Stay out of court.How ADR ADR - Astra Digital Radio can help you save time and money.
The threat of lawsuits plagues CPAs as they expand their practices and offer new services in today's litigation-friendly environment. CPAs who offer attestation services Noun 1. attestation service - a consulting service in which a CPA expresses a conclusion about the reliability of a written statement that is the responsibility of someone else
attestation report are particularly vulnerable to lawsuits because they play an indispensable role in a majority of financial transactions and often are considered "lucrative" targets. In fact, more lawsuits against CPAs have been filed during the last 16 years than in the entire history of the profession.
So strident is the suing sentiment that clever litigators are suing in state courts to circumvent cir·cum·vent
tr.v. cir·cum·vent·ed, cir·cum·vent·ing, cir·cum·vents
1. To surround (an enemy, for example); enclose or entrap.
2. To go around; bypass: circumvented the city. the reforms included in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (PSLRA) implemented several significant substantive changes affecting certain cases brought under the federal securities laws, including changes related to pleading, discovery, liability, class representation and awards fees and of 1995, a federal law intended to curb unwarranted professional liability. (See "Tort Reform Revolution" JofA, Sept. 96, page 53.)
In such a hostile environment See: operational environment. , what's a CPA (Computer Press Association, Landing, NJ) An earlier membership organization founded in 1983 that promoted excellence in computer journalism. Its annual awards honored outstanding examples in print, broadcast and electronic media. The CPA disbanded in 2000. to do? Simply to accept the risk obligation as common practice is not enough. There are alternatives to litigation An action brought in court to enforce a particular right. The act or process of bringing a lawsuit in and of itself; a judicial contest; any dispute.
When a person begins a civil lawsuit, the person enters into a process called litigation. that can be used to settle disputes and help reduce the number of times a CPA must appear in court. These alternatives collectively are known as alternative dispute resolution Procedures for settling disputes by means other than litigation; e.g., by Arbitration, mediation, or minitrials. Such procedures, which are usually less costly and more expeditious than litigation, are increasingly being used in commercial and labor disputes, Divorce (ADR).
UNDERSTANDING A USEFUL TOOL
The ADR umbrella includes arbitration, mediation and hybrid methods that combine arbitration and mediation. All of these options can help CPAs resolve disputes faster, avoid high litigation costs, protect CPA-client confidentiality, avoid state board of accountancy sanctions and preserve client relationships.
Arbitration. In arbitration, parties argue their positions and present evidence to an arbitration panel arbitration panel
A group of individuals charged with resolving a dispute between individuals and/or organizations. Arbitration panels to resolve investment disputes are sponsored by self-regulatory organizations such as NASD. that decides the case. As in litigation, the outcome is binding; however, arbitration is less formal than litigation and is based primarily on fact finding and only secondarily on legal issues. Also, arbitration does not adhere to adhere to
verb 1. follow, keep, maintain, respect, observe, be true, fulfil, obey, heed, keep to, abide by, be loyal, mind, be constant, be faithful
2. traditional court evidence and procedure rules. Nevertheless, many lawyers serve as arbitrators, and most arbitration panels include at least one attorney.
Private arbitrations often are set up by an arbitration provider. The most widely known provider is the American Arbitration Association The American Arbitration Association (AAA) is a private enterprise in the business of arbitration, and one of several arbitration organizations that administers arbitration proceedings. The AAA also administers mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution. (AAA AAA: see American Automobile Association.
(Triple A) A common single-cell battery used in a myriad of electronic devices of all variety. Like its double A (AA) cousin, it provides 1.5 volts of DC power. When used in series, the voltage is multiplied. ), a not-for-profit entity with regional offices around the country.
Arbitration usually provides timely and economical results. The parties control the process and can tailor it to their needs. However, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. the Federal Arbitration Act In United States law, the Federal Arbitration Act is a statute that provides for judicial facilitation of private dispute resolution through arbitration. It appears that the Federal Arbitration Act was intended to apply only in federal courts, but following a controversial Supreme and existing state laws, decisions cannot be appealed to a higher court and can be overturned only under specific conditions.
