On November 6-7, 2019, three-time mock trial winners Susan Metcalfe and Ted Schaer went head-to-head in a battle of the champions at Chopped for CHOP. This seventh annual convention was held in Atlantic City, NJ. After a panel workshop and reception to kick off the event, these two top attorneys presented their cases to win up to $20,000 to be donated to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).
Who broke the tie and emerged as the grand champion this year? Read on to find out, and to learn more about this incredible two-day event.
On the first day, Magna’s own Dr. Rachel York Colangelo moderated panels of attorneys and industry executives who took part in a workshop exploring effective deposition tactics. Teams of attorneys and industry executives took part in role plays and demonstrated effective skills in deposing difficult witnesses. A panel discussion was also led by Caryn Siebert, Vice President in the carrier practice team at Gallagher Bassett, along with fellow industry experts, that focused on strategies that can be used early in a case to improve outcomes. The panel discussed examples and case studies with the attendees, taking a closer look at preparing witnesses, researching the jury, and more.
Following the panel, attendees enjoyed a dinner reception at Indoor Pool at The Water Club before getting a good night’s rest in anticipation of the next day’s mock trial.
The mock trial is the highlight of Chopped for CHOP, and in past years there have been numerous attorneys competing for the win. This year, Susan Metcalfe and Ted Schaer, each of whom have won this competition three times, competed alone against each other in a tie-breaking battle of the champions.
They presented their best case to a panel of judges made of claims executives and corporate counsel. Richard Fabian of the RiverStone Group generously donated his time to develop the topics and script and moderate the event. There was a lot at stake for our competing attorneys: bragging rights and $20,000 to be donated in their firm’s name to CHOP.
In the Chopped for CHOP mock trial, both attorneys received the facts of the case and presented their opening statements. They then had the opportunity to cross-examine a plaintiff and a defendant before presenting their closing arguments. After each round, the judges and the mock jurors, who were recruited and selected from the actual Atlantic City trial venue each cast a secret vote for the attorney they believed to have won the round. The judges also offered helpful feedback.
Of course, a jury trial is unpredictable and never easy, and we made sure to throw our competing attorneys a few twists and turns. Via instant feedback technology, our audience members voted on which distractions and difficulties they wanted the attorneys to face during the mock trial. For example, a new fact emerged during the trial that had not been available in the case information prior to the event, and a pizza delivery person wandered into the courtroom to deliver a large pie to the judge.
As expected, the attorneys handled it all with professionalism and grace, and when the competition ended, we were proud to announce the winner: Susan Metcalfe! She’s now a four-time Chopped for CHOP mock trial champion.
Chopped for CHOP is one of the many unique, interactive events we produce for attorneys, corporate counsel, and claims professionals. Among a variety of other services, from court reporting to language interpretation and document translation, we offer programs that aim to entertain and educate. We create memorable experiences and connect professionals with the opportunity to share best practices and learn from each other.
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about our conferences or to schedule a deposition.