Michael J. Ritter Legal Disclosure. I hereby disclose that this session will include a discussion about law. About Me. • S/K/A “Mikey” and “Ritter” • Policy Debater – RRHS & Trinity University • Assistant Debate Coach: St. Mary’s Hall, Stony Point, etc. • Now a lawyer… Students who debate at TFA and UIL tournaments almost always debate law. “Congress is an individual contest [that] models the legislative process of democracy, specifically, the United States Congress.” • University Interscholastic League, UIL Congress Pilot Contest (2014), available at http://www.uiltexas.org/speech/congress. “The United States federal government should . . . .” A little less law, a little more current events. But still law: • Resolved: On balance, public subsidies for professional athletic organizations in the United States benefit their local communities. • Resolved: The Supreme Court rightly decided that Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act violated the Constitution. • Resolved: Immigration reform should include a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States. Legal Topics • Right to be Forgotten (Civil Rights), “In the criminal justice system,” Compulsory Voting, etc. Policy Topics • Organ Procurement, Humanitarian Aid, Security vs. Digital Privacy Philosophical Topics • Oppressive Governments v. Anarchy, Rawls vs. Nozick, Killing Innocents Lawyer secret: A law is just a rule. Rules are everywhere. *Hugh Grant, Love, Actually (2003) (slightly modified for purposes of this presentation). The process of thinking about the rules of debate is the same as thinking about the rules of TSCA/TFA/UIL. And that’s the same process of thinking about “law” rules. Laws: Constitutions, Statutes, “Rules” & Regulations, Interpretations, Case Law “Generally speaking, there are five sources of law: constitutions, statutes, rules, agency interpretations, and case law (listed in order of importance, except for case law interpretations of constitutions).” -Michael J. Ritter, “Don’t Threaten to Sue Your Judge”: An Overview of the Legal Obligations of Judges, Schools & Organizations, National Journal of Speech & Debate, October 2, 2014. Rule-Making Institutions *Haddaway, “What is Love” (1993) (slightly modified for purposes of this presentation). Secondary Sources of Law • Legal Treatises (Empirical) • Law Reviews & Law Journals (Normative) • Law Blogs (Both & More) Expensive, Non-Lawyer Unfriendly Resources • LexisNexis • Westlaw Free, Non-Lawyer Friendly Resources • Legal Information Institute: www.law.cornell.edu • Texas Legislature Website: www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us • Google Scholar: scholar.google.com Free, Non-Lawyer Friendly Resources - Secondary • Search Engines (Google, DuckDuckGo) • American Bar Association – Free Full-Text Online Law Review/Journal Search • Black’s Law Dictionary Search Engines American Bar Association – Law Journal Search #omgbeckylookwedontneedlexis Black’s Law Dictionary: thelawdictionary.org It depends! (Lawyers love this answer.) Depends on: • Type of Debate • Type of Topic • Topic Wording • The Type of Argument Public Forum Debate • Depends on the Topic – Non-Current Events Topics • Did the Supreme Court rightly decide that section 4 of the Voting Rights Act violated the constitution? Shelby County v. Holder Majority vs. Dissent Cross-Examination (Policy) Debate • Topicality Black’s Law Dictionary • Inherency Is the plan actually a change to the law? • Harms N/A • Solvency Constitutionality, Perceived Unconstitutionality & Fiat LD Debate • See Last Slide • Using law in value/criterion development • Case Clash Step I: Brainstorm and Identify Potential Topic Subareas Step II: Do preliminary search engine research (e.g. Google, Bing, etc.) and “Just add ‘Law’” • And “law blog” • And “law review” Step III: Start Developing Argument and Case Ideas • Identify and confirm topic areas for which there is literature • See relevant results from qualified authors Step IV: Quickly Check Supreme Court Cases After 1986 & Law Reviews Articles • Cites will be found in the search results; cross reference with the free sources. • For Law Journals: focus on policy articles advocating for a policy change in specific subareas; • For cases: Look at Supreme Court cases justifying the ruling; and FEDERAL court of appeals cases; you find the debate in those courts Step V: Incorporate My Evidence” (1) Qualifications: This topic is about the legal issue of <insert explanation>. My evidence is authored by: • • & Bolster—“Prefer a federal judge who has been deemed an legal expert by the U.S. a attorney who studied the law in the area and applies the law every day. (2) This provides a more real world education. Richard Colling, terrible driver, 2013: Richard J. Colling, The TruthTesting Paradigm as a Straw Man, B.A., University of Houston (400 B.C., Director of Forensics, Stony Point High School, NATIONAL JOURNAL OF SPEECH & DEBATE 2013: “The legalistic model is as real world as the legislative model, as cases are considered daily by the courts. It could even be considered more ‘real world’ considering the great frequency of court cases resolved compared to legislation passed by Congress, and more debaters end up lawyers than the debaters that end up legislators.” Step VI: Save the statutes/constitutions for cases on straight-up legal topics and responses to cases and counterarguments. • Sometimes even lawyers and courts have issues trying to understand what the laws mean, shouldn’t be your go to, but they can be the best evidence against a case. • But they frequently can be the most persuasive argument Let’s try it out: • Threatening Speech Topic • Steps I–VI You Ask Questions. Like an attorney, I will try to avoid them.