Mediation. Mediation is a nonbinding negotiation process. A neutral third party, the mediator, facilitates discussion between the parties, working toward a negotiated resolution. The mediator acts as an intermediary in helping the parties resolve business and legal issues while explaining the relative strengths and weaknesses of the positions.
Unlike arbitrators, mediators don't decide disputes. Their only role is to encourage the parties involved to reach an equitable settlement of differences. There are several variations of the mediation process. Parties can request that the mediator render a nonbinding opinion on the dispute or a binding award if the negotiation process fails.
At the conclusion of a successful mediation, all parties agree and the matter is resolved. If all parties do not agree, the matter can proceed to arbitration or traditional court channels.
The major benefit of mediation is that the process brings the parties to a mutually satisfactory resolution and--in a best-case scenario--preserves the relationships. Also, mediation is most often the least expensive ADP (1) (Automatic Data Processing) Synonymous with data processing (DP), electronic data processing (EDP) and information processing.
(2) (Automatic Data Processing, Inc., Roseland, NJ, www.adp. , method.
Other ADR methods. Hybrid variants of ADR techniques include nonbinding arbitration and mediation-arbitration. Nonbinding arbitration is similar to arbitration in that an arbitrator arbitrator n. one who conducts an arbitration, and serves as a judge who conducts a "mini-trial," somewhat less formally than a court trial. In most cases the arbitraror is an attorney, either alone or as part of a panel. renders an award after a hearing, but it is not binding on the parties. Mediation-arbitration offers mediation that becomes an arbitration process if it is not successful.
ADR FOR THE CPA
Each of the above methods has its benefits and drawbacks for the CPA profession. Arbitration can benefit CPAs who wish not to go to court over a fee dispute. Arbitration saves CPAs time because the parties involved-not the courts--set their own calendars, and insurance companies often waive or split the deductible for CPAs who use arbitration. However, arbitration for the CPA carries four significant pitfalls:
* Limited discovery. For example, the CPA in arbitration cannot depose To make a deposition; to give evidence in the shape of a deposition; to make statements that are written down and sworn to; to give testimony that is reduced to writing by a duly qualified officer and sworn to by the deponent. members of the client or its staff in preparing a defense.
* Possible loss of independence in a controversy with a client. Two AICPA AICPA
See American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). ethics rulings (191 and 192) provide that binding arbitration causes a loss of independence for the CPA.
* Potential compromise in professional liability policy coverage. Nearly every professional liability insurance policy gives the insurer the option of limiting or denying coverage to a policyholder entering into any agreement that affects an insurer's rights in defending the policyholder.
* The chance the CPA will have one controversy in both arbitration and in court. For example, if the CPA had an engagement letter specifying arbitration (see sample engagement letter language), the matter would be assigned to arbitration. However, some of those clients may sue for malpractice, frequently alleging failure to detect a defalcation The misappropriation or Embezzlement of money.
Defalcation implies that funds have in some way been mishandled, particularly where an officer or agent has breached his or her fiduciary duty. or a financial statement error relied on by a third party. Also, if a third party is involved, that party likely will not be bound to arbitration and will seek a resolution in the courts.
On the other hand, mediation almost always makes sense for the CPA. Prelitigation language in an engagement letter ensures the process is available before any dispute reaches litigation. Mediation often can resolve a problem with a client to everyone's satisfaction.
Mediation carries few pitfalls for the CPA. For example, if a CPA includes a mediation clause in the engagement letter, the CPA and client have to use mediation before issuing a summons. This situation is far less adversarial ad·ver·sar·i·al
Relating to or characteristic of an adversary; involving antagonistic elements: "the chasm between management and labor in this country, an often needlessly adversarial . . . in tone because the parties would not be as entrenched en·trench also in·trench
v. en·trenched, en·trench·ing, en·trench·es
1. To provide with a trench, especially for the purpose of fortifying or defending.
2. in their positions. It also allows skilled mediators to craft a mutually acceptable resolution. If the parties are not successful, they at least are given the time to explore each other's cases and positions.
