Tim Elizondo
Material Type:
Community College / Lower Division
Creative Commons Attribution
Media Formats:

Example of a "Metaphor" NPDA Case

Example of a "Metaphor" NPDA Case


This document is an example of an Affirmative case constructed for competitive Inter-collegiate debate within the National Parlimentary Debate Association.  This example seeks to illuminate the way a policy-based case can be constructed by affirmative teams when presented with metaphors as debate topics.  

Example of Affirmative Case's Outline

The following example is a case constructed for the resolution, “The Sun has set on Rural America.”  The example utilizes the structural format provided for a stock issues case and is an example of the ways NPDA resolutions can be interpreted as resolutions of policy without the presence of the words “should or ought”. 

This case proposes modifying the California Government to help facilitate cooperation among agencies seeking to provide legal aid to rural counties within the state.


  1. Observation 1: Interpretation/Analysis
    1. Resolutional Analysis

The Government recognizes that the resolution provided is a metaphor. It is stated in Critical Thinking through Debate by Mark Nelson and Jack Parella that the government team can [transform] metaphorical resolutions by linking their analysis to a specific current event in so far as the government’s interpretation provides fair ground for the two sides within the debate. Therefore, we will utilize this right and government shall interpret the metaphorical topic by bringing the issues of social justice within rural California to light.


    1. Definitions :
      1. The Sun:  To shine light upon


      1. Has Set:  End of Something: For this case we will examine the End of Civil Justice Equality


      1. Rural America: Rural California.

This interpretation of the resolution is valid due to the way the issues facing our rural community shape and define who we are, in addition to the education we experience at Columbia.

The Government would like to recognize philosopher Paulo Freire and his work “The Pedagogy of the Oppressed.”  In this book, Freire framed education as a potential interaction and as a process incorporating the learner’s own bases of knowledge and experience in order to create a liberating self-awareness. This type of framework is critical to developing a critical awareness. We understand this as contextual and will be clarified within case if there are not any questions at this time by the opposition.


    1. Criteria

The Government team advocate for the criteria of net-benefits within today’s debate.  That is, if the Government team can demonstrate that our advocacy promotes a kind of positive social change that outweighs any disadvantage the opposition presents, we should win.  The Government team’s interpretation of the resolution as a policy claim is a legitimate and preferable interpretation due to the way the framework of policy debate promotes activities leading to the fostering of positive social change.


  1. Harms: Communities in rural counties lack resources to legal aid


    1. Claim 1: Residents living within rural counties face sparse resources to assist in their civil justice needs.

According to Commission Report it states that a higher percentage of rural than urban Californians are likely to be impoverished, elderly, or living with a disability.  These populations are more likely to qualify for legal services. However, the Commission finds that the legal aid assistance in rural areas is sparse and only able to provide partial assistance.


    1. Claim 2. Current formulas for determining resources are based on population models.

There is a fundamental problem existing within the ways geographic considerations are not calculated into the funding and distribution of legal-aid resources. Most legal services programs rely on ongoing “core funding” to support their basic operations.  Institutions such as the Federal Legal Services Corporation and the State Bar’s Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts Funding provide help on a formula basis.  These calculations attached to funding allocation are based, in part, on the number of indigent persons in their service areas.


    1. Internal link: This lack of funding leads to a shortage of legal services to individuals isolated in rural counties.

This lack of resources is impacting the accessibility of lawyers. According to Matthew Cooper’s “Invisible Clients,” the Delivery of Legal Services to the Rural Poor; it cost more to provide civil aid to rural persons than urban. Current statistics on legal aid in rural counties indicate a wide gap in availability and attention as there is only one attorney for every 27,000 rural CA residents.


    1. Impacts
      1. The lack of civil justice available to citizens undermines a safe and civil society.

According to Jason M. Solomon’s “What is Civil Justice, a William And Mary Law School Report 2010,” civil justice is a legal regime that responds to wrongdoing by vindicating the right of the victim to hold the wrongdoer accountable.


