John Lawson Paradigm

Last changed Fri, Aug 3, 2018 at 10:45 PM UTC

I am the Co- Director of Debate at Wylie E. Groves HS in Beverly Hills, MI. I have coached high school debate for 43 years, debated at the University of Michigan for 3.5 years and coached at Michigan for one year (in the mid 1970s). I have coached at summer institutes for 44 years.

On the 2016-17 China topic I've judged 39 rounds at the SDI, University of Michigan Final Institute Tournament,Dexter HS (MI), Wayne State University (HS tournament) and Niles Township Invitational (IL), JV State Finals, Okemos HS at Lansing Community College (MI), University of Michigan HS tournament, MSU Spartan Classic, Michigan Novice State Finals, Varsity State Finals, NAUDL (urban debate) Nationals, and West Bloomfield HS, MI, voting affirmative 17 times. I taught for two weeks at the SDI this summer and administered a one week debate institute for the Detroit Urban Debate League. I also judge two NDT/CEDA college rounds on the 2016-17 college resolution at the Wayne State college tournament, voting affirmative twice in open.
On the 2017-18 education topic, I judged 28 rounds at the SDI, U of M Institute Final Tournament, Okemos HS @Lansing Community College (MI), West Bloomfield HS (MI ), Spartan Classic at MSU, Varsity and Novice State Finals, JV State Finals, Detroit Urban Debate League Championships, Montgomery Bell Academy Southern Bell Forum and the University of Michigan, voting affirmative 17 times. I have also judged three rounds on the 2017-18 NDT/CEDA college topic (health insurance), voting negative in all three rounds. I judged eight public forum rounds on the background checks and Catalonian independence topics, voting pro four times. I taught at the SDI two week institute and administered a one week Detroit Urban Debate League institute at Wayne State University.

On the 2018-19 immigration topic, I coached at the two week Spartan Debate Institute and have judged so far nine rounds, at the SDI two week tournament and the University of Michigan Institutes final tournament, voting negative eight times.
I am open to most types of argument but default to a policy making perspective on debate rounds. Speed is fine; if unintelligible I will warn several times, continue to flow but it's in the debater's ball park to communicate the content of arguments and evidence and their implication or importance. Traditional on- case debate, disads, counterplans and kritiks are fine. However, I am more familiar with the literature of so-called non mainstream political philosophies (Marxism, neoliberalism, libertarianism, objectivism) than with many post modern philosophers and psychoanalytic literature. If your kritik becomes an effort to obfuscate through mindless jargon, please note that your threshold for my ballot becomes substantially higher.
At the margins of critical debate, for example, if you like to engage in "semiotic insurrection," interface psychoanalysis with political action, defend the proposition that 'death is good,' advocate that debate must make a difference outside the "argument room" or just play games with Baudrilliard, it would be the better part of valor to not pref me. What you might perceive as flights of intellectual brilliance I am more likely to view as incoherent babble or antithetical to participation in a truly educational activity. Capitalism/neoliberalism, securitization, anthropocentrism, Taoism, anti-blackness, queer theory, IR feminism, ableism and ageism are all kritiks that I find more palatable for the most part than the arguments listed above. I have voted for "death good" and Schlag, escape the argument box/room, arguments more times than I would like to admit (on the college and HS levels)-though I think these arguments are either just plain dumb or inapplicable to interscholastic debate respectively. Now, it is time to state that my threshold for voting for even these arguments has gotten much higher. For example, even a single, persuasive turn or solid defensive position against these arguments would very likely be enough for me to vote against them.
I am less likely to vote on theory debates, not necessarily because I dislike all theory debates, but because I am often confronted with competing lists of why something is legitimate or illegitimate, without any direct comparison or attempt to indicate why one position is superior to the other on the basis of fairness and/or education. In those cases, I default to voting to reject the argument and not the team, or not voting on theory at all.
Additionally, though I personally believe that the affirmative should present a topical plan or an advocacy reasonably related to the resolution, I am somewhat open to a good performance related debate based on a variety of cultural, sociological and philosophical concepts. My personal antipathy to judge intervention and willingness to change if persuaded make me at least open to this type of debate. Finally, I am definitely not averse to voting against the kritik on either the affirmative or negative on framework and topicality-like arguments. On face, I don't find framework arguments to be inherently exclusionary.
As to the use of gratuitous/unnecessary profanity in debate rounds: "It don't impress me much!" Using terms like "fuck" or "bullshit" doesn't increase your ethos. I am quite willing to deduct speaker points for their systemic use. The use of such terms is almost always unnecessary and often turns arguments into ad hominem attacks.
