This past November, legal professionals across the country converged in Atlantic City for the annual Chopped for CHOP (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia) competition. The event featured a micro panel workshop and mock trial that pitted four respected attorneys against each other. With $12,000 worth of donations to CHOP on the line, the event promised and delivered an exciting and unexpected two days.

Chopped for CHOP Day 1

The day started out with an introduction from Peter Hecht, a partner and Executive VP of Sales from Magna Legal Services. Jenna Bundy was also on hand to represent the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. After their brief remarks, the event got underway with a focus on client depositions.

Whether a client is a celebrity, Claims VP or company CEO, being deposed provides plenty of opportunities for them to slip up. After discussing the strategies used against these high-profile clients, mock depositions demonstrated how to prepare for and avoid pitfalls. Moderators and micro panels went into breakout rooms before returning 15 minutes later for the panel discussion.

The panel discussion, which featured executives and attorneys from Hill International Inc., Western Express and American Crane and Equipment, further focused on deposition topics. During a deposition, attorneys will try to highlight company success while showing ignorance of the client and attempting to solicit argument. All these tactics were discussed along with counterstrategies.

After a few reenactments of high-profile depositions, everyone enjoyed a reception at Borgata’s Premier Nightclub to prepare for the mock trial the next day.

Chopped for CHOP Day 2

Day 2 is what everyone was waiting for: the mock trial. Modeled after a traditional reality show format, four attorneys went head-to-head in a mock trial setting while presenting their cases to a panel of judges. Just like any reality show competition, there were twists along the way when attorneys were hit with obstacles and information they weren’t initially privy to.

After different phases of the competition, judges voted to “chop” (eliminate) one attorney at a time. The competition got continuously smaller until only one legal professional remained – the Chopped for CHOP Champion. The event was moderated by Richard Fabian of The Riverstone Group. When all was said and done, $12,000 was donated to CHOP in the attorneys’ firms’ names.

The Competition

There were stellar performances throughout the mock trial. In fact, each attorney earned donations for the children’s hospital. Pete Swayze, from Segal McCambridge Singer & Mahoney, won $2,000 after his stellar questioning of Corbin Bernsen from LA Law. Ross Kramer of Winston & Strawn LLP also questioned Bernsen during the event. For his cross examination, he earned $2,000 in donations.

Scott Haworth of Haworth Barber & Gerstman was the next to be chopped, but only after proving he has the skill and tenacity to handle the toughest cases in New York City. This earned him $2,000 in donations as well. Standing tall at the end, however, was Susan Metcalfe of Potomac Law Group. This was her third consecutive championship, and she walked away with $6,000 in donations to CHOP in her firm’s name.

Bring on Chopped for CHOP 2019

The sixth annual Chopped for CHOP was an eventful one, so we made sure to post plenty of pictures for those interested in keeping a piece of the competition. Magna hosts other legal events throughout the year, all of which you can find on our Conference Page. And if you think the 2018 event was exciting, wait until you see what we have in store this year.

Chopped for CHOP has had a similar format since its inception. This year, the two 3-time winners, Susan Metcalfe and Ted Schaer, will go head-to-head in a mock trial for the “Battle of the Champions.” These two attorneys have repeatedly brought accolades to their firms while helping the children of Philadelphia, so there’s little doubt that this two day event will be one for the ages.

Registration is now open for this year’s Chopped for CHOP on November 6th and 7th. To read more about the event and sign up, visit our 7th Annual Chopped for CHOP page.