Dispute resolution—Brazil—Q&A guide
Dispute resolution—Brazil—Q&A guide

The following Dispute Resolution practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Dispute resolution—Brazil—Q&A guide
  • 1. What is the structure of the civil court system?
  • 2. What is the role of the judge and the jury in civil proceedings?
  • 3. What are the time limits for bringing civil claims?
  • 4. Are there any pre-action considerations the parties should take into account?
  • 5. How are civil proceedings commenced? How and when are the parties to the proceedings notified of their commencement? Do the courts have the capacity to handle their caseload?
  • 6. What is the typical procedure and timetable for a civil claim?
  • 7. Can the parties control the procedure and the timetable?
  • 8. Is there a duty to preserve documents and other evidence pending trial? Must parties share relevant documents (including those unhelpful to their case)?
  • 9. Are any documents privileged? Would advice from an in-house lawyer (whether local or foreign) also be privileged?
  • More...

This Practice Note contains a jurisdiction-specific Q&A guide to dispute resolution in Brazil published as part of the Lexology Getting the Deal Through series by Law Business Research (published: April 2020).

Authors: FUX Advogados—Rodrigo Fux

1. What is the structure of the civil court system?

The Brazilian civil court system is divided according to the subject matter of the dispute and, within the different jurisdictions, by hierarchy. Matters that concern the federal government are allocated to either federal courts or to specialised courts (Labour, Electoral and Military), depending on the subject of the claim. State courts adjudicate residual matters (ie, all other claims that are not subject to the jurisdiction of the aforementioned federal courts).

Moreover, when presenting small-value claims (ie, less than the equivalent of 40 times the value of the federal minimum wage), the plaintiff may choose to try the case before a Special Civil Lower Court through a simpler and cheaper procedural framework.

Proceedings originate, in general, in lower courts that are occupied by a single judge in charge of rendering the first decision on cases presented before him or her. An unsatisfied party has the option to appeal a decision rendered by a lower court to a chamber of the relevant state tribunal or federal tribunal, which will be composed of a group of justices.

From a decision rendered by a chamber, a party will

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