Finally, I am a fan of the least amount of judge intervention as possible. The line by line debate is very important; so don't embed your clash so much that the arguments can't be "unembedded" without substantial judge intervention. I'm not a "truth seeker" and would rather vote for arguments I don't like than intervene directly with my preferences as a judge. Generally, the check on so-called "bad" arguments and evidence should be provided by the teams in round, not by me as the judge. This also provides an educationally sound incentive to listen and flow carefully, and prepare answers/blocks to those particularly "bad" arguments so as not to lose to them. Phrasing this in terms of the "tech" v. "truth" dichotomy, I try to keep the "truth" part to as close to zero (%) as humanly possible in my decision making. "Truth" can sometimes be a fluid concept and you might not like my perspective on what is the "correct" side of a particular argument..
An additional word or two on paperless debate and new arguments. There are many benefits to paperless debate, as well as some downsides. For debater's purposes, I rarely take "flashing" time out of prep time, unless the delay seems very excessive. I do understand that technical glitches do occur. However, once electronic transmission begins, all prep by both teams must cease immediately. This would also be true if a paper team declares "end prep" but continues to prepare. I will deduct any prep time "stolen" from the team's prep and, if the problem continues, deduct speaker points. Prep includes writing, typing and consulting with partner about strategy, arguments, order, etc.
With respect to new arguments, I do not automatically disregard new arguments until the 2AR (since there is no 3NR). Prior to that time, the next speaker should act as a check on new arguments or cross applications by noting what is "new" and why it's unfair or antithetical to sound educational practice. I do not subscribe to the notion that "if it's true, it's not new" as what is "true" can be quite subjective.

Full Judging Record

Tournament Date Event Rd Aff Neg Decision
Detroit Urban Debate League Camp Tournament 8/10/2018 PF 5 Mikhail & Abdrabboh Yousif & Abdrabboh NEG
Michigan Summer Institutes 7/31/2018 POL 1 HJPPV KK McQueen RR NEG
Michigan Summer Institutes 7/31/2018 POL 2 Woodward MR CPPWW KR NEG
Michigan Summer Institutes 7/31/2018 POL 3 FFGSV YC Hybrid BG NEG
Michigan Summer Institutes 7/31/2018 POL 5 Bellarmine RV GBS GS NEG
Michigan Summer Institutes 7/31/2018 POL 6 Westminster DR BFHPR RS NEG
Michigan Summer Institutes 7/31/2018 POL 7 Classic MP PW Classic KAZ SW NEG
Billy Tate Southern Bell Forum MBA 1/6/2018 SBF 4 St. Mark's School of Texas WS Pace NH AFF
Billy Tate Southern Bell Forum MBA 1/6/2018 SBF 5 Pittsburgh Central Catholic SB Niles North KS AFF
Billy Tate Southern Bell Forum MBA 1/6/2018 SBF 6 Chattahoochee JN Westminster GM NEG
MIFA Debate State Finals 12/8/2017 V POL Varsity R1 H.H. Dow MD Detroit Cristo Rey DG AFF
MIFA Debate State Finals 12/8/2017 N POL Novice R2 Detroit Country Day SL Detroit Cristo Rey PS AFF
MIFA Debate State Finals 12/8/2017 V POL Varsity R2 Okemos RR West Bloomfield AB AFF
MIFA Debate State Finals 12/8/2017 V POL Varsity R3 Okemos LM H.H. Dow DW NEG
MIFA Debate State Finals 12/8/2017 V POL Semis West Bloomfield AB Okemos RR NEG
Okemos RR on a 3-0
Spartan Classic at MSU 12/1/2017 O 2 Northview Baty & Duran Niles West Naikitende & Yousuf AFF
Spartan Classic at MSU 12/1/2017 O 4 Okemos Thompson Glenbrook North Pick & Rogoff NEG