How can the CPA use ADR in his or her practice? Since the mid-1980s, several state CPA societies have promoted the use of ADR to resolve fee disputes, among them the Florida Institute of CPAs The Florida Institute of CPAs (FICPA) is a professional membership organization representing over 19,000 CPAs and accounting professionals in Florida and beyond. The FICPA offers opportunities for professional development, knowledge-sharing, networking, community involvement, (FICPA FICPA Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants
FICPA Fellow of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association ). (The AICPA accountants' legal liability committee studied the matter and concluded that the state societies offered the best means of resolving statewide insurance and regulatory issues that could promote or hinder ADR.) State societies can provide information on ADP, education, service providers and neutral individuals who can serve as mediators or arbitrators.
In December 1993, the AICPA committee issued a "do-it-yourself" guide to assist state societies in developing member ADR programs. The guide provides background information on the ADR environment, guidance on creating ADR policies and instruction on establishing an effective ADR program. It also offers materials from the FICPA program as well as from the AAA, whose services are part of the Florida plan's recommended course of action.
FLORIDA'S SUCCESSFUL STATE PROGRAM
The FICPA mediation program followed the lead of Florida courts to order pending cases to pretrial pre·tri·al
A proceeding held before an official trial, especially to clarify points of law and facts.
1. Of or relating to a pretrial.
2. mediation, both as a supplemental means of discovery and as a successful method of inducing settlement between the parties. The program's success also is the result of the FICPA's decision to promote the purchase of professional liability insurance by FICPA members.
CNA (Certified NetWare Administrator) See Novell certification. Insurance, the first carrier to endorse ADR techniques nationally, worked closely with the FICPA to develop an acceptable ADR program.
The FICPA chose the American Arbitration Association as the sole provider of mediation services for FICPA members because of its successful track record in the ADR industry, its large number of trained mediators in Florida and its promulgation PROMULGATION. The order given to cause a law to be executed, and to make it public it differs from publication. (q.v.) 1 Bl. Com. 45; Stat. 6 H. VI., c. 4.
2. of a nationally accepted set of mediation rules tailored to accounting disputes. In providing for uniform application of procedures to all parties in a dispute, the AAA commercial mediation rules served as the national standard.
The FICPA mediation program now prescribes a five-step process for members in seeking ADR:
1. Agree to mediate, immediately notify one's insurance carrier of the dispute and seek the advice of legal counsel.
2. Arrange a mediation conference by contacting the nearest AAA office and submit the original engagement letter containing the mediation language or, absent engagement letter language, an agreement to mediate.
3. Select a mediator from a list submitted by the AAA, considering such factors as past business dealings and conflicts of interest.
4. Conduct the mediation conference, using prelitigation mediation with both parties accompanied by their attorneys and joined by the mediator, at a neutral location.
5. Conclude the mediation conference, drafting a brief statement reflecting the agreement on the issues resolved or, if no agreement is reached, declaring an impasse im·passe
1. A road or passage having no exit; a cul-de-sac.
2. A situation that is so difficult that no progress can be made; a deadlock or a stalemate: reached an impasse in the negotiations. and allowing the parties to pursue other avenues, including litigation.
It has been difficult to gauge the program's success because mediation is confidential and parties are reluctant to disclose outcomes. However, according to Steven M. Platau, CPA, JD, chairman of the Accounting Department at the University of Tampa The University of Tampa, or UT, is a private, co-educational university in downtown Tampa, Florida. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. In 2006, the University celebrated its 75th anniversary. and a prominent advocate of ADR, "in my interviews with those familiar with the mediation process, I've heard nothing but good stories" In one case in which Platau was the mediator, the client not only indicated a desire to continue working with the CPA but also mentioned to the CPA that he had never realized what the CPA was prepared to do for him until it was revealed across the mediation table.
CONSIDER THE CHOICES
It is important that CPAs remain informed of their options and that they consult with legal counsel, the AAA and insurance providers before going forward with ADR. CPAs also would be wise to consult their state CPA societies for more information on state laws and regulations pertaining per·tain
intr.v. per·tained, per·tain·ing, per·tains
1. To have reference; relate: evidence that pertains to the accident.
2. to ADR.
