As a civil law country, Brazil’ legal system is based on Roman law, which was brought to the country by Portugal during colonial times. The country is a derivative republic where the federal government’s laws take precedence, then the states, then municipalities. There are federal and state courts in Brazil, however there are no municipality courts.
The Federal Supreme Court is the highest court in Brazil and it decides issues that are related to Brazil’s Federal Constitution, which was last established in 1988. There are five regional federal courts and each state in Brazil organize their own judicial system. Due to the legal system being based on Portugal’s system the legal system of Brazil is based on statutes.
A nationally recognized attorney in Brazil that has deep knowledge of the Brazilian system of law is Ricardo Tosto. Ricardo Tosto attained his Bachelor’s degree in Law from Mackenzie Presbyterian University and a degree in Business Administration from the Armando Alvares Penteado Foundation in São Paulo. After graduating he started his professional career in a small law firm where he started garnering more experience as a corporate litigator.
He has represented both Brazilian corporations as well as multinational corporations and the government of Brazil. Ricardo Tosto has been recognized as a trailblazer in his use of legal mechanisms which have been adapted by other Brazilian attorneys. Many interns have worked with him and they credit Ricardo Tosto for mentoring them and sharing his extensive legal knowledge with them. Whenever his law firm encounters a very important case Tosto becomes involved and guides the firm’s legal strategy.