University of Michigan HS Debate Tournament 11/1/2017 VCX 1 Niles North KS Walter Payton CP PW NEG
University of Michigan HS Debate Tournament 11/1/2017 NCX 5 New Trier DS Glenbrook South MB AFF
University of Michigan HS Debate Tournament 11/1/2017 VCX 7 Isidore Newman QV Glenbrook North NN AFF
University of Michigan HS Debate Tournament 11/1/2017 VCX Doubles Walter Payton CP PW Niles North WI AFF
Niles Nort on a 2-1
Wayne State George W Ziegelmueller Invitational 10/21/2017 JV 1 Indiana LG WaySta JM NEG
Wayne State George W Ziegelmueller Invitational 10/21/2017 JV 2 Wayne State SA Indiana RL NEG
Wayne State George W Ziegelmueller Invitational 10/21/2017 Open 4 Michigan ZS Michigan State PB NEG
Okemos High School Invitational 10/13/2017 OP PO4 WesBlo AP Okemos AM NEG
Okemos High School Invitational 10/13/2017 OP PO5 WesBlo BH Okemos ZX NEG
Okemos High School Invitational 10/13/2017 NP Final H.HDow PV DetCou FL AFF
H.HDow PV on a 2-1
West Bloomfield Debate Invitational 9/29/2017 PolOp 4 H.H. DowSP Okemos MA NEG
Michigan Summer Institutes 8/1/2017 POL 1 CFJ WW HJPPV DT NEG
Michigan Summer Institutes 8/1/2017 POL 2 Oddo/Walrath DS McCaffrey/Zuckerman WW AFF
Michigan Summer Institutes 8/1/2017 POL 3 Munday/Tallungan BL HJPPV KW NEG
Michigan Summer Institutes 8/1/2017 POL 4 McCaffrey/Zuckerman KP BCPPR LR NEG
Michigan Summer Institutes 8/1/2017 POL 5 FFRSV DX Oddo/Walrath AB AFF
MIFA Varsity Debate State Finals 17 1/6/2017 VPol 2 Portage Northern DD H.H. Dow DP NEG
MIFA Varsity Debate State Finals 17 1/6/2017 VPol 3 Detroit Country Day OT Okemos RR NEG
MIFA Novice Debate State Finals 17 12/9/2016 NPol 2 Okemos A West Bloomfield A NEG
MIFA Novice Debate State Finals 17 12/9/2016 NPol 3 Petoskey A Portage Northern A AFF
MIFA Novice Debate State Finals 17 12/9/2016 NPol 4 H.H. Dow A Okemos B NEG
MIFA Novice Debate State Finals 17 12/9/2016 NPol Semis West Bloomfield B H.H. Dow A NEG
H.H. Dow A on a 2-1
Dexter Delight 11/11/2016 PolNo 4 H.H. Dow WW Okemos JS AFF
Dexter Delight 11/11/2016 PolOp 5 Okemos LM Detroit Country Day RG AFF
University of Michigan HS Debate Tournament 10/26/2016 VCX 1 Pine Crest Preparatory JS Hendrickson WP AFF
University of Michigan HS Debate Tournament 10/26/2016 VCX 2 Glenbrook South MS Mountain Brook HC NEG
University of Michigan HS Debate Tournament 10/26/2016 VCX 3 Lexington TW Pine Crest Preparatory JC AFF
University of Michigan HS Debate Tournament 10/26/2016 VCX 4 Northside HL Glenbrook South AS NEG
University of Michigan HS Debate Tournament 10/26/2016 NCX 5 Niles North NP New Trier KC NEG
University of Michigan HS Debate Tournament 10/26/2016 NCX 6 Maine East BL Pine Crest Preparatory YG NEG
University of Michigan HS Debate Tournament 10/26/2016 VCX 7 Niles West SP Detroit Country Day XM AFF
University of Michigan HS Debate Tournament 10/26/2016 VCX Doubles Whitney Young OR Westminster Schools BH NEG
Westminste on a 3-0
Wayne State George Ziegelmueller Ziggy Invitational 10/22/2016 Open 5 Indiana TN Wayne State MJ AFF
Wayne State George Ziegelmueller Ziggy Invitational 10/22/2016 Open 7 Wayne State AC Michigan LR AFF
Okemos High School Invitational 10/21/2016 2 HHDow SW Okemos AB AFF
Okemos High School Invitational 10/21/2016 OP 4 PorNor DE HHDow PD NEG
Okemos High School Invitational 10/21/2016 5 HHDow MS MonSho BH NEG
Okemos High School Invitational 10/21/2016 OP 6 HHDow PD PorNor DE NEG
PorNor DE on a 3-0
West Bloomfield High School Policy Debate Tournament 9/30/2016 OPN 2 Portage Northern PR Okemos S Z AFF