The payoff?. When chosen wisely, ADR can not only curb the high costs of litigation but also help CPAs avoid state board of accountancy sanctions; many states require all CPA defendants to report malpractice lawsuits to the state board, but this rule is not extended to ADR. CPAs also stand to save when their liability insurance carriers waive or split the deductible for using ADR. Perhaps the greatest benefit of ADR is that it gives CPAs an opportunity to replace a courtroom battle with an over-the-table discussion that could salvage a frayed client relationship.
RELATED ARTICLE: ADR For You
For more information on ADR and how it can work for you, your clients and your insurance carrier, contact the American Arbitration Association 140 West 51st Street New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of , New York 10020 Phone: (21) 484-4000, E-mail: usadrsrv@arb arb
See arbitrageur. .com Online: www.adr.org.
More than 800 U.S. companies and 3,200 operating subsidiaries An operating subsidiary is a business term frequently used within the United States railroad industry. In the case of a railroad, it refers to a company that is a subsidiary but operates with its own identity and rolling stock. have signed a pledge to explore resolution through negotiation or other ADR before, pursuing litigation. Together, the pledge signers account for more than half of the total U.S. gross national product.
Source: CPR Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Definition
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a procedure to support and maintain breathing and circulation for a person who has stopped breathing (respiratory arrest) and/or whose heart has stopped (cardiac Institute for Dispute Resolution, New York City New York City: see New York, city.
New York City
City (pop., 2000: 8,008,278), southeastern New York, at the mouth of the Hudson River. The largest city in the U.S. .
RELATED ARTICLE: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
* THERE ARE ALTERNATIVES to litigation that can be used to settle disputes and help reduce the number of times a CPA must appear in court. These alternatives collectively are known as alternative dispute resolution (ADR).
* TECHNIQUES THAT FALL UNDER the ADR umbrella include mediation, arbitration and hybrid methods that combine mediation and arbitration. All of these options can help CPAs resolve disputes faster and avoid high litigation costs.
* IN ARBITRATION, PARTIES ARGUE their positions and present evidence to an arbitration panel. As in litigation, the outcome is binding; however, arbitration is less formal than litigation and is based primarily on fact finding and only secondarily on legal issues. Mediation is a nonbinding structured negotiation process. A neutral third party, the mediator, facilitates discussion between the parties, working toward a negotiated resolution.
* EACH OF THESE METHODS has benefits and drawbacks for the CPA profession. CPAs should contact their state CPA societies for information on ADR education, service providers and neutral individuals who can serve as mediators or arbitrators. State societies also provide CPAs with the best avenue for resolving statewide insurance and regulatory issues that could promote or hinder the use of ADR.
RELATED ARTICLE: Liability Insurance and ADR
Several insurance carriers offer professional liability coverage to CPAs who have adopted ADR as a viable alternative to litigation. Most carriers offer the policyholder a 50% reduction in the deductible, often up to $25,000 if mediation is chosen and completed successfully. Carriers also actively promote ADR techniques through a series of risk management seminars. However, no carrier has espoused arbitration as a preferred method of dispute resolution and, in some cases, it may be construed as an act of noncooperation non·co·op·er·a·tion
Failure or refusal to cooperate, especially nonviolent civil disobedience against a government or an occupying power.
non in violation of the policy terms. Here are some carrier contacts:
Aon Insurance Services AICPA Professional Liability Insurance Program 4870 Street Road Trevose, Pennsylvania Trevose is a town in Pennsylvania, which is north of and borders northeastern Philadelphia. It is adjacent to, and shares a zip code with Feasterville, PA. It is not a municipality. Trevose lies partly in the township of Bensalem and partly in the township of Lower Southampton. 19049 800-221-3023 www.cpai.com
A/pis+ DPIC DPIC Death Penalty Information Center
DPIC Drug and Poison Information Center
DPIC Design Professionals Insurance Company
DPIC Double Pole Iron Clad Switch Companies 2959 MontereySalinas Highway Monterey, California For other uses, see Monterey (disambiguation).
