Richard Haber ParadigmLast changed 4/12 6:35P EDT
2018 Tournament of Champions
Richard Haber, Chagrin Falls High School.
Practicing Trial Attorney and Coach of Public Forum team for 7 years.
I can handle a fair amount of speed, but please exercise some common sense with pace.
Generally, I decide the round on who persuades me. It is not a question of how many argument you win, but which arguments you win, the impacts of those arguments and how you weigh them. I am a flow judge and will track the round. If you do not respond to a contention of your opponent, you risk losing the argument, and if important in the weight of the round it could result in a loss. However, just because your opponent fails to respond to a contention or sub-contention, does not mean you win the issue. You must still persuade me why it matters.
As a trial lawyer, I think evidence is important, but it is equally important to me to logically extend your evidence. Please explain why your evidence is more important or impactful than the evidence that your opponent inevitably will argue in response. I view Summary as the opportunity to reset the round. Structure the round for me as the judge and tell me what I should be looking for through the rest of the round. It may require you rebut additional points, but in the end, start to focus and weigh the round on the 2 to 3 key issues that I will be voting on.
You should extend your case and arguments through out the round. If you don't extend, I will assume you are dropping a contention (assuming opponent rebutted). Do not lay in wait until second speaker final focus to extend the argument - though I understand the strategy, I prefer teams debate the issues that matter, rather than prevail on a failure to debate.
To this end, cross-fire is not an opportunity to filibuster. It is intended as an exchange of ideas. Your opponents response to a well framed question can be far more impactful to me, than refusing to allow them to answer. If they are evasive, I will get it.
You should be careful running theory or kritiks. Though I will not "drop" you for running theory or kritik, I am not a fan of avoid the clash on the topic.
I will consider arguments raised in grand crossfire if reasonable in the flow of the round because your opponent can respond in grand cross and final focus. I will not consider new evidence or arguments raised in either final focus.
the best speakers may not always win. The team with the best reasoned arguments, offering the greatest reasonably extended impacts will prevail on my ballot.