West Bloomfield High School Policy Debate Tournament 9/30/2016 OPN 3 Portage Northern DJ Mona Shores BW AFF
West Bloomfield High School Policy Debate Tournament 9/30/2016 OPN 6 Portage Northern PR Okemos R L NEG
Portage No on a 2-1
West Bloomfield High School Policy Debate Tournament 9/30/2016 OPN 7 Portage Northern PR Detroit Country Day SV NEG
Detroit Co on a 3-0
Niles Township Invitational 9/9/2016 POL Rd 1 Maine East H.S. BL New Trier HL AFF
Niles Township Invitational 9/9/2016 POL Rd 3 New Trier GN Glenbrook South AS NEG
Niles Township Invitational 9/9/2016 POL Rd 6 Whitney M. Young Magnet CJ Rosemount SS NEG
Michigan National Debate Institute Summer Camp 7/28/2016 POL 5 HJPPV Troyer & Cielak AKKMM Doktorman & Engh AFF
Michigan National Debate Institute Summer Camp 7/28/2016 POL 6 BFHLR McMillin & Movsovitz BFHLR Baimes & Schuler AFF
Michigan National Debate Institute Summer Camp 7/28/2016 POL Dubs AKKMM Wilson & Puentes FFRSV Muse & Cerny NEG
FFRSV Muse on a 3-0
Michigan Junior Varsity State Tournament 1/15/2016 JV 4 PorNor DC ArbPre KV AFF
MIFA Varsity Debate State Finals 1/8/2016 VPol 2 West Bloomfield Portage Northern AFF
MIFA Varsity Debate State Finals 1/8/2016 VPol 3 HH Dow Traverse City Central AFF
MIFA Varsity Debate State Finals 1/8/2016 VPol 4 Okemos Petoskey NEG
MIFA Varsity Debate State Finals 1/8/2016 VPol 6 Detroit Country Day Traverse City Central NEG
Traverse C on a 3-0
MIFA Novice States 12/11/2015 NPol 1 Portage Northern A Okemos A AFF
MIFA Novice States 12/11/2015 NPol 3 Kingsley A Petoskey A NEG
MIFA Novice States 12/11/2015 NPol 5 Gaylord A Traverse City Central A NEG
MIFA Novice States 12/11/2015 NPol 6 Portage Northern A HH Dow A NEG
HH Dow A on a 3-0
University Prep Panther Classic 11/6/2015 OPN 1 Oakw RH Portage Northern SP NEG
University Prep Panther Classic 11/6/2015 OPN 2 DCD YO Portage Northern GP NEG
University Prep Panther Classic 11/6/2015 NOV 3 Petoskey FM Portage Northern AG AFF
University Prep Panther Classic 11/6/2015 OPN 4 Okemos RZ ArbPrep CL AFF
University Prep Panther Classic 11/6/2015 NOV 5 Okemos MN University Prep BL AFF
University Prep Panther Classic 11/6/2015 OPN 6 Portage Northern GP DCD VX AFF
Portage No on a 2-1
University of Michigan HS Tournament 10/28/2015 NCX 1 Glenbrook North JY New Trier ML NEG
University of Michigan HS Tournament 10/28/2015 VCX 2 Wayzata MJ West Bloomfield HH AFF
University of Michigan HS Tournament 10/28/2015 VCX 3 New Trier BW Marist AV AFF
University of Michigan HS Tournament 10/28/2015 VCX 4 West Bloomfield BK Niles North ST AFF
University of Michigan HS Tournament 10/28/2015 VCX 6 Pine Crest JV H.H. Dow US AFF
Policy Early Bird at Wake Forest 9/4/2015 Var 1 Polytechnic XH Pittsburgh Central Catholic WM NEG
Policy Early Bird at Wake Forest 9/4/2015 Var 4 LA PS Niles North UW AFF
Policy Early Bird at Wake Forest 9/4/2015 Var 5 Johns Creek LD Polytechnic LW NEG
Policy Early Bird at Wake Forest 9/4/2015 Var 6 Chattahoochee XR Portage Northern PL AFF
Michigan Summer Institute 8/4/2015 POL 1 MAGS AF ZP Alexis-Mark AFF
Michigan Summer Institute 8/4/2015 POL 2 KM MW Hybrid BK NEG
Michigan Summer Institute 8/4/2015 POL 3 Little Rock Central WW BEFJR AF AFF
Michigan Summer Institute 8/4/2015 POL 5 KM CA BEFJR MM NEG
Michigan Summer Institute 8/4/2015 POL 6 KM WZ BT Nick Matt AFF
University of Michigan HS Tournament 11/5/2014 NCX 4 Iowa City West CE Maine East HM AFF
University of Michigan HS Tournament 11/5/2014 JRR 5 Chattahoochee Zhou & Haritsa Lexington Meel & Liu AFF
University of Michigan HS Tournament 11/5/2014 NCX 5 Montgomery Bell JC New Trier MK AFF