      1. The ability to access legal services is a key indicator of the health of a democracy.

Dee Davis, President of The Center for Rural Strategies states, “Rural America lags behind the rest of the nation in nearly every measure of success... and one of the most important and often overlooked ways rural areas lags behind the rest of the nation is access to legal services”






  1. Plan-Text: Create and pass Rural Legal Aid Assistance reform legislation


    1. Inherency: The current barrier is a lack of resources allocated towards legal aid services in California.  The lack of resources includes revenue streams and channels of communication.  According to the Justice Gap Report 2009, 50% of eligible potential clients were turned away for lack of program resources. 


    1. Mandate: The State of California will pass legislation that includes combining all current non-profit legal aid programs into a Unified Committee of Justice.  In addition, this bill will create a funding source that seeks to provide additional resources through the taxation of tobacco products.


    1. Agent/Enforcer: The Legislative Branch of California


    1. Time Frame: A.S.A.P.


    1. Funding: Raise CA’s cigarette tax from $.87 cents to $2 per pack and separate 33% of the revenue towards funding the newly created Committee.  According to estimates, the state would raise 660.5 million dollars in state revenue each year.   This 33% of this revenue would equal nearly 220 million dollars to contribute towards legal funding.


    1. Solvency:  The passage of plan will create minimum access guidelines through eliminating the geographical discrimination in the distribution of funding and resources.  These guidelines will ensure rural Californians receive equal civil justice opportunities as their urban counterparts.  Plan promotes cooperation between current resources so that the legal needs of rural Californians are met more effectively.


  1. Advantage 1: The Government’s advocacy creates equal opportunity for civil justice throughout rural CA.


    1. Overview: Justice Lewis Powell once said “Equal perhaps the most inspiring ideal of our society... It is fundamental that justice should be the same, in substance and availability.” As shown in the Commission Report, plan creates minimum access guidelines by eliminating the geographical discrimination in the distribution of funding and resources to ensure rural Californians receive equal civil justice opportunities as their urban counterparts.


    1. Plan does not remove or relocate current resource, yet promotes cooperation between current resources so that the legal needs of rural Californians are met more effectively. Legal aid attorneys then reach more people without the time and expense of travel, and clients receive training in how to represent themselves.


    1. Link: Plan establishes a foundation for communication between interested parties and stakeholders.  Legal aid attorneys will be able to reach more people without the time and expense of travel, and clients receive training in how to represent themselves


    1. Impacts


      1. Program will provide leadership to communities.

According to estimates by the Commission Report, rural counties [will] benefit from fundraising leaders who may not be rural or local, but who are concerned with justice, and rural areas [will] benefit from economies of scale that are unavailable to rural CA.


      1. Law students will be attracted to work in rural areas.

Schools such as Loyola University in Southern California, provides over 10,000 hours each year in pro bono(free legal service) by partnering with local programs. And according to the Commission Report, many law schools are required to offer students pro bono work in order to be accredited from the American Bar Association. By having a single non-profit legal program, student resources can be distributed throughout rural CA, to help assist in the legal needs of low-income persons.


      1. Community health will increase due to the way Legal aid is tied to solving community needs.

By successfully pursuing child support, alimony and health insurance coverage for domestic violence victims and their children, legal aid allows families to live free of their abusers and reduces the need for state support... which in turn victims are able to return to the workforce, contributing to the state’s tax base....So more legal aid, means less domestic violence, which means more taxes being paid towards the state.  A 2003 study by Colgate University and the University of Arkansas reported that legal aid is the only service that consistently brings down the level of domestic violence within a community



Thought Exercise (Questions for discussion and/or Assignments)

Identify and describe three different attacks an opposition team could use to refute the claims and/or evidence within the case. Consider the following;

  1. Does the author commit any type of errors of reasoning within case?  Does the author use any type of fallacy such as hasty generalizations or the misinterpretation of cause-effect relationships?
  2.  Does the author commit any errors regarding the use of evidence?  What areas of evidence are susceptible to attack?