Businesses in Brazil may be part of commercial or civil disputes for which legal support is recommended. Litigation attorneys represent the defendants and the plaintiffs in civil lawsuits. Their job is to take care of all the phases of litigation that include; investigation, pleadings, pre-trial, trial, settlements and process of appeals. These tasks may vary depending upon the nature of the dispute or if the litigator is representing a defendant or a plaintiff in the court.
With a large experience in litigation cases, our team of lawyers in Brazil can provide you with legal assistance in front of the authorities. They can explain the legislation and the conditions in which a trial takes place. Also, the same advisors can help foreign investors in setting up their businesses in Brazil, with respect to the local legislation, regardless of the chosen industry.
The Legal practice in Brazil
The legal practice of lawyers in Brazil regulates under the Brazilian Bar Association’s Code of Ethics and Discipline. On November 4, 2015, a new code of Ethics and Discipline was introduced in Brazil’s Official Gazette. According to Article 39 of the new code, lawyers are allowed to advertise their legal services by electronic means. To prevent the initiation of the court proceeding, this new code encourages the extra-judicial methods of case resolution like; conciliation or mediation. Any person interested in practicing law in Brazil needs to obtain a law degree first from an accredited institution. The same requirement is applicable for lawyers who help foreigners to immigrate to Brazil.
Our lawyers in Brazil proceed with their legal work under the regulations prescribed in the Brazilian code.
Who arbitrates the commercial disputes in Brazil?
The cases of commercial matters in Brazil are solved by lower federal courts who are also specialized in intellectual property issues. It is good to know that arbitration is the recommended method for commercial disputes in Brazil which can take place in the same courts of law.
Proceedings for commercial disputes in Brazil
The judicial proceedings in Brazil start with claim filings at the court of law, with the help of a Brazilian attorney. A specific magistrate will then take the case and will verify the materials and the documents involved in the case. The following steps are part of the proceedings for commercial issues in Brazil:
- the pleadings offered by both parties involved will be presented in the court of law for analysis;
- evidence is necessary to be provided in this stage and it is accepted only if brought by experts appointed by the court of law;
- the decision in the case is made by the judge if all the declarations, documents, and arguments have been accepted and analyzed by the judge;
- depending on the difficulty of the case, the litigation might prolong for several months.
As a solution for your case, we invite you to address your inquiries to our attorneys in Brazil and find out what’s the best option for your case. Companies in Brazil can be legally helped by our team.
What is the Alternative Dispute Resolution in Brazil?
The Alternative Dispute Resolution or ADR refers to arbitration, the most common solution for large commercial disputes in Brazil. The Mediation Act enters into discussion when dealing with arbitration cases, as this set of laws stipulates the main conditions of how disputes can be solved. We mention that arbitration can be performed in the courts of law or outside of it. Also, we remind that our litigation attorneys in Brazil can provide you with complete information and legal support if you have a business in Brazil involved in commercial disputes.
Structure of courts in Brazil
Brazil has a system of two parallel jurisdictions, state and federal. The lower state courts usually deal with large commercial disputes. In such matters, the courts are in charge of hearing all the relevant pieces of evidence and solving the matter in dispute. Whereas the lower federal courts in Brazil have jurisdiction over the following cases:
- cases of crimes that involve federal services or property;
- such crimes that involve international concerns;
- cases in which the federal government finds relevant interest;
Since 1988, the highest court of Brazil STF (Supremo Tribunal Federal) has become primarily a constitutional court. Below the STF is the Superior Tribunal of Justice (STJ), which over-looks the non-constitutional issues of federal law.
Some states in Brazil have specialized courts. For instance, the lower state courts in Sao Paulo are specialized in bankruptcy. And the lower courts in Rio de Janeiro are specialized in intellectual property. These courts have also been granted jurisdiction over lawsuits linked to arbitration. In these two states, the state courts of appeals have panels dedicated to commercial matters.
Can foreign lawyers proceed with cases in Brazil?
The authorities of foreign lawyers in Brazil are limited. They can only issue opinions related to foreign law matters with the express authorization of the Brazilian Bar Association. Foreign lawyers are not allowed to conduct cases in the courts of Brazil even if they are assisted by Brazilian law firms.
Requirements for obtaining a practicing license
Brazil does not impose strict requirements for obtaining a practicing license. The aspirants need to complete their law degree from an accredited institution and pass the Brazilian Bar Examination. An internship is not required but it is highly recommended because it grooms a lawyer’s personality. Besides this, there are no additional requirements to practice as an in-house lawyer.
You can trust the services of our Brazilian lawyers in the matter of obtaining Brazilian residency.
Fees and costs for a lawsuit in Brazil
The general guidelines for lawyer’s fees and case costs are given in Article 36 of the Brazilian Bar Association’s Code of Ethics and Discipline. The rules in this article provided that fees should be fixed following:
- The lawyer’s reputation and competence;
- Workload and time required;
- The type of the intervention, depending upon whether the service is regular, occasional or permanent;
- The local custom for comparable jobs;
- The size and relevance of the case;
- The difficulty and complexity of the matter involved;
- The location in which legal services are provided, whether it is near or far away from the lawyer’s domicile;
- The economic condition of the customer, the economic value of the case, and the profit resulting from the lawyer’s professional services;
- The probability of preventing the lawyer from working in other cases.
Lawyers don’t need to charge the exact fees given in Article 36 of the Code of Ethics and Discipline. This code provides the minimum costs which may vary from lawyer to lawyer depending upon their reputation and experience.
The impact of Covid-19 on Brazil’s judicial system
Unprecedented isolation measures were adopted to avoid the risk of Covid-19 among judges and attorneys in Brazil. Please find below the government report on the judicial system of Brazil, which comprises high, appellate and district courts at federal and state levels:
- In 2019, there were 77.1 million lawsuits pending judgment;
- Due to Covid-19, 90% of the cases initiated in 2019 are processed via electronic platforms.
Please feel free to contact our law firm in Brazil and solicit information about our legal services in Brazil you can receive.