University of Michigan HS Tournament 11/5/2014 SRR 6 Atholton Ramanan & Slavinsky Walter Payton CP Young & McColgan AFF
University of Michigan HS Tournament 11/5/2014 NCX 6 Glenbrook North FZ Maine East PP AFF
University of Michigan HS Tournament 11/5/2014 NCX 7 Chicago Lab Schools BD Maine East HT NEG
New Trier Season Opener 10/10/2014 Open Rd 2 Traverse City Central AM Chicago Lab Schools BC AFF
New Trier Season Opener 10/10/2014 Open Rd 4 Lakeland District Debate RA Chicago Lab Schools NF AFF
New Trier Season Opener 10/10/2014 Open Rd 5 WDM Valley DB Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart DC AFF
New Trier Season Opener 10/10/2014 Open Dbls Glenbrook South AS Walter Payton CP BC NEG
Walter Pay on a 3-0
Michigan Summer Institute 8/5/2014 POL Round 5 GHJPP Soni & Dhar BEFJR Charous & Smith AFF
Michigan Summer Institute 8/5/2014 POL Round 6 GRAMS Hoffen & Runburg CL Will & Mitch AFF
Michigan Summer Institute 8/5/2014 POL Dubs GRAMS Spector & Haas GRAMS Wells & DelaGuardia NEG
GRAMS Well on a 2-1
Hoosier Invitational Tournament 1/25/2014 Open 1 WaySta WN Iowa HK AFF
Hoosier Invitational Tournament 1/25/2014 JV JV 2 JohCar MH WaySta BD AFF
Hoosier Invitational Tournament 1/25/2014 Nov Nov 2 JohCar BW WaySta ZR AFF
Hoosier Invitational Tournament 1/25/2014 Nov Nov 4 WaySta HH Capita GT NEG
Hoosier Invitational Tournament 1/25/2014 Open 6 JohCar MS MicSta BP NEG
Hoosier Invitational Tournament 1/25/2014 Open Semis WaySta WN MicSta CZ NEG
MicSta CZ on a 2-1
University of Michigan HS Tournament 11/1/2013 VCX 1 Pine Crest MM Dexter SM AFF
University of Michigan HS Tournament 11/1/2013 VCX 2 Glenbrook South AK Detroit Community HS Hurricane DS AFF
University of Michigan HS Tournament 11/1/2013 VCX 3 Glenbrook South CM Homewood-Flossmoor FR AFF
University of Michigan HS Tournament 11/1/2013 VCX 4 St Ignatius Cleveland PB Glenbrook South CK NEG
University of Michigan HS Tournament 11/1/2013 VCX Semis Westminster Schools BG Glenbrook South CK AFF
Westminste on a 3-0
Michigan Summer Institute 8/7/2013 Open Round 1 CroTopp Boreczky & Dana Heidt-Pappas-Jo Shepherd & Lewis NEG
Michigan Summer Institute 8/7/2013 Open Round 2 Heidt-Pappas-Jo Charous & Hoffen Hybrid 6 Pendekanti & Beddow AFF
Michigan Summer Institute 8/7/2013 Open Round 3 Hybrid 17 Duval & Levin Ald-San Chong & Olson AFF
Michigan Summer Institute 8/7/2013 Open Round 5 AtcCHM Choi & Wang Hybrid 8 Kimbrough & Dean AFF
Michigan Summer Institute 8/7/2013 Open Round 6 CroTopp Oatman & Trippe CroTopp Appel & Appel AFF
Michigan Summer Institute 8/7/2013 Open Doubles AtcCHM Kahn & Hill Hybrid 18 Marcus & Jain AFF
AtcCHM Kah on a 3-0
Michigan Summer Institute 8/7/2013 Open Octos AtcCHM Hensel & Pucci AtcCHM Hayes & Carlson AFF
AtcCHM Hen on a 3-0
Spartan Classic 2012 11/30/2012 Var 1 TCC ChSm Niles FW NEG
Spartan Classic 2012 11/30/2012 JV 3 Holt BS TCC CS NEG
Spartan Classic 2012 11/30/2012 JV 5 Dow CM WesBloOR AFF
Spartan Classic 2012 11/30/2012 Var Quarters Niles OT Dex LS AFF
Niles OT on a 3-0
Spartan Classic 2012 11/30/2012 Var Semis Niles OT TCC TT NEG
TCC TT on a 2-1
Spartan Classic 2012 11/30/2012 JV Semis TCC KS GBN BC NEG
GBN BC on a 3-0
University of Michigan H.S. Debate Tournament 11/2/2012 NCX nov 1 IowCit TZ NilWes LM AFF
University of Michigan H.S. Debate Tournament 11/2/2012 VCX open 2 PorNor HL Edina HR NEG
University of Michigan H.S. Debate Tournament 11/2/2012 VCX open 3 Pace DH PinCre LM NEG
University of Michigan H.S. Debate Tournament 11/2/2012 VCX open 4 Pace LR Seahol GH AFF