The City of Monterey is located on Monterey Bay along the Pacific coast in central California. As of 2005, the city population was 30,641. 93940 800-227-4284 www.dpic.com
CAMICO Mutual Insurance Co. 255 Shoreline Drive, Third Floor Redwood City, California Redwood City is a suburb located on the San Francisco Peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. Redwood City is the county seat of San Mateo County. As of the 2005 census, the city had a total population of 76,000. 94065 650-802-2500 www.camico.com
CNA Insurance 333 South Wabash Avenue Chicago, Illinois 60685 800-262-8060 www.cna.com
CPA Mutual Insurance Company of America CPA Mutual Management 2811 Northwest 41st Street, Suite A2 Gainesville, Florida Gainesville is the largest city and county seat of Alachua County, Florida.GR6 Gainesville is home to the University of Florida, the largest university of the State University System of Florida and the third-largest university in the United States. 32606 800-272-0290 www.cpamutual.com
Westport Insurance Co. 181 West Madison, Suite 2600 Chicago, Illinois 60602 800-221-2236 www.insurecpa.com
Landy Insurance Agency Chicago Insurance Co. 75 Second Avenue, Suite 410 Needham, Massachusetts Needham is a town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States. History
Needham was first settled in 1680 and officially incorporated in 1711. Originally part of the Dedham Grant, Needham split from Dedham and was named after the village of Needham Market in Suffolk, 02194 800-336-5422 www.landy.com
Professional Indemnity Management Co. SAFECO Insurance Companies 4225 Naperville Road Lisle, Illinois Lisle is a village in DuPage County, Illinois, United States. The population was 21,182 at the 2000 census, and estimated to be 23,376 as of 2005. It is part of the Chicago metropolitan area and the Illinois Technology and Research Corridor. 60532 800-4474626 www.pimco.net
Herbert L. Jamisun & Co. 100 Executive Drive West Orange, New Jersey 07052 800-5264766 www.jamisongroup.com
RELATED ARTICLE: CASE STUDY
When ADR Works for the CPA: Solve Disputes Before Costs Grow
John and Sheri, managing partners of Maloney & Weiss, a South Carolina South Carolina, state of the SE United States. It is bordered by North Carolina (N), the Atlantic Ocean (SE), and Georgia (SW). Facts and Figures
Area, 31,055 sq mi (80,432 sq km). Pop. (2000) 4,012,012, a 15. CPA firm, were engaged in a difficult tax malpractice lawsuit against their firm that eventually was settled in 1994 through court-ordered mediation. Unfortunately, mediation--which resolved the dispute to the satisfaction of both the plaintiff and the CPA firm--was not used until after two years of litigation. The lawsuit cost the firm substantial time and expenses for expert opinions, depositions and related discovery.
Following resolution of this case, John and Sheri's firm decided to include language in all of its engagement letters that required the parties to mediate a dispute before filing a lawsuit. In 1997, a client filed a suit for missed issues in a tax engagement. Because the engagement had been performed under the terms of the new prelitigation mediation engagement letter, the court agreed to dismiss the suit until the parties reached a resolution or there was a mediation impasse.
The CPA firm contacted the American Arbitration Association and obtained a list of five mediators with business and professional liability experience. Two mediators had conflicts that prevented their service, and the AAA then selected a mediator from the remaining list.
The first mediation session was not simple. The plaintiff was very angry, and John and Sheri felt nothing could bridge their differences. Fortunately, the skilled mediator recessed the session early and scheduled another two weeks later.
At the second session, the mediator encouraged the parties to focus on their needs. Both the plaintiff and the CPA firm agreed it was most important to solve the plaintiff's tax problem. John and Sheri presented the plaintiff with a plan to solve the current tax problem and left the session with an arrangement to provide the plaintiff with future services. They also agreed to pay all the mediation costs and made an accommodation on future billings.
Observation. john and Sheri retained the client, avoided a lengthy and costly discovery process, obtained a reduction in their deductible from their malpractice carrier and were exempted from an investigation by the state accountancy board because there was no lawsuit.
--Contributed by Steven M. Platau, chairman, faculty of accounting, University of Tampa, Florida.
When ADR Doesn't Work for the CPA: Arbitration at a Cost
In 1996, Frank was engaged by Sara, a successful local businesswoman, to prepare tax returns for a number of Sara's closely held corporations Noun 1. closely held corporation - stock is publicly traded but most is held by a few shareholders who have no plans to sell
corp, corporation - a business firm whose articles of incorporation have been approved in some state and, as an accommodation, Sara's individual tax return. At the outset of the engagement, Frank obtained from Sara a signed engagement letter in which he incorporated a binding arbitration provision that covered the corporate tax returns.
