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University of Texas at Austin
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UIL Speech Judges

If you have corrections, questions or comments regarding this information, please notify The UIL Speech and Debate department at or 512-471-5883.

Joshua Cottle

Current high school:
The University of Texas School of Law

Currently coaching?: no

Conference: Not Coaching

Number of years coached:

Number of tournaments judged: 8

High school attended:
Tuloso Midway High School, Corpus Christi, TX

Graduated high school: 2006

Participated in high school: yes

Participated in college: no

Judging qualifications:
I competed in oral interpretive, mostly prose, and have judged prose and poetry each time I have been asked to judge. I competed in extemporaneous speaking frequently, and have judged extemporaneous rounds once. My professional pastimes in law school include moot court, which necessitates persuasive and informative public speaking. I competed in LD for several years in high school and prefer to judge LD. Moot court is essentially an argument of parsing values and policies behind an "ought" question for courts; I believe students would receive criticism well from a lawyer-to-be who currently practices in extensive argumentative writing and speaking, and is familiar with good LD.

Judging Philosophy


Rounds judged:
Judging approach: policy maker
Policy priority: Equal
Evidence philosophy: quantity
Paradigm: I have 0 experience with CX, other than observing rounds in high school, and comparing how CX-ers who crosslisted in LD performed against straight LD-ers. I worked in a policy think tank and understand how to approach legislative sessions and standards governing quality publications. With these caveats, a good CX round on, e.g., the 2012-13 topic would be one that is able to address the sociological and political necessities governing improving transportation infrastructure; individuals able to provide well-reasoned policies that may address components of a program overhaul would get more points than students who merely address the normative inquiry. From a lawyer's perspective, the quantity of evidence outweighs in terms of persuasion over quality because evidence admitted has reputedly been parsed through Rule 403 governing the relevance of evidence sought to be admitted; the judiciousness of the speaker in submitting stronger evidence than not will be taken into account. Speakers merely spreading a lot of garbage and calling it evidence are neither persuasive nor competent at their job; reasoned floor debates address key issues and presumably cite materials vetted through various analyses. Support for a position that transportation infrastructure should be improved because the Cato Institute, e.g., said X about Y-aspect may not persuade if the Cato source cited is just an op-ed; but a Cato study saying X about Y-aspect will go over better.


Rounds judged: 4
Approach: Issues
LD is much more concise than CX debate - I do not subscribe to the school of thought that LD is empty rhetoric. LD-ers are able to cover substantial ground in shorter amounts of time; a good LD-er can analyze weaknesses and bring the judge's attention by pointed CX without wasting time resolving loose ends like "What was your value again?" - a good LD-er should be able to line by line that and have a good response to why her value is superior to her opponent's, or why the debate can't be formulated sensibly in terms of her opponent's criterion. Clear articulation of points is necessary for staying responsive and permitting me to assess the validity and strength of separate arguments. Clear signposting helps this out, and is one of the bigger takeaways I've had from studying oral arguments at all levels of the judiciary and performing at various competitions. A good speaker wins trophies because a good speaker communicates clear argument, and a good speaker with weak argument can be shown where she needs improvement in strengthening her reasoning which is what she needs to get the vote. If it comes down to a good speaker with weak argument and a bad speaker who failed to communicate her argument, I go with the good speaker and make very strong notes to her what it would take to have truly earned the vote.

Contact Information

cell: 361 7651068
office: 361 7651068

Availability Information

Meet types:
Invitational District Regional State Meet

Qualified for:


Region of residence:
Area 1 Austin/San Antonio

I will travel to: 1 2 3 4 5