterplans: I will vote for a functionally competitive CP that provides a reason to reject the AFF's policy. I am not a good judge for a PIC, particularly if your PIC includes the entirety of the AFF's plan. If a CP accepts or results in all of AFF's plan, competition arguably does not exist. That said, I will not vote against it outright without AFF attacking the competitiveness / theory of the CP. Permutations test the CP. Be careful not to use a permutation to amend the CP or adopt things different from the originally proposed CP. I am hesitant about multiple CPs and kritiks, so keep your conditionality within reasonable constraints (i.e. two or three is reasonable, five or six is not).

Kritiks: I am not opposed to a K, but the NEG needs to link the K to the AFF's policy. A K with significant impacts without an explained logical link to the AFF's plans and evidence has minimal utility. The K should have an alt that competes with AFF's plan, links to AFF's plan and is a conditional policy option. Successful Ks will provide a reason to accept or reject AFF's specific policy. Also, if you are running a K-AFF or a K, you need to make sure that you are not speaking so quickly that I cannot follow or understand. Ks can involve a lot of specific philosophical terms and concepts, and I am not extensively familiar with the entire realm of philosophical thought (I am familiar with a lot of economic, legal and political theories). Make sure that you go slower for your Ks and don't use a term without explaining what that term means.

Off-Limits Arguments: No argument is out of bounds or off-limits in the debate round. If the argument is objectionable / morally wrong, then the burden is on the other team to explain why this is so and why I should not vote for it. Your team should be able to explain why sexism, racism, homophobia, genocide etc. is not good.

Decorum: You will probably not lose my vote for being offensive (e.g. excessively swearing in round), but you will likely lose speaker points. I expect you to stand when presenting constructive and rebuttal speeches and engaging in CX.