An IRS An abbreviation for the Internal Revenue Service, a federal agency charged with the responsibility of administering and enforcing internal revenue laws. audit of one enterprise turned into an audit of nearly all of Sara's affiliated enterprises, including Sara's own return. The IRS assessed additional taxes related to several technical errors in the returns and added a substantial alternative minimum tax.
Sara and several of the corporations filed suit against Frank and his firm in state court demanding damages for the additional tax, penalties and interest. Frank asked the court to refer the matter to binding arbitration. The court agreed to refer all but Sara's individual suit to arbitration.
The arbitrator limited discovery to certain documents, a common practice to speed up the dispute resolution process. Because of this, Frank was unable to obtain through discovery any information about Sara's prior audit history with the IRS, the yield on funds invested (that would have been paid as tax) to offset damages and information from company employees about business practices.
Sara and the corporations received a large award from the arbitrator. After the arbitration hearing, the state accountancy board heard evidence on breach of professional standards for failing to correctly research applied tax law and disciplined Frank.
Sara's personal civil suit progressed toward jury trial. During that case, Frank prevailed because he had discovered information about Sara's enterprises and history that he had not been permitted to obtain during arbitration.
Observation. Although arbitration is faster and less costly than a civil lawsuit, it sometimes comes at a high cost--discovery may be limited and you may not be able to defend your case. If you want the choice of arbitration, you must include arbitration language in all engagement letters or you may end up in arbitration and in a jury trial. If you include a discovery provision in your agreement, you may be better protected but you also may sacrifice the time and cost benefits arbitration is intended to provide.
--Contributed by Steven M. Platau, chairman, faculty of accounting, University of Tampa, Florida.
RELATED ARTICLE: Popularity Unfolds
More corporations, federal agencies and state courts are using ADR programs. In a survey by Price Waterhouse and the Foundation for the Prevention and Early Resolution of Conflict, 88% of the 530 largest U.S. companies reported using mediation to resolve disputes during the past three years, while 79% used arbitration to offset litigation costs. Overall, 90% of the companies surveyed considered ADR a "critical cost control technique." Of all the ADR options, mediation scored the highest; more than 84% of the companies said they would use mediation in the future.
Other professional associations also endorse ADR. Many state bar associations have developed arbitration programs to handle disputes between members and their clients over fees. Other professionals such as engineers and architects and members of the financial services The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view of the subject.
Please [ improve this article] or discuss the issue on the talk page. industry, including bankers and stockbrokers, also frequently use ADR techniques.
RELATED ARTICLE: Sample Language
Sample ADR clauses for engagement letters.
CPAs can provide for arbitration of future disputes by inserting the following standard arbitration clause into their contracts or engagement letters:
"Any controversy or claim arising out of or relating to relating to relate prep → concernant
relating to relate prep → bezüglich +gen, mit Bezug auf +acc this contract or engagement letter, or the breach thereof, shall be settled by arbitration administered by the American Arbitration Association in accordance with its Arbitration Rules for Professional Accounting and Related Services Disputes, and judgment upon the award rendered by the arbitrator(s) may be entered in any court having jurisdiction thereof."
CPAs who choose to adopt mediation as part of their contractual dispute settlement procedures can insert the following mediation clause into their contracts or engagement letters in conjunction with a standard arbitration clause:
"If a dispute arises out of or relates to this contract or engagement letter, or the breach thereof, and if the dispute cannot be settled through negotiation, the parties agree first to try in good faith to settle the dispute by mediation administered by the American Arbitration Association under its Mediation Rules before resorting to arbitration, litigation or some other dispute resolution procedure."
PAUL GEOGHAN is assistant general counsel in the AICPA general counsel Office. Mr. Geoghan's views, as expressed in this article, do not Necessarily reflect the views of the AICPA. Official position are determined Through certain specific committee procedures, due process and deliberation deliberation n. the act of considering, discussing, and, hopefully, reaching a conclusion, such as a jury's discussions, voting and decision-making.
DELIBERATION, contracts, crimes. .