Researchers testify to Superior Court of Appeals as impartial advisors in consumer law case
The Center for Access to Justice, Process and Dispute Resolution Means and the Saracura Legal Assistance Center at Fundação Getulio Vargas’ Sao Paulo Law School have joined forces with other legal study groups and organizations at the University of Sao Paulo, Minas Gerais Federal University and Sao Paulo State University to testify as impartial advisors on a special appeal before the Superior Court of Appeals. The aim is to discuss the concept of predatory litigation, as set out in Repeated Theme 1,198, which will establish a thesis on judges’ general power of caution when there are signs of predatory litigation.
According to Maria Cecilia de Araújo Asperti, a professor at the FGV Sao Paulo Law School, there is no specific concept of predatory litigation or predatory legal practice, and it may range from the filing of multiple similar lawsuits by the same lawyer to practices considered fraudulent, such as forging powers of attorney or filing lawsuits without grounds.
For this reason, the aim of the experts’ contribution is to provide a way to avoid confusing the abusive and fraudulent use of the justice system with the adoption of legitimate strategies inherent to the practice of law, such as the grouping of repetitive demands and the creation of legal theses for similar cases.
It is worth noting that testifying as an impartial advisor is a form of legal intervention in which a relevant person or institution may participate in a judicial debate to help resolve a conflict or establish a precedent.
The aim of this request to participate is to disseminate scientific knowledge about the social reality of access to justice, through a technical contribution based on empirical research and statistical data, to influence received wisdom about Brazil’s perceived “culture of litigation.”
According to the groups involved, issues submitted for judgment in similar appeals on predatory litigation involve concepts that are still not very clear in the Brazilian justice system, as well as defenses that involve rationalizing and limiting the exercise of the right of legal action.
The following groups are involved:
- Access to Justice and Repetitive Litigation Research Group at the University of Sao Paulo Law School, represented by Professor Susana Henriques da Costa;
- Credit, Consumption and the General Public Research Group, represented by Maria Paula Costa Bertran;
- The Effects of New Technologies on the Legal Profession and Justice System Research Group, represented by Paulo Eduardo Alves da Silva;
- Brazilian Repetitive Lawsuit Observatory, represented by Camilo Zufelato of the Law and Inequalities Research Center at the University of Sao Paulo;]
- Judiciary Observatory at Minas Gerais Federal University, represented by Renata Christiana Vieira Maia;
- Center for Access to Justice, Process and Dispute Resolution Means at the FGV Sao Paulo Law School, represented by Maria Cecília de Araujo Asperti;
- Judicial Assistance Division at Minas Gerais Federal University, represented by Renata Christiana Vieira Maia;
- Saracura Legal Assistance Center at the FGV Sao Paulo Law School.